Friday, April 18, 2008

Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich Endorses Obama

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 276

While he's not Bruce Springsteen, Robert Reich's endorsement of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton is still a semi-big deal. Why? Because previous high-profile Obama endorsers like Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson have explained their choice in terms of what they see as Obama's leadership qualities and a host of other intangibles; Reich touches on these, as well, but the heart of his endorsement center on what he views as Obama's superior policy chops. Here's a key excerpt:

"Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more so. His plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding. 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."

One of the more consistent threads running through the commentary on this cycle's Democratic nominating process has been that whether you love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton's undeniable, unassailable strong suit is her depth and breadth of knowledge on policy matters. Reich directly challenges that perception.

Of course, most voters would struggle to identify who Robert Reich is, so this endorsement is unlikely to resonate in the voting booths of Pennsylvania and the other remaining primary states. To a greater or lessor degree, that's true of endorsements generally. But coming it as it does from not only a long-time Clinton associate, but the Clinton administration official who was arguably the biggest policy geek in the Cabinet, Reich's endorsement is nonetheless likely to carry some weight, notably among uncommitted superdelegates.

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