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. pd4hillary

    The liberal dems are determined to shove this guy down our throat, no matter how much he screws up or cannot win in the GE. A party that would elect someone like Obama, no longer represents my interest. Good bye to the Dem Party!

    April 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. scbrown



    April 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Steve

    People are begining to realize that the best way to go is the OBAMA WAY.. All you hilary lovers please stop crying about betrayal. It is obvious that previous supporters made a mistake and are redeeming themselves be switching to Obama. Better late than never!

    April 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. ***AMERICAN***

    John 8:32

    Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

    April 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Dr. E. Proctor

    . . ."My conscience won't let me be silent any longer." Reich, you a trip.

    Yes We Can.

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Lee

    Mr. Al Gore, we are waiting on you. Come aboard!

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Roger

    Hmmm, kinda' curious that these guys are jumping on the Obama Express now. Looks like they're auditioning for possible cabinet spots.

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. juang

    You pack of Hillbilly burgers are too funny. Obama lies...Obama's a terrorist...Obama this....Obama that....

    You know good and well you are secretly watching those rallies wishing you could be there with all the excitement.

    Come on over to the right side and have yourself the good life that you and all Americans deserve.

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. This Montanan Loves Barack Obama

    YES WE CAN........

    YES WE CAN.........

    YES WE CAN...........

    And I will on June 3rd, 2008.......

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. fran from canada

    Wow talk about bitter Clinton supporters are really bitter. If I lived in the u.s.a I would be bitter with the loss of jobs, mortgages foreclosures weak dollar, and the loss of life in the war. Just because a peron knows the Clintons from Law School doesn't mean they have to jump when they speak. I can't believe people want another president in who is about themselves instead of your country. GO Obama GO

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Scott

    Wow, it just keeps comming.

    Behind in states won.

    Behind in the delegate count.

    Behind in the popular vote.

    Has a net LOSS of 3 superdelegates since Super Tuesday.

    And folks that have known her for years support her rival over her.

    Seems Hillary's only purpose here is to try and take down the Democratic party and Obama so she can have a run in 2012. That is definitely not the kind of person that I'd vote for.....

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. TNeal

    ATTENTION!!!!! ATTENTION!!!!!!!!! All Hillary supporters, rejoice on Tuesday because that's gonna be your ONLY victory. Now let's wrap this thing up and be done with it.

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Nancy Pei

    Reich is just another Juda who received bribery money from the Obama camp. ABC just nailed Obama point blank, and the rest of the media are scrambling to find the ground for their puppy.

    April 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Travis in Canada

    Has anyone noticed that the Billary supporters write in CAPITAL LETTERS?....do you think they're frustrasted by being behind in all counts?....Hmmmm....think so.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. CF

    Seems to me that many of the people who know the Clintons don't like Hillary, either.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Edward

    Jonathan – get a clue.

    Maggie – I couldn't imagine that anyone you like would ever be president. You are repulsive.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. noe

    It is interesting that these people who are so close to the clintons, don't approve of their politics. It is very telling. Between Obama, McCain, and Clinton – based on my education on the issues and my strong moral conviction – Obama is the only candidate I can whole-heartedly support.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Jim

    RR is and has always been looking out for himself. He would have been on the team months ago except he was worried that Hillary might win. I hope Hillary can somehow win so all these losers who are now coming out for Obama can crawl back into there ratholes and disappear for another 8 years.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Brian - Trinidad

    Conscience?What a bunch of garbage?Another reason nobody in their right mind will vote Obama for President.The line-up of people sucking up to Obama,knowing that he has NO-ONE in his history to fill ANY cabinet post and therefore will have to take people from the old political guard is getting endless.We have Kennedy,Kerry,Leahy,Richardson,Reich,(what no black people?).The change message is beginning to look lie the biggest political lie ever told.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Paybacks are due....Hillary

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. SayNoToHillaryBillaryCheslaryClintrous

    People are getting off from the clintons boat. The boat is sinking when it all the way under the water Hillary, Bill and chelsey will be the only people on it.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Tex

    Hey CNN, you posted a ticker article reporting that the McCain camp was accusing Obama of "reckless dishonesty" in the way he quoted McCain, but you didn't bother to include the actual exact words said by McCain. Don't you think you ought to include that in the article, so readers could judge for themselves whether Obama had been dishonest?

    Now, here is EXACTLY what McCain said:

    "I think if you look at the overall record, and millions of jobs having been created, etcetera etcetera, you could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time." [meaning the period since George Bush took office]

    CNN, don't you think you ought to include this in the article about Obama's "reckless dishonesty" (according to the McCain camp)?

    I fail to see any dishonesty at all. Obama quoted McCain quite accurately.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. The truth hurts

    I'll ask again, can any HRC supporter tell me what has Hillary ever done or solved?

    Please enlighten me on her record so I can research and see for myself because I've researched and found nothing on her.

    April 18, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. New Yorker

    60% of Americans think that Hillary Clinton is "not trustworthy" .
    It's clear that she won't be the president, but why do we need a Governor like this??

    April 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Jose

    This Latino wants to ride that Obama train to Penn Ave!!!!!!!

    Porter, punch my ticket!!!!!!!

    PS: Have always voted Republican – not this year. Obama's the right person for this country!

    April 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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