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

Clinton friend Reich backs Obama


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/18/art.reich.gi.jpg caption="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. Susan MO

    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 🙂

    April 18, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Pam

    Another Judas, huh Carville?

    April 18, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Karen in Cape Cod

    With a friend like him, who needs enemies! Another rat jumping ship!

    April 18, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Kelley

    Welcome aboard and thank you for your support

    April 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. sacto joe

    OF COURSE! He's an intelligent person!

    April 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Stacy Clarks, TX

    IS James Carville going to call him a traitor as well?!?!

    because everyone in the world must support clinton?!?! whatever!!

    OBAMA 08 AND 12!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    Get ready for 'Hawk' Carvilles claws. Couldn't have come at a better time and great to finally see what we saw way back.

    April 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. jt

    Onather loser that want to be in the news. It is beginning like the Paris Hilton, the more losers on his side the more media attention he got.

    Hillary 08!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. John

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

    April 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. ***AMERICAN***

    One more for the train. Catch a clue!

    April 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Gabe Polson, The Woodlands,TX

    This is not a new story. He endorsed a long time ago. What is with CNN. Wake up voters!!! WAKE UP!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Patrick Peavy Plano,TX

    I am sorry. I just see the Democratic Party going down in flames each time Hillary is stabbed in the back. Did any of these men ever get over the 4 year old mentality of going for the shiny new toy? I don't see myself voting Democratic anymore if Hillary doesn't get the nomination and isn't included as VP. It is really sad when you think about it.

    April 18, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Sara Jane from Pa

    Reich is a traitor like Richardson... people like Reich and Richardson should leave the democrate party....

    April 18, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Scott ATL

    Wow... It really is starting to seem like some poked a butter-knife into the brand new bottle of ketchup. They're coming gushing out all of the sudden...

    Obama Welcomes all the superdelegates.

    And the American people thank you...

    April 18, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. pc

    America is seeing that Obama for President is the only WISE choice.

    Obama for President

    Yes We Can!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. gerry

    Looks like everyone is rushing to ge ton that Obama train to Pennsylvania Avenue.

    All aboard.

    April 18, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. eric in fl

    Go Obama. We love you. God will not let you lose.

    April 18, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Obama Express

    People get ready, there's a train a comin'! All aboard the Obama Express!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Doug, Florida

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

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. honkey white guy from cali

    Welcome aboard !!! Unlike other campaigns this one welcomes all! Clinton supporters surrogates republicans women and anyone else that is ready to take back this government for the people and get rid of the lies and scare tactics!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    April 18, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Jessica, MI

    Huge endorsement. One of the biggest yet.

    Yet another defector from the Clintons. Hillary supporters: does this tell you anything???

    April 18, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. just a thought

    The democrats are making a huge mistake and they will be sorry in November. How sad

    April 18, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. SueB

    Doesn't it say something that so many of Clintons old friends, acquaintances and colleagues–the people who know the Clintons best–are endorsing Obama?

    April 18, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Really?

    Wow. Not a big Reich fan, but he's making an endorsement based on . . . actual policy positions?? What a novel idea? To those democrats thinking of voting for McCain if his or her candidate loses, you might try adopting the same idea.

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Jordan

    This weighs on the hearts of many prominent dems; Like Al Gore... his policies and plans are much more in line with Obama's than Clintons. That being said, more and more will follow as time goes on. Hillary has condemned herself by her behavior and by her lies!

    April 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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