Robert Reich's Blog

Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. This is his personal journal.

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For copies of articles, books, and public radio commentaries, go to www.robertreich.org. This blog is available as an RSS feed. Public radio commentaries are now available as a podcast.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bill Clinton's Old Politics

I write this more out of sadness than anger. 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. Nor are they helping the Democratic party. While it may be that all is fair in love, war, and politics, it’s not fair – indeed, it’s demeaning – for a former President to say things that are patently untrue (such as Obama’s anti-war position is a “fairy tale”) or to insinuate that Obama is injecting race into the race when the former President is himself doing it. Meanwhile, the attack ads being run in South Carolina by the Clinton camp which quote Obama as saying Republicans had all the ideas under Reagan, is disingenuous. For years, Bill Clinton and many other leading Democrats have made precisely the same point – that starting in the Reagan administration, Republicans put forth a range of new ideas while the Democrats sat on their hands. Many of these ideas were wrong-headed and dangerous, such as supply-side economics. But for too long Democrats failed counter with new ideas of their own; they wrongly assumed that the old Democratic positions and visions would be enough. Clinton’s 1992 campaign – indeed, the entire “New Democratic” message of the 1990s – was premised on the importance of taking back the initiative from the Republicans and offering Americans a new set of ideas and principles. Now, sadly, we’re witnessing a smear campaign against Obama that employs some of the worst aspects of the old politics.

265 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir, I respect you for your courage in speaking the truth reagrding this whole issue with the Clintons. I have not always agreed with you but I respect you for your convictions. At least your heart is true! Wish we could say the same for the Clintons.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Elvis Elvisberg said...

the entire “New Democratic” message of the 1990s – was premised on the importance of taking back the initiative from the Republicans and offering Americans a new set of ideas and principles.

I thought the entire "New Democratic" message of the 1990s was premised on the importance of repackaging Republican ideas, and pursuing small-bore, haphazard projects such as special investment zones and funding for new policemen.

I could be misremembering or misinformed, but it seemed to me that the Clinton administration was a concession to the GOP having won the war of ideas. Hell, Greenspan "quasi-jokingly" called him a "Republican president."

Thanks for this fine post. What an infuriating, purposeless distraction this is from actual issues, where the Democratic party is dominating the GOP on everything for the first time in my life.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous aly k said...

Thank you for being loyal to the truth, rather than a former co-worker. And more importantly, thanks for speaking out about it. It's quite rare for those in positions of influence to be so vocal.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Idaho Spud said...

Shameful that we are witnessing "swiftboating" again, this time coming from the left.

9:53 AM  
Blogger tiptoe said...

*sadly*

Agreed.

tt

9:58 AM  
Blogger James said...

Bob,
Well said. It is sad to see willful distortion defended as a legitimate campaign tactic. More leading figures such as you do need to call, "Foul" on these efforts. This campaign is about more than getting the Clintons elected.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert,

you are correct.

10:11 AM  
Blogger John Gordon said...

I'm puzzled. I've read the statements and the stories, and it reads like politics as usual -- even mild politics.

If Obama can't manage this level of attack, and dish it back out, he'll be eaten alive by the GOP.

This is pansy stuff.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous TPMer said...

Thanks.

You will be heartened to know that Obama is not going to take this laying down.

The tagling to his new radio ad in South Carolina?

Hillary Clinton: She will say anything and change nothing.

10:21 AM  
Blogger jill bryant said...

Mr. Reich -
I am very excited to see you have a blog - I had no idea! I am looking forward to reading some real information (it's so difficult to find - even some of the left-wing blogs I formerly enjoyed now seem more interested in finding little, meaningless "gotcha" moments that, truthfully, don't even seem that clearcut to me...)

I hope you have some influence into the Clinton's camp (I like how one commenter called Bill Clinton your former "co-worker")

I'm looking forward to reading old and new posts of yours.

10:38 AM  
Blogger James said...

Thank you Mr. Reich,

We need more people like you in this world who call it the way they see it

11:44 AM  
Anonymous murrieta said...

