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. PA Latina

    Political Judas!

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Susan MO

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

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Greg in Memphis, TN

    Whew hew!!!! Another endorsement!! Way to go Obama!!! Apparently, he doing something right!!!!

    Obama 08!!!! Change we can believe in!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. RuthieM

    Well, another great support for Senator Obama - I guess. In any event, he didn't go to Hillary, so congratulations Obama and thank you Robert Reich!

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Patrick

    Alright! One more on the Obama Express!

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Low

    Good Rob,

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Mike - Texas

    " 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." "

    What has Obama done to qualify that he has walked the walk???

    All hed does is talk, talk, talk,

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Dean

    This guy is wrong about all his observations and just because he no longer likes the Clintons why should anyone take this idiots side. But yet it's news.

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Stu Smith, CA

    Reich is a smart guy. Noobody's endorsement is going to change my vote one way or the other, but his means about as much as anybody's for me.

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    I just wrote the following response on Robert Reich's blog:

    Robert,

    Thank you for blessing us with your endorsement of "hope over cynicism and fear." I look forward to casting my vote with you on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 to make Obama the 44th President of the
    United States.

    God Bless,

    Tyrone Brown
    Obamacrat
    Seattle, WA

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Get on Board

    double woot

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

    Another person wanting a cabinet position IF Obama were somehow able to defeat McCain in the general election. But, that is not going to happen. McCain wil be the next president if Obama is appointed to the nomination. Hopefully the super-delegates will fulfill there duty to ALL the Democratic voters and appoint Hillary. It is afterall up to the super-delegates now; neither Obama or Hillary will get the necessary pledged delegates.

    Any chance we can get Al Gore to step in?????

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. GM from MN

    How dare he vote his conscience?!!! j/k

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Matt, CA

    Clinton supporter and James Carville later called that as an "act of betrayal." Carville is a CNN political analyst.

    typo^ (fix it then delete the comment?)

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Tim, Atlanta GA

    Oh wow! I hope he will serve in Obama's cabinet.

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Taxpayer

    I am glad that you feel comfortable. Let's hope that the rest of the backers look past the clinton "die-nasty" and continue to tell the truth about OLD politics.

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. Fernandez

    Mr. Reich- Your endorsment means nothing. Its time to dump Howard Dean DNC. We need a new party

    April 18, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Denise

    Now this is a man with common sense and vision. Since he is familiar with the Clintons he is well aware of their dirty tricks and what lias they are. THANK YOU THANK YOU

    OBAMA '08'

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. bill

    YEAY!

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Gretchen LA

    keep you eyes on a price.

    HILLARY ALL THE WAY FOR PRESIDENT

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Scott, Vancouver WA

    Is there something to all of these former Clinton cabinet officials supporting Obama? Maybe they know something we don't know!

    Eventually, Gore will stab the fatal wound–a "et tu, Brute" moment that may finally end this prolonged exercise in ego by Sen. Clinton.

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. kimberly lanz

    at least he is doing what his conscience tells him is right,and not being swayed by others opinions.Obama '08

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. Toni

    Delighted! One of the reasons I was a firm Clinton supporter "in the old days" was because of this gentleman's intellectual prowess, vaste range of knowledge about world wide macro-economics and deep humanitarian interests. I am delighted, but not really surprised that he would back Obama now.

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Fla Sam

    YES!!!! They just keep on coming over. I can't wait till this is over so Obama can put his full attention to winning in November. America we need to change and Obama is the answer.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. V

    Many former Clinton staffers are backing Obama. Is this betreyal? absolutely not. It's judgement as to who would be the best president, especially after working with the Clintons. Let's see if he gets called a "Judas" as well.

    April 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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