Neera Tanden, who heads up the Clinton-aligned Center for American Progress, discussed her true feelings about Media Matters’ David Brock in a newly leaked email discussion with John Podesta. The two progressive leaders were discussing a story in which Brock had said Hillary Clinton was preparing to run against Donald Trump in the general election. This was in January when the focus should have been on Bernie Sanders and the primary battle. Tanden took issue with Brock’s message and then with Brock himself. From Politico:
“David Brock is like a menace,” Tanden vented to Podesta. “I can think of no worse message for Hillary right now than she’s preparing for the general.”
“I continue to believe he’s the manchurian candidate of the GOP — secretly out to tank her,” she continued.
Podesta asked her if she truly believed that or if Brock was just an “unhinged narcissist” and Tanden replied that “I truly believe he’s an unhinged soulless narcissist.”
Just brutal. No doubt there will be some awkward apologies exchanged sometime today, though I’m not sure how you walk back calling someone a “soulless narcissist.”
In public Neera Tanden has always seemed fairly predictable, i.e. someone who says whatever will advance the progressive agenda. But privately she turns out to be a real firecracker. In another Podesta email released earlier, Tanden said of Harvard law professor Larry Lessig, “I f**king hate that guy. Like I’d like to kick the s**t out of him on twitter…but I know that is dumb.”
Earlier this week I wrote about another Podesta email in which Tanden said something quite sensible. Speaking of the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website Tanden wrote, “I do think in real life people would have gotten fired a long time ago.” In this case “real life” seems to be shorthand for the private sector, i.e. a place where rank incompetence has consequences on employment. Tanden seemed to feel the lack of such consequences in the Obama administration was not necessarily a good thing.