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. Put a fork in it!

    Buh bye Hillary.

    Don't be BITTER Hillary lovers, if people WHO KNOW HER are jumping ship...

    It's not too late to back the FUTURE of the Democratic party, Barack Obama!

    April 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Leslie

    This shows the Clinton's aren't running the show as they wish they could.

    Thank you to those who disengage that power machine.

    April 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. suzy

    TO SANDY – THEN HILLARY MUST BE WORTH A LOT!!!!
    THANKS FOR THE PLUG!!!!!

    GO HILLARY!

    April 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Ratgurl

    Finally! A voice of reason! Thank you, Reich, for coming forth to support the candidate you think will best serve the country over the one who is a friend. If only all Americans could look at the facts without bias, we just might be able to move forward with the election process!

    April 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Tjaye

    Explain to me how Clinton friends and colleagues see something to make them support her opponent, but Clinton supporters seem blind as a bat and easily duped?

    Obama '08

    April 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Jeff from Peoria

    So Robert had heard something NO ONE ELSE has heard. It would be nice that the ELETISTS let us in on the plan.

    April 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. CHERYL FOR HILLARY

    ALL ABOARD! ALL ABOARD! ALL BOARD!
    TRAIN LEAVING THE STATON LAST CALL FOR HILLARY SUPPORTER TO JUMP ON
    OBAMA ALL THE WAY

    April 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Todd In farmcountry Pennsylvania

    Where's Patty from, ... CA, NY, FL.. and everywhere else she claims shes from.. After the hatchet job on Wednesday night, I am surprised there aren't more. Unless they are waiting to slowly trickle out all weekend up to the primary here in PA..

    GO OBAMA!!

    April 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. pa voter

    tes, and obama is the one that talks the talk, so why back him?

    April 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Anne Marie nyc

    It's more likely John Edwards was wearing a breast cancer pin last night in support of his wife – who by the way, said Hillary's healthcare plan was far superior to Obama's and nearly identical to that which Edwards had proposed. Quit dreaming and look at substance – GO HILLARY!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Chidozie Nwafor

    Men of goodwill are joining the Obama train. Welcome on board Reich.

    April 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Tony, Miami

    The die is cast, the nominee is OBAMA, HIP HIP HIP.........

    April 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    Welcome! I see Sam Nunn and David Boren also came out in support of Sen. Obama.

    C'mon Sen. Clinton... the fat lady has been singing and singing and singing and... she's getting REALLY tired.

    April 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Bit, Alabama

    Now wait, Susan of MO-

    First you say:

    This does not matter.

    "Obama has already hurt himself with his critical remarks to the people of Pennsylvania.

    And, he does not want anymore debates.

    He lost our vote a long time ago for being so critical.

    It does not matter anymore who endorses him

    Now Strongely for Hillary Clinton."

    Then you say:

    "Coming from Someone who 'KNOW" them.
    CLINTON your are done

    OBAMA 08."

    Does this mean that you are jumping the Clintonmachine and boarding the Obama Train...? Welcome Aboard, girlfriend!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. boer

    This endorsement, together with NUNN's and BOREN's is a consequence of the outrageous attitude of HILLARY, in complicity with
    the ABC moderators, during Tuesday's debate. This was the last straw for made such personalities abandon their intention to
    THIS WAS THE LAST STRW FOR MADE SUCH PERSONALITIES TO SKIP THEIR INTENTION TO STAY NEUTRAL, AND A SLEW OF SUPERDELEGATES WILL FOLLOW.

    Anyway, Hillary has no more chances with superdelegates after she
    acknowledged that OBAMA is electable !!

    TOM BOER

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. dbacchus

    2 A.
    "Here's something else that's exciting, John Edwards was wearing an Obama pin last night on the Colbert report!"

    THE LINK?!!

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Stephon

    He has an obligation to choose who he believes is the best Candidate, and he made his choice...so respect his decision.

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. caroline

    I really hope that the Clinton sees which kind of mess she did with the party. Now, she put Obama in a terrible position with her unusful questions and she put herself also in a very bad situation. First: I have never heard anyone who lived their religion for a Pastor, Priest or whatever... I need to understand.... this pastor made horrible comments, but if he did something criminal wasn't arrested? so...Obama has to pay for the stupidity of the Pastor....I don't get it....so all Catholics who didn't leave the church after the sex scandal had to be punished.?..why Americans don't send like Napoleaon this Pastor to Sant"elena ? ahahahah
    I understand if the supporter change vote or endorsment....when it is too much is too much.

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Eddie G

    First of all jt, you are an idiot. Get some spelling and grammar lessons.

    It speaks volumes for the distrust the Clintons have created. Friends and former advisors, cabinet members, you name it...they don't support the lies anymore. Time for Hillary to go away.

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Psbro

    Get real, he is not & has not been afriend to the Clinton's for years. He left the Clinton administration & wrote a book blasting the Clinton's. When he says "my friend" in regards to either Clinton, he is doing the truth a great disservice. You are doing the same even referring to him as a Clinton friend. He's been sucking up to Obama for some time now.
    Just another Judas in the pack

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Jennifer

    To Susan:

    The only way in which it may not matter is that Obama almost has the nomination sewed up as it is. And if you are really making your decision based on the 'spin room' rather than researching further into the matter than it doesn't sound like you are open- minded to find out the truth to begin with.

    Also, the majority of people understand that what Obama said is true and does not reflect on his belief that these small towns are also resilient and ready for hope and change as much as the rest of us,

    Karen in Cape Cod-

    So what you're saying is that Hillary Clinton has rats on her ship?

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. dems unite

    WE NEED TO UNITE AS DEMOCRATS, WE CAN'T AFFORD TO HAVE MCCAIN WIN BECAUSE OUR FAVORED CANDIDATE DIDN'T GET THE NOMINATION. IF YOU LOOK AT HILLARY/BARACK POLICIES, YOU WILL SEE THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Janet

    Are you Obama people saying that you are not loyal to anyone? My goodness, what will Barrack do when you all desert him for McCain because he is not ahead in the polls at the general?

    April 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Bond_Dallas

    The clintons can't understand why people are not laying a red carpet for them all the way from New York to white house.
    What is wrong with these people,,, they need to get real. And if Hillary doesn't watch it, she may lose Bills vote. lol

    April 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. April in Texas

    To... Mike in Texas

    Obama has done the walk in a more direct and personal area. Look back at what he did for a small community in Chicago which indeed made Chicago thrive even more.. There are alot you can find and see if you do the research. Come on over and visit the obama website. Check out the life and such he has done and really get to know the Obama family before you judge them.. We supporters may be harsh at times but the same can be said for many of the Clinton supporters.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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