Friday, April 18, 2008

How Soon Till We Hear About "Traitorgate?"

(Updated below)

Robert Reich has endorsed Barack Obama for president. This is nice to hear, although not hugely surprising to some of us.

Reich, you may recall, was Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton from 1993-1997. You might also recall that another Clinton Cabinet official, Bill Richardson, has also recently endorsed Obama.

Reich begins his endorsement as follows:

The formal act of endorsing a candidate is generally (and properly) limited to editorial pages and elected officials whose constituents might be influenced by their choice. The rest of us shouldn't assume anyone cares. My avoidance of offering a formal endorsement until now has also been affected by the pull of old friendships and my reluctance as a teacher and commentator to be openly partisan. But my conscience won't let me be silent any longer.

I believe that Barack Obama should be elected President of the United States.

The full text of Reich's endorsement appears on his blog.

(h/t: Wonderment)


2008-04-19 01:35

Via John Cole, here's Robert Reich speaking to a reporter for New York magazine shortly after he posted his endorsement:

"I saw the ads" -- the negative man-on-street commercials that the Clinton campaign put up in Pennsylvania in the wake of Obama's bitter/cling comments a week ago -- "and I was appalled, frankly. I thought it represented the nadir of mean-spirited, negative politics. And also of the politics of distraction, of gotcha politics. It's the worst of all worlds. We have three terrible traditions that we've developed in American campaigns. One is outright meanness and negativity. The second is taking out of context something your opponent said, maybe inartfully, and blowing it up into something your opponent doesn't possibly believe and doesn't possibly represent. And third is a kind of tradition of distraction, of getting off the big subject with sideshows that have nothing to do with what matters. And these three aspects of the old politics I've seen growing in Hillary's campaign. And I've come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can't in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They're lending legitimacy to a Republican message that's wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past twenty years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It's old politics at its worst — and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It's just so deeply cynical."

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