His withdrawal comes as news broke that up to twelve Republicans were planning to oppose his confirmation. Rather than face defeat, he withdrew before his confirmation hearing.
Writing for the Washington Post, Aaron Blake characterized his withdrawal as a "consolation prize."
But Puzder's defeat, while perhaps a shot in the arm for Democrats, doesn't rank as a game-changer. It's pretty business-as-usual for Cabinet picks, in fact.
For one, it's a very low-profile Cabinet position. To get a sense of how low-profile the job of labor secretary is, see if you can name two of the three labor secretaries from the 21st Century. If you can, it's probably because one of them is in line to be Trump's transportation secretary (Elaine Chao) and another is running for Democratic National Committee Chairman and got some buzz as a potential Hillary Clinton's vice-presidential pick (Tom Perez). The work they do just isn't front-page news.
Blake should tell that to the dozens of groups who organized to defeat Puzder's nomination. Organized labor in particular has opposed the elevation of a man who made his fortune on the backs of workers.
Elizabeth Warren was triumphant. She tweeted this just before the announcement that he withdrew.
Bernie Sanders also chimed in:
No, this was definitely not a consolation prize. This was a serious win, likely enabled by the chaos in the White House right now, which gave Senate Republicans some room to maneuver on this nominee.
Congratulations to everyone who opposed this nomination. Let's hope the next nominee isn't more extreme. If Trump and his henchmen have any brains, they'll go for someone less hostile to labor.