Mr. Reich:

Thank you for your integrity. I can tell you I voted for Clinton in 92 and 96. I am so turned off by what is going on , I will not vote for Hillary in 2008 if she is nominated.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous fraze said...

I agree completely with what is said here. It's just too bad we can't get you to step out a bit more publicly and forcefully. I mean the blog is great but a few sound bites on CNN or MSNBC would be a nice start - Please.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Adarrah said...

Thanks for your honesty! It will take more public officials to denounce these fasle attacks to get back to impotant issues. I must say, any candidate who is willing to still my vote with a bold-face lie will not suceed!

12:51 PM  
Anonymous speckles said...

It is very sad what's happening. The Clinton's do not deserve to be back in the White House.

All this has done is remind me what it was I couldn't stand about them last time. The drama is never-ending and nothing is ever their fault.

I fear that should Hillary get the nomination, come the general election and the various state elections the following year, not only will the Democrats lose the WH, but we stand to lose a whole lot more.

The party really needs to start taking a long range view and bring an end to this madness before it's too late.

Thanks for your article.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,

I am happy to see that, amidst the terrible direction this campaign is taking, some prominent individuals are willing to stand up and decry the Clintons' strategy of securing power at any price. Their willingness to disregard considerations of truth, dignity, or even the future of the Democratic party have done much to shake my faith in politics and my hope for a candidate worthy of the challenges of these interesting times.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous NancyB said...

Mr. Reich,
I fully respect and agree with your astute reaction to the mean "Clinton machine". I was a big Bill Clinton supporter and a Democrat my whole life...but recent weeks have proven that the Clintons will do and say whatever it takes to get elected.

The reason it is so important for people like you to continue speaking out about this, is that I dreadfully fear, that if these tactics work (as evident in New Hampshire and Nevada, so far) that Hillary will win the nomination. If Hillary wins the nomination, then the Republicans and Independents who have long diskliked the Clintons will vote for their Republican nominee. Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove will lead a huge Republican voter turnout if only to block Hillary's chances. We will have another Republican president in the White House again. How can our country,and our party possibly be that ignorant?

Will you please continue to speak out? and get others to join you.

Will you help save our party before it is too late?

Barack needs to come out and say 2 things:

1) He is the only one who can unite the Democratic, Republican and Independent people. Hillary cannot. The Clintons are too polarizing to win in November.

2) In the even that the Clintons prevail in the actual election, ask ourselves, Do we really want a Clinton Presidency with 8 more years of divisiveness, meanness and dirty tricks? The Clintons have proven they can operate this way. And certainly the Republicans invented it. Haven't we had enough?

Lets move on and accomplish great things.
NancyB

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unrelated comment. Today, I came across a column you wrote over 10 years ago that seems spot on: http://www.nytimes.com/specials/downsize/resource-1496.html

I went to each of the Democratic candidates' websites and was dissapointed to see that none of them seemed to advocate this kind of smart policy to encourage a greater degree of corporate responsibility to American workers and communities. Am I missing something? To your knowledge do any of these candidates support the kinds of common sense proposals you suggested in this article? Edwards comes the closest in his general rhetoric about making corporations accountable to workers and the public but in his details only discusses limiting executive compensation and improving product safety. But how does that incentivize good corporate citizenship with regard to eliminating jobs and abandoning communities? It doesn't seem like it does at all to me.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous BEpstein said...

I agree with almost all of what you say. Would you, in a future post, though, explain how you think Bill Clinton is injecting race into the campaign?

Thanks!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Troy said...

You would not know the truth if it bit you in the butt Reich. You have been attacking the Clintons for some time now, don't pretend this is something new. The Obama people are trying to insulate him from questions on his record by SCREAMING racism. They are the ones who have injected race into this campaign, they did it to win the black vote in South Carolina.

I am surprised at your obvious dislike for the Clintons.

One thing for sure when Hillary's elected and she will be, you won't be in the White House, that's a good thing.

1:30 PM  
Blogger melissa said...

Just an FYI, they mentioned your blog & this post in particular on CNN just now.

Thank you for saying this. And I wholeheartedly agree. It has been quite sad and disappointing recently. I voted for Clinton in 1996 in my very first election. I loved him so much that I cried in my dorm room when he finally admitted he'd lied to us. And even this summer past in Iowa, I was excited to get to shake his hand.

