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. T Jones

    Mike-Texas...have you been the libraryofcongress.com ? If you go to that one little site you can learn in detail what Senator Obama has done in his time as a US Senator...Then I'd like for you to compare that to what Hillary hasn't done while representing NY! It's a joke that she runs on so called experience...I guess things get a little lost when you're 60 years old, sniper fire flying over your head, back door trade deals and all...but I digress...CNN please can I get one blog posted?!!!

    April 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    This is absolute confirmation of the socialist leanings of the extreme left wing of the Democratic party.

    Mr. Reich economic theories are lauded by the Democratic Socialist Party of America. Whose ideology comes predominately from Karl Marx.

    April 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Bad Judgement Obama

    Obama will never win the general election!

    If Hillary had half the baggage that Obama has she would have been laughed out of the first debate!

    I guess thie nation isn't ready for a woman president!

    This democrat will stay home on election day before I vote for Obama!

    GOD Help us!

    April 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. RealinFlorida

    It's okay to jump ship. I was for Hillary, but then I realized, I never really knew her to begin with. Understand, that you all can help Obama win the Presidency, he can't do it without you, seriously. Have grace in defeat, you can't even call it defeat, we all are on the same team when the General Election comes, so get it together.

    April 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Demhypocrisy

    Why is he supporting the guy who 'talks the talk' and not the lady who 'walks the walk?'

    April 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Mirta

    He'll regret it as will many others.

    April 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. lynette

    WOW, another ,and another, finally the profound message that Obama is trying to say which is "come together for the good of America" is catching on!!! CATCH THE WAVE!!!!! Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Lenore

    Out of the darkness and into the light.
    Welcome, Mr. Reich!

    April 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. MP-Pennsylvania

    Why do clinton supporters think that being with Clinton administration make them slaves to clintons.

    Hello this is USA, Not China

    On the other hand Hillary says she did not agree with Bill while he signed NAFTA, Promoted CAFTA, signed CHINA as most favorite nation with out check on HR, Lobbying for dubai port deal.

    How come that wife can discent but those who work for him should worship Bill.
    May be Monica worshiped Bill so it didn't matter to Hillary...

    April 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Ilona Proud Canadian

    I told you guys three more for the good guys.... "YES HE CAN"

    Anyone know where James Carville is hiding?? Not to worry I'm sure that he will be making an appearance (together with Lou Dobbs) soon.

    Congratulations to the good guys... you don't have to throw kitchen sinks Sen. Clinton is working for you

    April 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Twaid

    I'm amazed at how hateful Clinton supporters are. I know this is a heated election, but can't someone like Mr. Reich who has experience with the Clinton's and who has studied both of their policies be allowed to endorse Sen. Obama without the brutal attacks? What is our party turning into? We're sounding like republicans.

    April 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. noemi in los angeles

    And so the hidden begin to come out.........

    We all know the superdelegates are in favor of Obama, they're just afraid of coming out and facing the Clinton machine. After Dean's remarks, Obama endorsements will continue to emerge. With Obama closer to the nomination, a new and powerful United States is the making. America, brace yourself!!

    Obama 08!

    April 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. Harvey in Va

    Him being a critic of her bid to run for the white house why would this be a big surprise or even a concern to anyone..let him keep drinking the Kool Aid

    Hillary 08

    April 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Kendall - Baltimore

    Endorsements never mean anything to Clinton and her supporters unless Senator Clinton is being endorsed. That's just another example of her double standards. If they don't matter why does she make sucha fuss over Philadelphia's Mayor and the Generals? Come on now! Her ship is sinking faster and faster. By Tuesday, it won't matter what happens in PA. Let's just hope she will keep her word and support Senator Obama.

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. ds

    Obama seems to have intelligence and reason on his side. Clinton seems to have loyalty on her side–well, maybe not so much from insiders, anyways. Regular voters who are "loyal" to Clinton are loyal to the dream of recreating a '90's economy that had nothing to do with Bill Clinton policy.

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Paula in WI

    great-it's time to pull this thing together

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. truth be told

    oooops. the clinton minions are at it again! another judas they claim. this clearly has to sting as mr. reich is well known for his honesty.

    welcome aboard mr. reich!

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Interesting

    The Clintonistas here are obviously frustrated. None of them are making any sense. He gave both intellectual and heart felt reasoning.

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Mike Severna Park, MD


    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    SUPERDELEGATES...where is your backbone.
    Do the right thing for the country ...for all the newly registured voters, who will not go to polls for Hillary...for all the black voters who will not go out in Nov and vote...for all the Independents like me who donated to Obama's campaign and will again and again, but will not vote for Hillary because of CAFTA, Alibara, and the way she ran her campaign.
    DO THE RIGHT THING. NOW. I do not have the power. YOU DO

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Fraser in Maryland

    Good for him–someone who actually voted on policy positions! The Clintons should realize that not everyone who worked for Bill in the White House owes something to her. Former Clinton employees are not slaves, indentured servants or property of the Clintons–they are free to do endorse a non-Clinton. As much as she tries to ride off his resume, Bill and Hillary are NOT the same person. Obviously Bill inspired Reich and Hillary does not. But then again, Bill was more positive and charismatic (when he campaigned back in 1992) and Hillary has run a mostly negative campaign.

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Alex84


    "His policies are much more socialist and big government that my longtime friend, hilary clinton, therefore I endorse barack Obama, I have waited a long time for a liberal of this caliber to run, and I will grab a hold of this opportunity to create the nanny state"

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. Jeanne

    Looks like anyone with any sense is jumping the Clinton ship. Bet Carville is having a fit.

    April 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. AZM

    People wonder why the democrat party is spliting and destroying itself... it may because of the tremendous loyalty they have.... ha ha...

    April 18, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. dave

    and obviously Robert has decided to follow the talk.

    April 18, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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