April 18th, 2008
07:10 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton friend Reich backs Obama

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Reich is a former Clinton administration member.
Reich is a former Clinton administration member.

(CNN) - Robert Reich, a former Clinton cabinet member and longtime friend of the former president, has formally endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid, saying Friday that "my conscience won't let me be silent any longer."

"Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more so," Reich wrote on his blog. He served as the Secretary of Labor from 1993-1997 and is currently a professor at UC Berkeley.

"His plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding," Reich continued. "His approaches to the housing crisis and the failures of our financial markets are sounder than hers. His ideas for improving our public schools and confronting the problems of poverty and inequality are more coherent and compelling. He has put forward the more enlightened foreign policy and the more thoughtful plan for controlling global warming."

Reich, whose relationship with the Clintons dates back to their law school days at Yale, has long been a critic of the New York senator's White House bid. Shortly before the Iowa caucuses in January, he wrote that voters would have a choice "between someone who talks the talk, and somebody who's walked the walk."

"I don’t get it," he wrote then. "If there’s anyone in the race whose history shows unique courage and character, it's Barack Obama. HRC’s campaign, by contrast, is singularly lacking in conviction about anything."

Reich also criticized Bill Clinton earlier in the year over the former president's sharp attacks on Obama in South Carolina.

“Bill Clinton’s ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former president, his legacy, or his wife’s campaign," he wrote in January. "Nor are they helping the Democratic Party."

Asked to respond to Reich's endorsement, Clinton spokesman Mo Eleithee said, "Didn't he endorse him last year?"

Reich is the latest former Clinton administration official to announce his support for Barack Obama. Last month, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who held several positions under Bill Clinton, also came out in support of the Illinois senator. Clinton supporter and James Carville later called that as an "act of betrayal." Carville is a CNN political analyst.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (486 Responses)
  1. LD

    Clintons are too dishoest to go back to the White House

    April 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Obama=Unique courage?

    Since thing such as the price of gas, getting tough on oil companies, raising the standards of fuel economy, etc. I decided to do a little research.

    What cars do the candidates drive? Fortunately, all three get credit for driving American makes. What strikes me as a little surprising is that out of the three, Obama (who you could say is the most liberal out of the bunch) drives the biggest car with the biggest engine and with the worst fuel milage.

    Obama – Chrysler 300c V8 (fuel economy 15/23)
    Clinton – Mercury Mariner Hybrid (fuel economy 34/30)
    McCain – Cadillac CTS V6 (fuel economy 16/25)

    Thought that was interesting.

    April 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Ric

    Its only going to get worse!! The Dems will eventually destroy each other and Mc Cain will win!!! Mc Cain '08
    Sorry Dems, but this is a brokered nomination no matter what way its spun. Brokered nominations ALWAYS FAIL. Try again in 2012.

    April 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. George in Chicago

    Do the mindless Hillary supporters ever stop and wonder why those, who know her best (Reich, Richardson) will NOT support her?
    Wake up. Hillary is over. Obama will drag the Dems down.
    You tried.

    April 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    This endorsement should prove that Obama is a deep thinker and smart and intellectual in the right way. I'll bet Hillary and Bill are really mad over this.

    Thank you Mr. Reich for making the right choice!

    April 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Grant

    This is a major endoresement, Reich is not a politician nor super delegate and has nothing to gain politically, he was one of the masterminds of the Clinton admin...he is well respected by both parties and has one of the foremost econonic minds in the country. I think he and fellows such as David Gergen are growing increasingly impatient with the Clinton's sideshow....when will Bill just shut up already, and for God sakes, stop pimping Chelsea out!!! She is painfully uncomfortable out there and I feel for her....Some MOM!

    April 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Mike from Westchester

    Let's see – I want to make sure I understand this.

    He has more states, but her's are more important.
    He has more newspaper endorsements, but that doesn't matter.
    Since Super Tuesday, he has netted 70% of the superdelegates, but they don't count.
    A number of former Clinton Administration officials have made the couragous move to support Obama, but they are simply disloyal.
    He has more voters, volunteers, and donors, but they are all simply misguided.

    Perhaps it's time for all the Obama doubters to take a fresh look. Ignore the distractions – focus on the leader and his platform. There's room for all of you on the Obama Express – YES THERE IS!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. stefan, Barstow, Ca

    The Clintons got steamboat willie to crack the whip, so if you carry the cross differently then Hillary; you'll leave with scars on your back. As if people need to know she'll bomb Tehran and leave it in cinders beacuse some nut case over there speaks like a rabit sports fan against his rival. She proves she has no diplomacy skills, and when she hears the annual fireworks on the fourth of July, she'll blow up the planet trying to dodge the sparklers.

    April 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Doug--Los Angeles, CA

    Totally irrelevant! He is not well known nationally at all. He isn't even a super-delegate.

