Biden’s staff nominations are early test of relationship with progressives

Biden's staff nominations are early test of relationship with progressives
President-elect Joe Biden. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: US President-elect Joe Biden has long had a rollercoaster relationship with the left-wing progressives of the Democratic party and progressive organizations and there are signs that the relationship is again starting to fray now that his victory in the presidential election over Donald Trump is receding into the rear-view mirror.

When Biden, the former vice president, entered the Democratic primary field progressive groups were quick to criticize him for supporting the Iraq war and previously considering cuts to social security. The organizations cast Joe Biden as an establishment Democrat who would fail to challenge a status quo that had created the conditions for the rise of Donald Trump.

That all changed in April this year, when Mr Biden became the presumptive Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Taking a cue from leading progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, these same groups urged their supporters to back Biden, warning that another four years of Trump’s staying in the White House would do lasting damage to the country and the planet.

Now, with Donald Trump defeated, Mr Biden’s relationship with progressive organizations is entering a new phase, and the progressive groups are closely scrutinizing the Biden’s selections for his cabinet and senior staff positions for clues about his agenda.

So far, the president-elect has largely managed to avoid the least desirable picks in progressives’ eyes, but there are already some early warning signs of tension.

That tension was on display late last month, when the he was asked by NBC News’ Lester Holt whether prominent progressives like Warren of Sanders might be joining his administration.

Biden replied: “We already have significant representation among progressives in our administration, but there’s nothing really off the table.”

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