April 18th, 2008
07:10 PM ET
6 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. Ben

    So many of Clinton's friends are moving over to Obama..there must be a very good reason...fe.g,,the Bosnia story & years ago she talked down on being a housewife!!

    April 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Pam

    Hillary supporters are so amusing! Everytime Obama gets an endorsement , they say it doesn't matter or that the person is only vying for a Cabinet position. Jealousy is such an ugly emotion!

    April 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Mandy

    So I guess Reich was at the San Francisco Fund Raiser and feels like Obama does. No suprise he supports him then.

    Probably better he supports a dishonest, elitist like Obama than Hillary.

    KEEP up the good positive work Hillary, only a low life would flip off another candidate and smirk about it.

    April 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. deana

    Come on America,
    Lets unite and vote for the better future
    Vote Barack Obama

    April 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Chill Out

    You're right Patrick Peavey it is sad when people who have known you for years have endorsed the other guy. It doesn't call into questions your "friends loyalty" near as much as it call into question your policies. If you notice that is all Reich talks about is policy so don't make it personal.

    I think we all agree that endorsements dont change peoples votes however lets also be honest (if such a thing is possible) and also admit that endorsements only "MEAN NOTHING" to the person who didn't get it.

    April 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. matt

    How is this news?

    April 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. H

    ENOUGH OF YOUR PUT DOWN OF HILLARY SUPPORTERS. WE ARE TWICE A BRIGHT AND KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY. HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. JC, Orlando

    YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Jay Nair

    Message for SC Brown:–I went thru the erticle in Chicago Tribune. I grew to admire Obama for all the common man's life he led and feelings he nurtured. If all Obama haters would read it, they would ponder-those who scorned would admire!!! What a simple man!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Tracy FROM PHILADELPHIA

    ANYONE SUPPORTING OBAMA IS ANOTHER JUDAS.
    COME ON PEOPLE. EVERYONE IS ALIGNING BEHIND OBAMA, THAT SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT WHO THE CLINTONS ARE UP TO. OPEN YOUR EYES.

    April 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. TESA P

    FRIENDS....... HOW MANY OF US HAVE THEM.............

    NOT THE CLINTONS.... :)

    April 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Anna , Tx

    I can't understand why Obama is getting such endorsments after he flips Hillary the bird at North Carolina. It just goes to show how immature and inexperienced he is.

    April 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Bendo

    Any Democrat who does not vote for a fellow Democrat, should be permanently banned from the party. If an HRC voters for for McCain, they are for now and ever an evil republican, nuf said!

    April 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Ron R

    Hillary..........it's over.

    April 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Elizabeth Asante

    WAKE UP AMERICA GOD HAS CHOOSEN A NEW LEADER FOR THIS NATION . AMERICA IS GOING TO CHANGE FOR THE BEST , GO BARRACK , YOU ARE THE CHOOSEN ONE GOD BLESS YOU, MOVE OVER CLINTON AND MCCAIN.

    April 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Dennis in Spokane

    But does Reich wear a flag pin and does his pastor love America as much as him? These are the important questions, right Hillary?

    April 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Janet

    Since when does anyone in government do anything because of their conscience? You kids are getting worse with your judgment–where are your parents–sipping lattes with Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, Tobin, Cafferty and Dean? They must be having emergency sessions to try and disenfranchise and sabotage the rest of the states since Hilary has had a great week! Keep, looking, panel of disloyalists–you will no doubt sign up Carter when he finishes his meetings with Hamas and the rest of those anti-American dictators! Hilary all the way–from Clinton loyalist! ( also remember the glorious nineties)

    April 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. jyh1920

    Instead of calling these people Judas' look closer.
    Could it be they know the Clintons better than most?
    Could it be they have a REASON to not support them?
    Could it be they are BRAVE enough to not feel strong armed into supporting them?
    Could it be that they have been TURNED OFF by them?

    If so called friends can't support them, shouldnt that say a lot about the Clintons?

    April 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Nikole

    What a well-written endorsement. Those unfamiliar with Obama's policies should now take the time to check them out.

    April 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Matt in Kansas City

    I think this is a great endorsement for Obama. But, I am suprised the article doesn't mention that Robert Reich IS NOT A SUPER DELEGATE.

    April 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. WHAT IS IT...

    TO SUSAN, PATRICK, Maggie..., STACY....

    Your comment prooves that you did not understand that element of democracy. Elections in a democratic country is ACTUALLY NOT ABOUT FREINDSHIPS or CLANS.

    Support based on friendship is a characteristique of dictatorship, where the dictator and his friend become a clan based on loyalty.

    elections in a democratic country is about the people being free too choose, everyone basing on their consciense., all of it for the good of the whole nation.

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH LOYALTY BECUZ IT S NOT ABOUT THE CLINTON'S GOOD. iT S ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE GOOD !

    We are in a free country.

    ROLLIe : talking about circus, Hillary is a drama queen ...and you know im right

    April 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Huntingdon PA

    Hey Reich,

    Can you please tell me about Obama's legislative accomplishments, what bills he has brought forth and how many times he has worked "across the aisle".

    YOu must be nuts to endorse this elitist. I encourage Obama to run for block captain back in his Chicago neighborhood.

    Obama will never be President.

    April 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Shelly

    Earlier, someone said that if Hilliary is President, she will have Bill to help and advise her and he did well in the 90's. Well, the people who advised Bill are now with Obama. It should make you wonder what is about about BILLARY today that people are running away from. hmmmmmm

    April 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Sneed Hearn

    Obama thinks the questions are unfair!! "No more debates!"
    "Waaaahhhhhh!"

    Ready for Bin Laden or the Iranian dwarf?? "Uhhhhh, nooooo."

    Mccain will eat this shallow dilletante for lunch.

    Don't EVER want to see the HIll-Billys anywhere in gov'r again, but better her than this weakling.

    "It out-Herods Herod!"

    April 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Good Choices

    Is there any supporters online who endorsed George Bush for the first two terms? I'd love to hear you tell us what happened because your candidate, now president is the worst in modern history. I don't think I would want endorsements from you guys.

    Congrats Senator Obama for three new endorsements today. Thanks Secretary Reich for your support.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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