To former Sanders staffers and allies, Tanden is one of the Democratic elites who helped sink his 2016 campaign behind the scenes, not to mention a union-buster, a threat to Social Security, a hippie-puncher who constantly picks fights with the left, and much more.
“I don’t know anyone personally in Bernie world who is happy about this choice,” said Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders’ former national press secretary. “We’re talking about a woman who’s notorious for assaulting Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager.”
Another 2020 senior Sanders aide, who declined to speak on the record, called the addition of Tanden, a former Clinton staffer and longtime adviser, to the president-elect’s economic team “a big slap in the face of Bernie people.”
There is a long backstory to the bitterness between Sanders’ orbit and Tanden: During the presidential primary campaign in 2019, Sanders penned a fiery letter to the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, which Tanden leads, accusing her of “maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas.”