Joe Biden heal the nation? Seriously? He’s having trouble healing the divisions in his own party.
One of Biden’s biggest challenges heading to the White House will be fixing the divide in the Democratic Party and repairing the damage left over from locking liberals like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren out of his Cabinet.
Biden passed over Warren for the top Treasury post and is likely to keep U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders out of the Cabinet as well.
And it’s already gotten ugly.
Progressive groups and their leader U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, are already warning the Biden transition team to keep liberals happy and lock certain centrists out of the administration, like former Clinton administration aide Bruce Reed.
These groups have mounted an all-out attack on Reed, even though his ties to the Clinton team are deep. Reed was one of Clinton’s top economic advisers during his 1992 campaign and later became one of the architects of Clinton’s welfare reform law.
Watch to see whether Biden taps Reed to be in his inner circle — it will tell a lot about how the former vice president plans to govern.
Biden will probably pick a few token progressives to appease groups like Justice Democrats but liberals are bound to be dissatisfied with many of Biden’s picks, whether they are Cabinet level or below.
The Massachusetts Democrats most likely to get offered jobs in the Biden administration are moderates like former Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch.
Patrick, who ran for president in 2020 as a moderate alternative and preached unity, could be in line for a Justice Department post or perhaps an ambassadorial opening.
Lynch in the past has been openly critical of the Democratic Party but that wouldn’t hurt his chances to get a Biden administration job.
And while Massachusetts has a well-deserved reputation as a bastion of liberalism, don’t forget that it was the moderate Biden who won the state’s presidential primary over Sanders and Warren.
Biden has offered clear clues over the last few weeks as to how he’s going to run his administration and who he’s going to pick to fill crucial positions.
“You want solutions, not shouting, reason, not hyper-partisanship, light, not heat,” Biden told Americans in his Thanksgiving Eve address last week. “You want us to hear one another again, see one another again, respect one another again. You want us — Democrats and Republicans and independents — to come together and work together. And that, my friends, is what I’m determined to do.”
No hyper-partisanship? No shouting? That pretty much rules out Sanders and Warren, doesn’t it?
Biden has also made clear that he wants plenty of nonwhites and women to fill top posts, and that could prevent white men like Boston Mayor Marty Walsh from getting important roles in his administration.
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