WATCH: Neera Tanden Delivers Stirring Speech Accepting Historic OMB Nomination
Neera Tanden, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, delivered a poignant acceptance speech that celebrated her family roots and her experience living “the American dream.”
On Tuesday, the president-elect held a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware to introduce the members of his economic team, at which Ms. Tanden — who will be the first woman of color and South Asian to serve in the post if confirmed — delivered a short speech accepting Biden’s nomination as director of OMB.
“Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect,” Tanden began, using words many Republicans are still reluctant to utter, “I am humbled and honored by the trust you have placed in me to work with this talented team on behalf of the American people.”
“I’m especially proud to work alongside leaders who understand that budgets are not abstractions. They are reflections of our values, Tanden continued, and cited the example of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ mother, and her own mother Maya Tanden.
Ms. Tanden recalled how her parents were divorced when she was very young, “and my mom was left on her own with two young children, and without a job. She faced a choice: Return to India at a time where divorce was stigmatized and the opportunities for her and her children would be limited. Or, keep fighting for her American dream. She stayed. And America came through for her when times were tough.”
“We relied on food stamps to eat, we relied on Section 8 housing vouchers to pay the rent, we relied on the social safety net to get back on our feet,” she continued. “This country gave her a fair shot to reach the middle class, and she made it work.”
Tanden went on to add that “I am here today thanks to my mother’s grit, but also thanks to a country that had faith in us, that invested in her humanity and in our dreams.”
Ms. Tanden concluded by thanking her husband and children and as she departed the podium, President-elect Joe Biden said, softly, “Thank you.”
Watch the speech above via CNN.
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