Emerging Voices


Biden Receives Less Pushback for Cabinet Picks than Trump

President-elect Joe Biden has received a more positive reaction to his cabinet picks than President Donald Trump did four years ago. While Democrats have applauded Biden for his diverse picks, there has been little pushback from Republicans.

There were some counterarguments to Biden’s pick of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget after some comments regarding Republicans and President Trump surfaced. However, those tensions have since died down.

Compared to 2016, President Trump received considerable backlash for picking close and loyal advisors. Namely, Steve Bannon and General Michael Flynn.

After it was announced that Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon would be joining Trump in the White House as a senior advisor, Democrats largely opposed his hiring. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker led the charge in opposing the Bannon pick.

“There is a growing and alarming trend among the individuals President-elect Trump is naming to key positions in his administration,” said the Democrat in a November 2016 statement. “Some have degraded and demeaned Americans. Others actively promote dangerous fringe ideologies. Still more have threatened Americans’ rights, and attacked the privileges of citizenship.”

The opposition didn’t stop there. Top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke out against Trump’s selection of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.

“I know Senator Sessions and we work out in the gym, but the fact that he is a Senator does not absolve him from answering tough questions in the confirmation process,” Schumer said in a November 2016 statement. “Given some of his past statements and his staunch opposition to immigration reform, I am very concerned about what he would do with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and want to hear what he has to say.”

While none of Biden’s picks are deemed unfit to serve in his administration, the most controversial topic during the Biden-Harris transition is the soon-to-be First Lady’s title. Jill Biden, the president-elect’s wife, earned a Doctorate in education and uses “Dr. Jill Biden” as her official title.

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed earlier this week asking Dr. Biden to drop her “Doctor” title.

As we are now a little more than a month away from Joe Biden becoming the 46th President of the United States, the process of announcing cabinet picks is slower this election cycle than previous transitions.

Trump announced most of his picks by the end of the first week of December in 2016, while Biden has a handful of choices to disclose, such as Attorney General.