President Joe Biden announced Friday that staff secretary and senior advisor Neera Tanden will serve as the new domestic policy advisor following the departure of Susan Rice from that role.
Tanden’s promotion was a lightning-rod pick, as she is most well-known for allegedly pushing a reporter who asked Hillary Clinton an unwelcome question.
That incident occurred while Tanden served as a top adviser for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton during her first presidential campaign.
It happened in 2008, the New York Times reported, when Tanden was accompanying Clinton to what was supposed to be an “easy interview” with the liberal website ThinkProgress.
Rather than asking only softball questions during the interview, however, chief editor Faiz Shakir questioned Clinton about her vote for the Iraq War, a question Clinton apparently was not prepared to answer.
The Times reported that Tanden “responded by circling back to Mr. Shakir after the interview and, according to a person in the room, punching him in the chest.”
When asked about the incident, Tanden said, “I didn’t slug him, I pushed him.”
The Guardian called Tanden’s behavior “unremorseful bullying.”
More recently, Tanden was in the spotlight for Twitter posts attacking Republicans and Democrats with whom she disagreed, the Associated Press reported.
Early in his administration, Biden had nominated Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget in 2021, but she had to withdraw her nomination after facing bipartisan opposition because of those tweets.
Neera Tanden withdraws her nomination to head White House budget office amid bipartisan opposition over tweets https://t.co/QrXpkfxq9F
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 2, 2021
Tanden apologized to Republicans and Democrats alike during the confirmation process and deleted hundreds of tweets attacking lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, the AP reported, but evidently that did not help her situation.
“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities,” Tanden wrote in a letter to Biden, according to the AP.
On Friday, Biden praised Tanden’s qualities while announcing her new appointment as director of the Domestic Policy Council.
“As Senior Advisor and Staff Secretary, Neera oversaw decision-making processes across my domestic, economic and national security teams,” Biden’s statement said.
“She has 25 years of experience in public policy, has served three Presidents, and led one of the largest think tanks in the country for nearly a decade.”
In her new role, Biden said Tanden “will continue to drive the formulation and implementation of my domestic policy, from economic mobility and racial equity to health care, immigration and education.”
In the statement, Biden thanked Susan Rice, saying the country owes her “a debt of gratitude for her history-making public service,” the Times reported.
In addition to Tanden’s promotion, the White House announced two other changes, with Stefanie Feldman replacing Tanden as “Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary” and Zayn Siddique being promoted to “Principal Deputy of the Domestic Policy Council.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.