But now, I am so incredibly disappointed that he is being so irresponsible with the truth. He is too smart to be doing this on accident. Again, thanks, and best wishes.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous WhatCouldBe said...

As a 45-year-old Black man I am very discouraged by what I am witnessing. The Clintons have succeeded in taking Senator Obama off his main message of what is possible and needed in this country and pulled him down into the filth of the triangulation politics that have dominated our political campaigns for the last 20years. If Senator Clinton becomes the nominee of the Democratic Party I WILL NOT VOTE. I can't in good conscious support a crab that is only interested in pulling others back into the trap she is stuck in.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Schultz said...

Mr Reich,

Not only are you spot on with your remarks regarding the Clintons but your latest book, Supercapitalism, should be the blueprint for Senator Obama's plan for fixing our political system after he is inaugurated as President of the United States.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous beachwood said...

I voted for the Clinton's in the 90's and every Democrat since. I defended all their scandals and always saw their point of view. That was then.

Now, I am enraged by "their" campaign. If Hillary wins, I will vote for a Republican for the first time in my life.

After reading this article, I now understand what the Clinton's stand for: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/14/AR2007081401722.html

1:44 PM  
Blogger The Bag of Health and Politics said...

I agree. The Clintons are destroying the Democratic Party by winning at all costs. At this point, I think the only thing which can be done to unite the party should she win the nomination is a one-term pledge and Obama on the ticket with her. Otherwise, many will vote for McCain--who is not that scary, and will make his own one-term pledge. Further, McCain will tap into lingering resentment in the black community by nominating JC Watts for VP (also smooths over bridges with the evangelical right).

So McCain gets a united party, and Hillary is stuck with a nomination that is pretty worthless because of her own campaign's tactics. There are large chunks of the Democratic base, which are extremely unhappy with what has been going on. This feeds a mistrust that already existed with many of us. Frankly, if it's Hillary versus McCain, at this point I'm leaning towards voting for McCain. I peg them as roughly the same on policy--though Hillary is slightly better on some issues. But I peg Hillary as dishonest and McCain as honest. More than anything, I want an honest President--even if I don't agree with him or her...

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Political campaigns are full of this stuff -- and Obama has to be able to handle it. The crime is that it's coming from the Clintons. I pulled my name off her web list -- my vote's now going somewhere else.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous theomobius said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your blog post and with the commenters in this thread (particularly whatcouldbe just above me here). If HRC wins the nomination, I won't vote for her and may even, for the first time in my life, vote for a Republican if it is McCain. What we need more than anything is someone who will help move us beyond slash-and-burn. The Clintons are clearly so obsessed with winning that they can't even see the need for a better politics.

I actually caught myself daydreaming this morning about a McCain-Obama ticket in the generals if Hillary wins the nomination. Sad ... and like I said, I've never even considered voting for a Republican before.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Reading on Walden BookStore said...

This post has been removed by the author.

1:51 PM  
Blogger james said...

Mr. Reich, herewith the formulaic but completely sincere thanks for your many contributions to our nation's polity.
And now I think you very wrong.
It is Obama's "but I never said they were GOOD ideas" which is disingenuous. His point was to slam HRC through his slamming of Clinton. Was Bill to remain silent? Are you saying that my reading of Obama's statement to a right wing press is impossible? Worse, can you HONESTLY say Obama's pander is more likely accurate than my reading?
And excuse me but Obama's story line of his war opposition IS a fairy tale. After giving a speech to get elected to the Senate he has consistently supported war funding and shown not an iota of leadership in opposition to Bush's Iraq adventure.
And then it was Obama's camp that decided "fairy tale" was a RACIST remark!
Now really Mr. Reich, how can you let that pass without comment?
As others have noted Obama has developed a habit of whining rather than hitting back. The Republicans will never respect that and you do Obama no favors by encouraging his wimp factor. All best, James

1:51 PM  
Blogger Art A Layman said...

