That Didn't Take Long: Biden Interior Department Welcome Email Pushes Racial Politics

Ted S. Warren

That was fast. All Department of the Interior employees today received a system-wide email from the incoming Biden administration leadership, which I obtained.

Instead of worrying about bison, national parks, and federal lands, the message had a different focus. It was race and identity politics.


The email to all Department of the Interior employees starts:

Good afternoon! My name is Jennifer Van der Heide, and it is my distinct honor to serve as the incoming Chief of Staff for the Interior Department. On behalf of the Biden-Harris team, I want to share my greetings and enthusiasm to be working with all of you on Interior’s critical missions.

Van der Heide is your central casting leftist. She hates Christopher Columbus, Mt. Rushmore, Donald Trump, and American energy independence — not necessarily in that order.  She is the sort of appointment that reveals the lie of Biden’s play as a bipartisan unifier.

Her email to Department employees lays out what matters now at the Interior Department:

Lastly, I am eager to welcome a strong Biden-Harris team to the department over the coming days, weeks, and months. The administration is striving to appoint people that are talented, experienced, and look like America. I will communicate to each appointee that we must carry out our work with the same core values that I know you all bring to public service: honor, integrity, heart, and professionalism.

Today in America, there are significant and converging challenges facing our nation: the pandemic, the economy, climate change, and systemic racism. I look forward to working with you to address these and to serve the American public. Thank you again for your service to this nation.


Here we go. Under Trump, it was America First. Now, it’s the territories and identity politics.

First and foremost—thank you. You are the backbone of this Department. Thank you for all you do as public servants to uphold trust and treaty responsibilities to Native Americans and Alaska Natives; to work with our Native Hawaiian communities and U.S. Territories.

You can read Van Der Heide’s radical Twitter feed here. So much for that bipartisan unifying from the inaugural address. Strike that, there is none.

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