As announced last night on WSJ digital, Biden has chosen a number of women for senior posts in communication and also in the OMB. First, I’ll do the communications team leaders and advisors, since it is historic that they are all women.
From the WSJ:
President-elect Joe Biden said Jen Psaki, a former White House communications director, will be his press secretary, one of seven women named to top communications roles Sunday.
Ms. Psaki, who has been overseeing the confirmation process for the transition, served in several top roles in the Obama administration, including as State Department spokeswoman.
In addition to Ms. Psaki, Mr. Biden said that his White House communications director will be Kate Bedingfield, who served in the same role for his campaign. Pili Tobar will be deputy communications director, and Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as principal deputy press secretary. Ms. Tobar worked as the communications director for coalitions for Mr. Biden’s campaign, and Ms. Jean-Pierre served as chief of staff to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during the campaign.
Symone Sanders will serve as senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Ms. Harris, and Ashley Etienne was named her communications director. Elizabeth Alexander will be communications director for first lady Jill Biden. All three served as senior advisers during the campaign.
That’s quite a role for Symone Sanders, considering she’s only been part of the consultant class for 5 years.
Then there was more news about the economics advisors, particularly for budget priorities and policies:
Mr. Biden has chosen Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress, a center-left think tank, to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. The former vice president has picked Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University labor economist, to be chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, these people said.
The president-elect has selected Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, a former senior international economic adviser during the Obama administration, to serve as Ms. Yellen’s top deputy at the Treasury Department. And he will turn to two campaign economic advisers, Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, to serve as members of the CEA alongside Ms. Rouse, the people said.
Mr. Biden’s selections include outspoken advocates for aggressive fiscal stimulus to help return the economy quickly to its pre-pandemic health, a cause that could run into resistance in a closely divided Congress. The advisers are also known for advocating expanded government spending they say would boost the economy’s long-term potential, in areas that are liberal priorities such as education, infrastructure and the green economy, and policy changes aimed at narrowing racial disparities in the economy.
Several of the choices, including Ms. Rouse, Mr. Bernstein and Mr. Adeyemo, are former Obama administration officials who played key roles in the aftermath of the financial crisis
Cecilia Rouse would be the first woman of color to chair the Council of Economic Advisers.
Of course, many of us aren’t thrilled about
Clinton/Obama party hacks consulting class elites such as the appointment of Tanden to the OMB. I was doing some superficial web searching on Nanden’s background. We’ll look at the very basics from Wikipedia since there’s not much information about her, and what little there is tends to have a slightly positive ring to it.
She worked with President Bill Clinton’s campaign on new energy policies, and health-care reform, as associate director for domestic policy in the Clinton White House, and as senior advisor in the First Lady’s Office.
In 1999 and 2000, Tanden was deputy campaign manager and issues director for Hillary Clinton during her successful senatorial campaign in New York. In that capacity, she crafted policy proposals for the campaign. After the election, Tanden served as Senator Clinton’s Legislative Director from 2003 to 2005.
She served as Hillary Clinton’s policy director for her unsuccessful bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, shaping its policy proposals. Tanden supervised debate preparation for Senator Clinton’s participation in the Democratic presidential nomination debates during 2007 and 2008.
Continuing her association with Hillary Clinton, Tanden was an unpaid adviser to Mrs. Clinton’s successful 2016 primary season nomination campaign and unsuccessful general election campaign in opposition to Republican candidate Donald Trump, while also running the Center for American Progress. Tanden was considered a candidate for a top White House job, had Mrs. Clinton won the presidency. After Clinton secured the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, Tanden was named to her transition team.
2008 Obama general election campaign member – After Barack Obama was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate, Tanden was one of the first, and also one of the few, former Clinton campaign staffers to join his team; she served as Domestic Policy Director for his successful general election campaign, where she managed all domestic policy proposals for the campaign.
Obama administration in HHS -Tanden also served in the Obama administration as senior adviser to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services. She helped to draft the administration’s health care legislation, including work specific to its proposed, but later withdrawn, public option.  She also negotiated with Congress and stakeholders on several provisions of the bill. She has been described as one of the “key architects” of the Affordable Care Act.
Thomas and Davidson at WSJ are quick to note that progressives will be critical of these choices.
Some members of the economic team are likely to please party progressives. All three members of the CEA are known for their work giving greater prominence in policy debates to inequality. But others may draw some criticism from the left. Ms. Tanden has publicly tangled with allies of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Mr. Adeyemo has worked at BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, a potential red flag for some progressives opposed to any nominees with ties to Wall Street.
I’ve been thinking about the Team of Rivals and The Queen’s Gambit (on Netflix, about a girl who becomes the world’s greatest player in chess), in which there is some thought to strategy, it is a very shrewd move by Biden to slide Tanden in that slot. My hunch is Tanden was first considered for Secretary of HHS, but that was nixed — possibly because of the ire she would draw from progressives, and she would have not had an easy confirmation from GOP’ers. Tanden has worked on some policy stuff, but this really is more of a DNC membership reward, and it is bound to draw attention to the budget, especially if Senator Sanders miraculously is able to become chairman of the Budget appropriations committee. Tanden will make for interesting theater whenever she has to appear in front of Congress. However, this is a big risk because of the potential outcome of the GA senate race. My sense is Biden is signaling they aren’t planning for a 50-50 Senate.
There could be one other upside, but this is not likely to happen. What if former campaign manager Faiz Shakir ended up up taking over CAP–after all he has a great deal of experience under his belt, including working at CAP previously — and hire the likes of Matt Stoller and reach out more to academics, just as Bernie did for the first couple of years after the 2016 election — and ditch Brainwrap (who allegedly had some part-time gig there at one time). But looking at the press releases of CAP, it looks like Podesta will likely have a heavy hand in selecting Tanden’s successor.
I responded to Halper to get Faiz. If he goes on the show, maybe he’s decided CAP really is in his rearview mirror.
Reactions by progressives are posted below, along with other news of the day. This serves as an open thread.