Dr. Reich:

Numerous of your blog posts have indicated your favoring of the Obama candidacy. In and of itself, not a problem. Minor exception might be taken if your favor is somewhat predicated on disagreements with the Clintons. You, as all of us, have a perfect right to favor whomever you choose. Since this is a blog as opposed to a news type outlet perhaps your rights can be expected to be more personal than professional. It would seem, however, that given your vaunted position, you are ever admonished to temper any emotional feelings with care, exhibiting true objectivity, unencumbered by emotion.

I have heard, over and over, many of the accusations being bandied about by both sides. It is valid that some from both sides are cheap shots. You know more than most of us that politics is truly a dirty game. The velocity of the diatribe allows that yesterday's harangues will give way to today's words and quite frequently get washed away in currency but linger in minds far longer. Perhaps it is the verbal equivalent of subliminal.

Cable news channels have made a huge dent in that old perspective. Being profit generating operations it behooves them to keep any ball in the air that might draw viewers and thereby advertising revenues. They take small and large issues and pound away, under the guise of seeking truth, but are really just pushing the constant ratings race.

Although I have MSNBC on behind me all day and have listened incessantly to the many issues you expressed, I have not heard any indepth discussion of the race issue and who injected whom. I have heard Mr. Obama's Reagan reference numerous times and am afraid I perceived it in much the same way as the Clinton campaign and many others.

It is a nonissue whether they may have said the same thing in 92 or 96. If true, then I would presume the Obama folks will dig it out and run with it. On the other hand it may have been more of an inside story, of which you would be aware but most of us would not. In either case, history is replete with one candidate or another expressing thoughts in the current campaign that are diametrically opposed to what he/she said in a previous campaign. It is not, nor ever has been, a surprise.

Before cable and daily televised debates it was much easier to pull it off, but today, if your juxtaposition is correct it will haunt them.

Even at that, though lying is never acceptable; one man's lie of course is another's half truth is yet another's nuanced interpretation; disingenuousness on the other hand is a politicians stock in trade during the competition. Further, disingenous, is often in the eye of the beholder.

If Obama is touting his Iraq stance - and he is - then to the extent there are inconsistencies in the past, they are fair game. Since most of anyone's recent proclamations are readily available, if in fact Bill told a lie, then the facts will come out. There are any number of media nuts who would relish exposing Bill, once again, as a liar.

Chances are it's another of those nuances proffered to damage the opponent and confuse the voters. That is fair in the game unfortunately.

Would that we peons could write the campaigning rules, things would be different. Until then it is what it is; it's far from perfect but it is ours.

I doubt you were critical of the games played by the Clintons in their 92 and 96 campaigns. It is perhaps disingenuous of you now to play the "shocked" card.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Reich.
I can't believe the number of apologists willing to excuse the Clinton campaign's distortions--as well as their attempt to suppress caucuses in Nevada--by saying that their dirty tricks are nothing compared to what the Republicans would do in the general election. The unethical behavior of the GOP was never the standard our party has used to guide its own behavior.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous theomobius said...

The Republicans will never respect that and you do Obama no favors by encouraging his wimp factor. All best, James
Yeah James. You keep on singing that song right into defeat in the general election. Half the country already refuses to even consider voting for Hillary. She's now the process of alienating half of the remainder. You do the math.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Robert,
Bill's "New Covenant" Democratic acceptance speech is, in my opinion, one of the greatest speeches in American politics. It set forth a transformative vision of which Obama spoke. As you know, it posited a dramatic new direction for the Democratic Party and for our country.

Unfortunately, while I agreed with the "New Covenant" principles (and could not have articulated them better myself), Bill did not---at least when it became politically expedient not to do so.

"Political viability" has always been, and remains, the one principle to which the Clintons assiduously adhere. All other principles (and all "inconvenient" people who get it the way of their need for raw power) are utterly dispensable.

All this is so VERY sad because (like you) I believe that Bill Clinton had the potential to be one of the nation's best (if not THE best) presidents---but he squandered it all with a Faustian bargain to sacrifice his "soul" on the altar of "political viability".

Yes, I know Bill personally (like you, I was at Oxford with him), and sadly I share your views of him, and I mourn his lost potential.

