On Friday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he wouldn’t support Tanden’s nomination because of her past tweets savaging a number of Manchin’s colleagues.
“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” said Manchin. “For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”
Manchin’s announcement imperiled Tanden’s nomination, as Democrats control only 50 seats in the Senate. With Manchin against her, Tanden now needs at least one Republican senator to back her nomination for her to make it. And early Monday morning, the Republican considered one of the most likely to back her said she would not — again because of Twitter.
“Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency. Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.
“In addition, Ms. Tanden’s decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”
And on Monday, a statement from Sen. Mitt Romney’s office made clear that he would be a “no” on the Tanden nomination, citing Twitter as the reason.
“Senator Romney has been critical of extreme rhetoric from prior nominees, and this is consistent with that position,” spokeswoman Arielle Mueller said. “He believes it’s hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets.”
While Tanden’s chances are significantly less good than they were even 72 hours ago, the White House is insisting that they will continue to push for her to be confirmed.
It remains to be seen how long the White House will stand behind her.
Tanden did her best to distance herself from her Twitter persona. “My language and my expressions on social media caused hurt to people, and I feel badly about that,” she said in her confirmation hearing. “And I really regret it and I recognize that it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others. I would say social media does lead to too many personal comments and my approach will be radically different.”
There is, of course, hypocrisy here — particularly among Republicans, who spent the last four years saying they hadn’t seen whatever the latest wild attack was that had emerged from Donald Trump’s Twitter account or that it didn’t matter. That suddenly someone attacking them on Twitter is disqualifying for a job in a presidential administration is quite the double standard.
That said, if Tanden either withdraws or is rejected in a final floor vote, it will send a very clear message to those with ambitions to wind up in a presidential cabinet one day. That message? “Never tweet.”
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this analysis.