President-elect Joe Biden has yet to appoint any prominent supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to his incoming administration in the month and-a-half since the November 3 presidential election.
The list of his twenty or so hires, both for Senate-confirmed and White House staff roles, includes several long-time aides, many former Obama administration officials, and even one or two “progressives,” such as California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
But almost all of those named supported Biden in the Democratic Party presidential primary.
One rare exception is Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), whom Biden named as his choice for Secretary of the Interior this week, and who supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Pete Buttigieg, whom Biden selected as his pick for Secretary of Transportation, ran against Biden, but dropped out before Super Tuesday to endorse him.
One choice, Symone Sanders, backed the Vermont socialist in 2016, but served as a Biden surrogate in 2020. She has, bizarrely, been relegated to the Vice President’s office in favor of former Obama communications aide Jen Psaki, who will be Biden’s White House Press Secretary.
Sanders supporters have been grumbling online about their exclusion, given the fact that Biden relied on their votes to defeat Trump in the Upper Midwest and elsewhere:
I believe the count of Bernie Sanders supporters in the Joe Biden Cabinet thus far is zero.
— Ben Spielberg (@BenSpielberg) November 30, 2020
There’s not a single Bernie Sanders supporter in Biden’s administration. https://t.co/K9GJqtuqYL
— BJG 👑 (@briebriejoy) December 16, 2020
Sanders himself complained about the issue indirectly on Thursday in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, arguing that Biden had not nominated enough “progressives”:`
Sen. Bernie Sanders tells @WolfBlitzer that he doesn’t believe Pres.-elect Joe Biden is doing enough to amplify the voices and policies of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
“Those voices of millions and millions of people deserve representation in the Biden Cabinet.” pic.twitter.com/zsFf1h9Vbt
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) December 16, 2020
He made similar comments earlier this month:
“I have not seen people from the progressive movement per se in the cabinet.” –@BernieSanders
“A movement that constitutes 35%, 40% of the Democratic Party, should that movement be represented in one capacity [in the Biden administration]? The answer is absolutely yes.” pic.twitter.com/FDEi6BbCki
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) December 14, 2020
Biden is somewhat constrained by the fact that Republicans still control the Senate and would continue to do so if they win at least one of the two Senate seats at stake in the Jan. 5 runoffs in Georgia.
Still, there are many senior administration positions that do not require the consent of the Senate.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.