Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday called for the Senate to confirm Neera TandenNeera TandenBiden to sign order to streamline government services to public Politics, media worlds react to Wallace news Biden's head of personnel to leave White House for UNICEF MORE as Office of Budget and Management (OMB) director after several key centrist senators have said they will vote against her nomination.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Hewitt said that though he had suffered “Tanden-inflicted scars” in controversial tweets Tanden had sent while serving as the head of the liberal Center for American Progress, he thought that senators voting against her over tweets would be punishing political opinions.
“She’s a serious left-liberal, though not as far to the left as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersShame on Biden for his Atlanta remarks — but are we surprised? Overnight Health Care — Biden faces pressure from Democrats on COVID-19 Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE of Vermont, so she’s left some marks on Team Sanders as well. She should also be confirmed as OMB director,” Hewitt wrote.
“All political people, especially senators, should live with the same rules of political debate as the rest of us. They should not use their confirmation power to protect themselves from online criticism, however hurtful,” Hewitt wrote. “Everyone draws the line at threats. But Tanden has just clobbered people the good old-fashioned way: with words.”
Hewitt's comments come as Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate Democrats eye talking filibuster NAACP president presses senators on voting rights: 'You will decide who defines America' Schumer tees up showdown on voting rights, filibuster MORE (D-W.Va.) on Friday became the first Democratic senator to say he would oppose Tanden's nomination, citing Tanden's controversial tweets. On Monday, key Republican centrists Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities More than 30 million families to lose child tax credit checks starting this weekend MORE (Maine) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyShame on Biden for his Atlanta remarks — but are we surprised? The Memo: Blame game intensifies over nation's divide Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration MORE (Utah) said they would vote against confirmation.
Hewitt went on to argue that even if Tanden's previous tweets are considered a referendum on her temperament, that would be a more appropriate consideration for a position such as a lifetime judgeship.
“New presidents who have four years to succeed deserve their team in place, absent disqualifying personal flaws or other serious cause for concern. There are exceptions to every rule, but ‘mean tweets’ doesn’t even come close,” Hewitt wrote.
The announcements from Manchin, Collins and Romney almost certainly doom Tanden's chances at confirmation. Collins, whom the White House had viewed as a possible GOP pickup vote, also cited Tanden’s social media activity in her announcement.