Elizabeth Warren is not going to be treasury secretary. Bernie Sanders seems unlikely to lead the Labor Department. And progressives have so far failed to persuade president-elect Joe Biden to put their favored candidates in top jobs for his administration.
But they appear to have succeeded in making enough noise to keep out their biggest foes, at least for now.
“On the domestic side, the worst of the worst have so far been blocked,” said David Segal, the executive director of the group Demand Progress, which has been outspoken in its criticism of some Biden appointees.
“There might not be knock-down drag-out public fights where activists and senators try to take down particular nominees — but if that’s the case, it will have been the threat of those fights that will have made them unnecessary,” he said.
Biden has been performing the delicate balancing act of selecting people who not only would be “accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party,” as he recently put it, but who also stand a reasonable chance of getting confirmed by a Senate that will be in GOP hands if Democrats don’t win next month’s Georgia runoffs.