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. HRC...the Bell Tolls for Thee...

    HA HA HA....I just love it. I would love to see Bill's face right about now!

    April 18, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Walt, Belton,TX

    Since Reich is a devout socialist, that must mean that Obama then is more of a socialist than Hil-liar-y. Is that truly possible?

    April 18, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Sam

    It is about time more of the party start leaning away from Clinton's poison and toward hope with Obama... I especially love how they chirp over the debate which was COMPLETELY biased.

    It was indeed slanted and at least Obama continued to recognize what was politics and what was not. He is genuine and a real person who does not take advantage of the crap that politics gives us. He was complaining about the fact it took almost an hour to talk about the issues… Clinton and the ABC team took every measure to distract and manipulate the situation when Obama wanted to talk about the real reason he is running for president, the problems facing America. Hillary was in true form using every tactic to distract from issues seeing as people see Obama having a more realistic viewpoint and genuine care for America.

    Clinton was in her element as a negative and decisively manipulative individual who will do ANYTHING to get elected. She spreads her poison around and tries to infect all who she comes across. She lies at every corner and is in no way fit to be a leader of the US. You call Obama elitist, but the Clinton dynasty are the definition of the word. I am sickened by the fact there are still supporters in her campaign. It makes me truly sad to be an American when an individual like this is touted as a solution for our problems. Wake up America… don't let the negative poison of deceit and manipulation steal your god given right to a better life.

    Anyone with any brain can see the debate was lopsided… not only that, Obama is taking on two people with Clinton being even more negative than McCain… She IS destroying the party which just shows how much her venom is corrupting the party. She will do ANYTHING… ANYTHING people.. she aligns herself with lobbyists… even those who are for those things she is against!!! You don't think they have a say in what she does??? Please… take off your blinders and see. How many times has she lied… or should I say "misspoke" about situations, and now she evens says she was just inaccurate with Bosnia. You want someone who served on the board of Wal-Mart and who fought AGAINST unions in the white house. How about someone who fought with her husband for NAFTA just to turn around and lie about it even though there is video proof she pushed it.

    How can you, knowing all of this, still support her. I am scared of her more than I am of bush. Bush is a complete idiot, but at least we know what we have… a child for president. With Hillary, you have no idea what she is capable of. You have no idea what she really means. If Barack Obama was truly off for saying the people are bitter, he just simply chose the wrong words, but imagine the impact if Hillary is plain inaccurate as president. Who knows where our country will be when she is through. Please, for the love of God and country…. come to your senses and finish her off in PA. It is my sincere wish that the country not be destroyed buy a negative, deceitful, and manipulative individual like Clinton….

    And truth be told, I would vote for McCain if Clinton is president. Yes, I differ on issues with McCain, but I am too frightened at what we will get with a Hillary Clinton presidency… I mean truly scared… It will either be Obama as the nominee or I will vote McCain in Nov.

    April 18, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. lynn

    The breadth of the people endorsing Barack Obama is amazing!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Lee WV

    Next in line to jump ship are Bill and Chelsea.She does'nt have too many friends left.

    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Emma

    I am so glad that former Clinton cabinet members are supporting Senator Obama which says a lot about Senator Clinton and her politics.

    Has anyone raised the possibility that the reason former President Clinton keeps putting his feet in his mouth while campaigning for his wife is that he secretly does not want her to become President?

    All of his collegeaues and friends says that he is a master politician and tactian and yet noone can explain why he is off his game.

    You heard it here first: former President Clinton is sabotaging his wife's campaign because he truly does not want her to become President. What else can it be??

    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Uncle Sam

    I do agree with Robert Reich's comment that the voters will have a choice between someone who talks the talk (Obama) and someone who has walked the walk (McCain). The choice has never been so clear.

    Americans for McCain '08

    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Martha from Ohio

    Endorsement mean nothing unless they endorse Hillary.

    Thats the only way we look at things.

    Hillary supporter

    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. ROLLY


    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Paul

    So, will carver call out Reich as Judas too? Or will he actually get the picture that intelligent people can think for themselves, and know when a good thing comes along. Reich for that, has know the Clintons for a looooooooooong time. This is a BIG punch in the gut to Hillary. I love it!

    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Kris

    Waiting for James Carville to chime in.

    What say you Mr. Carville? What other names do you have in your knap sack? Dying to hear from you.

    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Lyn

    Right. keep on talking. Enough of Hillary! Obama is the future.

    April 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Caryn, Washington DC

    WOW! Now this is an endorsement! Thank you Mr. Reich for such an eloquent endorsement.

    This is exactly what we needed, someone who could comprehensively break down why Obama should be our nominee.

    Yes We Can
    Obama '08

    April 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Candi Lace, Atlanta GA

    Setting the record straight: Many of Obama's plans have replica information from Sen. Clinton's. She was the first candidate and is still the only candidate to establish clear, comprehensive action plans for energy initiatives, job creation, affordable higher education, universal health care, solutions to end poverty, and solutions for the mortgage crisis. Senator Clinton also offers thorough plans for her first 100 days in the White House including port/infrastructure security, ending the war, and foreign policy related to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, and Israel. Trust me: Take the time to visit the sites of the candidates and actually read (a lofty idea) their convictions and their documentation of the facts. The choice is clear: GO HILLARY!

    April 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. OneWhoCares

    All of Obama's promises have a better chance of succeeding. If his campaign management skills are any indication, his administration will produce unprecedented results. Further, he unlike his opponents, is funded by the people as apposed to the corporations. His opponents can't afford to do anything to hurt big business. His opponents therefore can't help you with clean air, oil prices, trustworthy food, keeping jobs in the USA etc.
    What choice do you have? Go Obama 08!

    April 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Debby

    I read he endorsed him a few months ago this isn't anything new. I can't believe Obama giving Sen. Clinton the finger at a NC rally. I hope this isn't true.

    April 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |

    GO OBAMA 2008

    April 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Doreen

    It's obvious, he has been offered a job in Obama's cabinet, and Hillary has not offered him a job.

    April 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Lee From Treasure Island Florida


    Voters of Pennsylvania....Look at what people who know them are doing...even with all the pressure the Clintons put on them to keep silent! Then can not... They ENDORSE OBAMA... for AMERICA's SAKE.

    Pennsylvanian undecided voters... do the right thing.

    April 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Chicago Democrat

    Hmmm. Another liberal professor endorses Obama. That ought to help him with regular working folks.

    Go Hillary! Don't worry about the turncoats.

    April 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Bukky

    People that have supported BILL in the past are now supporting Obama because they know that Hillary IS NO BILL CLINTON. And Obama is more like Bill only without the slime and Monica thing....

    When the people that KNOW YOU BEST (40 years) wont vote for you, why should I....

    AL GORE was VP to her Husband and even HE hasnt endoresed her. Is he not endorsing Obama out of respect too?

    April 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. MD

    If this is not yet another loud and decicive scream at Hillary to quit and go home, I don't know what it will take.

    April 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. JohnS

    Thank you Mr. Reich.

    The right thing to do.

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    April 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. VJ Atlanta GA

    Susan MO – who cares who you are for. Thank god there are less and less number of people like you by the day. Every one knows how "truthful" and "trustworthy" Hillary is. There are so many skeletons in her and Bill's closet, we dont even need GOP to defeat them.

    April 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. FEDUP

    Old news, why the re-hash? God, I hope we don't have to listen to all of Obama supporters over and over. But, then again, isn't his whole campaign just one repeat after another? Like, yes we can over and over. I'd kind of like to hear, yes we can, what? This guy wants his 15 mins. over again.

    April 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20