    April 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. TGO Houston

    Barack Obama is by far the best candidate we have going. I am very conservative. I love my Republican party but however I want to see the United States of America strong and on top again. The best person to do that is BARACK OBAMA. OBAMA '08

    April 18, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. jeff

    I think it's compelling that two of Bill Clinton's former Cabinet have endorsed Obama.

    April 18, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Rob

    Hillary Supporters its time to face facts! Unless Hillary makes some sort of back door deal at the convention, which I'm sure shes trying to do...there is no way she can win I mean steal the nomination. I am happy the congential liar is out! Do you really want Emperor and Empress Clinton running this country for the next fifty years?

    April 18, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. rjudy

    This man's opinion means nothing, Hillary introduced all those issues he sites long before any of them did. This is yet ANOTHER example of a former Clinton appointee(Richardson) and now Reich(shorty) who cashed in on Clinton and now THINK they are going to cash in on Obama. I would'nt buy water from these two guys if I was in the middle of the desert.

    April 18, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Steve WDC

    Loyalty? Yes, he's being loyal to his country and the American people by supporting change.

    April 18, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Rena

    Yep! All Hillary does is lie, lie, and lie. Ya'll are so crazy you keep saying all he does is talk and give good speeches. Well isn’t' that what all of them are doing right now? Hillary is talking and lying her way threw this race; McCain is going around telling his life history. Soooooooo what is your point. At least Obama is talking, inspiring, giving people hope while giving the best foreign policy to ever hit the white house.

    Why don't you guys really admit the truth this is about this man color? It is not about where he came from, what you don't know about him, you can't trust him, or his experience. You just don't like the idea he doesn't have the right color; if this was a white man with Obama's profile Hillary would have been out of this race. Bottom line you rather spite your face and vote for a woman who happens to be white than to vote for a black man who has everything we need in him to be a great president. It's even sadder that we have resulted to this type of behavior with the state our country is in; obviously America is not hurting to bad financially or care about our soldiers to vote McCain in just because you don't want a black man in. Remember he and Hillary policies are practically the same. So, what makes them so different, I'll say it again he is black. It's really sad!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Joe

    Why is it that Clinton supporters think that every former friend that is endorsing Obama is only doing so because there must be some kind of promise of a Cabinet position?

    If these people are friends of the Clintons already, wouldn't they be MORE likely to get a Cabinet position from her, therefore being more to their interest to endorse her?

    It just doesn't make sense. These people are truly voting their conscience. And as insiders, I take their endorsement very seriously.

    April 18, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Jake

    Seriously how delusional are some of you Hillary supporters?

    Posts like John's:
    April 18th, 2008 2:50 pm ET

    Hillary should start a third party. The other two is bought,and paid for.

    ---–

    Are you seriously saying that Hillary is not bought and paid for? That has to be the funniest/dumbest thing I've read in a long time.

    April 18, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Jose

    Put on your seat belts, we will be hearing another "Judas" & traitor call from the Clinton's camp very soon.

    April 18, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Jan

    Great news; and two other superdelegates also have decided for Obama today. Logical! in a few months we will all realize that there was no Bittergate, only a SNIPERGATE

    April 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Judy (PA)

    Time for Hillary to get out of the way.

    White women for Obama!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. sandrabarret

    YES WE CAN!

    April 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. SMART1

    "His plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding," Reich continued. "His approaches to the housing crisis and the failures of our financial markets are sounder than hers. His ideas for improving our public schools and confronting the problems of poverty and inequality are more coherent and compelling. He has put forward the more enlightened foreign policy and the more thoughtful plan for controlling global warming

    These are people who know because they have spent time talking to Obama and have heard his ideas which is something no one is doing in this campaign becasue we are all busy attacking each other. I also read today in Newsweek that Obama has the best defense plan, he was telling the Senate before the election that the United States was attacking the wrong Country and that the terrorist were in Pakistan and Afganistan but they wouldn't listen to a Jr Senator. Please people open yoru ears and get the tabloid bull crap that the Clinton camp has been slinging out of you minds before it's too late. She has poisoned this campaign and McSame will be in the Whitehouse cleaning his gun getting ready for war because he has alzheimers and can remember who were fighting.

    April 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Nick - VA

    I have a great amount of respect for Mr. Reich and while I was already an Obama supporter I hope more individuals like him speak up so this can end and we can focus on exposing John McCain for what he really is.

    April 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. John, PA

    Susan/MO, Karen in Cape Cod and Anne Marie/NYC now who's sounding "BITTER"??!!!!!

    Hillary is Done!!

    I't's still time to get on the TRAINE!!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Retired Navy Veteran

    Here you have a man who knows the Clintons and choose Senator Obama. Now, since we have people who actually know trhe Clintons but choose Senator OBAMA there is something to be said....

    Please, don't let Senator Clinton scare tactic hurt America..

    We need true change.

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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