Being Right: Lackluster and Divisive- Biden’s Cabinet

Shortly after his win was confirmed, then President-Elect Biden doubled down on his campaign promise that he would nominate the “most diverse Cabinet representative of all folks.” This came as somewhat refreshing news since President Trump had the least diverse cabinet since Reagan and personally, as a Hispanic, it is nice to have some adequate representation in my government. However, in his attempt to be the history maker, President Biden forgot to be the peacemaker too. Although he picked a cabinet representative of the demographics of America, he seems to have failed to pick an adequate cabinet that would be the most effective in bridging the gap that exists today.

The Cabinet pick that is generating the most heat and faces strong resistance is Neera Tanden. Tanden was nominated for the head of the Office of Management and Budget, and immediately, she faced opposition. The Office of Management and Budget serves to provide objective, impartial and nonpartisan analysis on budget proposals — why would President Biden nominate someone to head the Office who cannot deliver on any of those fronts? Tanden’s previous comments on Republicans have been incredibly decisive. She called Ted Cruz a vampire, Tom Cotton a fraud, Mitch McConnell Voldemort and Susan Collins “the worst.” If President Biden sought to bring bipartisanship to Washington, why would he nominate someone so divisive? While Tanden certainly has the credentials to lead such a technical position, the impartiality of the Office of Management and Budget implies that President Biden’s team would have served him better if he had suggested someone more suited for an impartial position.

There is also the typical wheeling and dealing exhibited during his nominations. Governor Jennifer Granholm was an early supporter of then candidate-Biden frequently visiting many shows to support his candidacy. With no credentials managing or understanding nuclear facilities, she was still able to get a nomination. The same goes for Mayor Pete Buttigieg who has been voted as the Secretary of Transportation. Not having spent any money on advertising on Super Tuesday, Buttigieg had seemingly set his candidacy to support Biden to get a position in his cabinet but simply being the Mayor of South Bend did not set him up to back up President Biden’s promise of any major infrastructure overhaul. It is not surprising that given divisive candidates and those lacking sufficient credentials, it has been a long and slow process to confirm his candidates.

President Biden’s Cabinet and his picks are of no surprise. It was a classic bait-and-switch that is always to be expected of politicians — especially from one that had to over-promise to generate enthusiasm for his candidacy. It might be a diverse cabinet, but it certainly lacks any spice.