President of the Center for American Progress and Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund
February 2, 2011: Neera Tanden is the President of the Center for American Progress and Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Tanden has served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations as well as presidential campaigns and think tanks. Most recently, Tanden served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Center, leading strategic planning of the organization, managing all operations including all of the organization's finance and fundraising efforts, and serving as a key member of CAP's executive team. Tanden focused the organization on measuring the impact of the Center’s work and during her tenure as COO the Center’s financial position has been strengthened.
Tanden previously served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, advising Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and working on President Obama’s health reform team in the White House to pass the bill. In that role she developed policies around reform and worked with Congress on particular provisions of the legislation.
Prior to that, Tanden was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, where she managed all domestic policy proposals. Tanden also served as policy director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign where she directed all policy work, ranging from domestic policy to the economy to foreign affairs, and managed day-to-day policy announcements. In that role she also oversaw the debate preparation process for then-Sen. Clinton (D-NY).
Before the presidential campaign, Tanden was Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at CAP. She was one of the first senior staff members at the Center, joining as Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy when CAP first opened its doors. In between, Tanden was legislative director for Sen. Clinton, where she oversaw all policy in the Senate office. In 2000 she was Hillary Clinton’s deputy campaign manager and issues director for her Senate campaign in New York. Tanden also served as associate director for domestic policy in the Clinton White House and senior policy advisor to the first lady.
Tanden currently has a regular column for The New Republic online and has appeared on the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," MSNBC, CNN, and Fox. She received her bachelor of science from UCLA and her law degree from Yale Law School.
Affordable Care Is Constitutional
Outlier Judge’s Ruling Does Not Invalidate Health Reform Law
By Neera Tanden |December 13, 2010
Today, George W. Bush-appointed district court Judge Henry E. Hudson, who has a financial stake in a major Republican consulting firm, ignored precedent, the consensus of his colleagues, and the Constitution itself to strike down an essential component of the Affordable Care Act. The result of this decision will increase costs for people and put insurance companies back in control of our nation’s health care system. Judge Hudson’s decision is also an outlier: So far, 14 judges have dismissed these meritless challenges to the health reform law.
The Affordable Care Act is nothing short of a lifeline for millions of Americans to receive the health care they need and deserve now and in the future as the law takes effect. It bans some of the worst insurance company practices, such as prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and dropping coverage once a person becomes sick. To eliminate these abhorrent insurance practices, the law also requires people to purchase coverage. Without this provision, the insurance market becomes unworkable. Too many people will wait until the moment they become sick to purchase insurance, leading to skyrocketing premiums for everyone. That is why a wide range of economists and organizations representing patients with pre-existing conditions have urged the law be upheld.
Make no mistake: Judge Henry Hudson’s poorly reasoned decision is living on borrowed time. We at the Center for American Progress are confident that it will not hold up to further scrutiny.
Neera Tanden is Chief Operating Officer at the Center for American Progress and oversees the health care team at the Center. She previously served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, advising Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and working on the president’s health reform team to pass the bill.
Hillary Clinton campaign's policy director of 2008 presidential
New York, Jan. 26, 2007
Neera Tanden, a senior vice president for Academic Affairs at
the Center for American Progress, has been appointed
Hillary Clinton campaign's policy director of 2008 presidential
Prior to joing Academic Affairs at the Center for American Progress
Center, she was Legislative Director for Senator Hillary Rodham
Clinton (D-NY). Before that Neera was the senior vice president
for Domestic Policy for the Center for American Progress. Neera
was the issues director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee. She has also served as the senior policy advisor to
the Chancellor of the New York City Schools, Harold Levy. Prior
to that she was the deputy campaign manager and policy director
for the senate campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Neera also
served in the White House under President Clinton as the senior
policy advisor to the First Lady and associate director in the
Domestic Policy Council.
She graduated from UCLA and received her law degree from Yale
Law School in 1996. She began her political ascent by volunteering
for then Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis’ presidential
campaign in 1988. At age 18, she was a precinct leader and she
encouraged all of the young people in the audience to get similarly
involved no matter how young they were.
According to The American Prospect, Inc, she said: As George
W. Bush grows accustomed to job-approval ratings in the middle
30’s, the number of explanations for his travails seems
to increase by the day. In this case it’s not success, but
failure that has a thousand fathers: the bungling of Katrina,
his drive to privatize Social Security, the mistakes in Iraq,
even obstructionist Democrats. The list goes on.
But here’s another theory: The president’s low approval
ratings are the result of the intensely negative type of campaign
he chose to run.
A campaign forms the basis for the public’s expectations
of how the candidate will govern once in office. And Bush, instead
of telling Americans what he had accomplished and what he would
do once reelected, ran the most negative presidential campaign
in history. He spent $177 million on the highest number of negative
ads -- a whopping 101,000 -- and the lowest number of positive
ads of any presidential campaign in modern time. And he was the
incumbent! He won by the narrowest margin of any incumbent since
1828, but he won.
The focus on an almost purely negative campaign meant that he
built little support across the country for his agenda. But Bush
and his team failed to see this. Believing their own hype, they
saw the election results as an affirmation of their key policies,
but in fact they were nothing of the sort because those key policies
were hardly even discussed. Social Security is the most obvious
example. Sure, Bush mentioned privatization as part of his stump
speech. But he discussed privatization just five times during
the debates, while he mentioned Iraq 73 times. And The New York
Times and The Washington Post ran only two stories apiece on the
subject during the campaign. A campaign in which Bush had spelled
out his proposals would have been a campaign in which we would
have had an actual debate about privatization. But Bush kept his
plans for Social Security intentionally vague during the campaign.
He didn’t want the debate in the short term, but in the
long term, he damaged himself.
On Iraq as well, Bush said the election affirmed his policy.
“We had an accountability moment, and that’s called
the 2004 elections,” he told The Washington Post. A year
later, given the 35 percent approval rating for his handling of
Iraq, clearly the American people wish the accountability moment
had lasted a bit longer. It is obvious to all but the most partisan
of supporters that the 2004 election was not an affirmation of
President Bush’s Iraq war plan.
But there is a deeper way in which Bush’s campaign has
dictated his downward trajectory.
In campaigns, the attacks that candidates make against their
opponents define them almost as much as their positive agenda
by creating a negative narrative of their opponents. Candidates
use their negative message to highlight a contrast with their
opponent that helps define themselves positively. Bush laid out
a clear message about his opponent -- John Kerry was a flip-flopper
who couldn’t be trusted to fight the war on terror. This
reinforced his campaign’s narrative that Bush was strong
and resolute and would not flinch. When Bush did something unpopular,
he turned it to his advantage by saying he did what he thought
was right and didn’t follow the polls. He wouldn’t
be one to zigzag.
But now we see the downside of this message of resoluteness:
Bush has made it difficult to change course to reflect new realities.
And though he has made some changes in his time (he was against
a new Homeland Security Department before he was for it), for
the most part he has held on to failing policies despite changed
circumstances. So he has stayed the course in Iraq despite ample
evidence that this has made the occupation more dangerous for
U.S. soldiers. Similarly, he has passed more tax cuts despite
massive deficits, and maintained every member of his senior team
even until one was indicted. What used to be resoluteness is now
a stubbornness divorced from the reality Americans see every day.
His inability to change course furthers the sense that he’s
out of touch with people’s concerns.
When he does change course, it seems disingenuous and political.
So, rather than receive a positive bump when he uncharacteristically
apologizes for the mismanagement of Katrina, or withdraws his
nomination of Harriet Miers, as most politicians would, Bush’s
downward trajectory continues. If he changed course dramatically
on issue after issue Bush would become that which he has maligned.