Unfortunately, however, I believe that a third Clinton term would merely perpetuate the cancer of division and acrimony that has, for too long, metastasized and paralyzed the body politic in America.

Obama offers hope, change, a new direction, and, yes, a transformative vision, but sadly his voice (like Robert Kennedy's before him) is gonna be prematurely stilled---this time by a calculatedly crass "bulletless assassination" and ghettoizing that would make Orval Faubus and George Wallace proud!

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Exasperated Democrat said...

Professor,

You speak volumes. We had, on one hand, a Clinton Presidency that had some very concrete accomplishments. While he could have gone down in history as a "great" President, history will now judge him as "Good" or "OK" purely because of his personal life.

Impeached, prohibited from practicing law for five years, all sorts of shady financial dealings and a personal life that would make a hooker blush.

It took guts to say what you've said and you did it without rancor. I hope that the next President whoever HE is will take advantage of your talents.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Avaya said...

I'm not "sad." I'm pissed off. The Clintons are making outrageous statements. They think the American electorate is stupid or lazy -- that we won't check the record to see if what they're saying is true. What a couple of assholes.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Reading on Walden BookStore said...

Mr. Reich, I've always enjoyed your books and always appreciated your clear support of independent book selling. As a bookstore owner, that support is essential. And thank you for your attempt to bring civility to this Presidential race.

2:02 PM  
Blogger roberto said...

I find it discouraging that the pundits and political observers openly admit that Billary is knocking Obama off his pedestal and dragging him down into the mud with them, and at the same time admiringly score them with making political points while criticizing Obama for fighting back on their level.

I'm afraid I am one of those who would have voted for any Democratic candidate over any of the Republicans. But if it comes down to Hillary and McCain, I am going with McCain. I don't know if I could bear 8 more years of the Dynastic Duo.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Addicted to Friends said...

Thank you for calling Bill and Hillary out on their Rovian tactics. Wish the media had the same ability to call these things out rather than just report in a he-said-she-said manner. It causes truth and lies, facts and fiction to be treated and perceived equally and has contributed to the moronization of all reportage. Obama needs to do more to say these things plainly as well. As long as you depend on someone else to do it, you're not going to get too far along. Running a positive campaign should not mean not pointing out dirty tactics. Also, finally Obama would do himself a service by beefing up his message of hope and unity with more meat/substantive issues which have been laid out but which he hardly ever brings up. To his detriment.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Kim from Florida said...

Mr. Reich,
Thank you for speaking honestly. I have voted for Bill Clinton several times (I'm from Arkansas) and used to be the first in the crowd to defend the Clintons. If you would have asked me a year ago I would have told you I was with Hillary all the way...then I went to Selma. I heard both Hillary and Barack speak that day. I heard something so different and so inspiring from Sen. Obama that I knew I had to get behind his campaign.
The last few days have been a reminder of what I hated about the Clinton years. When women ask me why I am not voting for possibly the first woman president. One word, POLARIZATION. After 8 years of it w/ Bush and 8 years w/ Clinton it is time to elect someone who wants a united country. It is obvious that the Clintons are not interested in unity. If they are going to be this polarizing during a Democratic primary, imagine what it will be like if Hillary wins the presidency.
My husband is an AF officer and as you might expect this can be a lonely place for a Democrat. Every day he goes to work in his work-out clothes. At least one day a week his shirt is an Obama shirt. Co-workers were booing him for many months. However, many of his co-workers heard Obama speak for the first time after the win in Iowa. Now several (life-long Repub.) have said that if the Dems. nominate Obama they will vote for him (but say they would never vote for Hillary). Since the GOP have been so incompetent w/ the war I thought that our party might finally be able to expand our party. It is so obvious that we will never do that w/ the Clintons.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All through the 1990s I defended the Clintons with my friends, family and co-workers. I'm a Obama supporter and these days I'm embarassed.

Maybe my friends, family and co-workers were rigth afterall. Bill and Hillary have show that they care about nothing but themselves, that they will do anything to get elected and preserve power.

I feel like I've been raped!

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Thank you for the truthtelling. I've been watching the Democratic primary and thinking wow, we really are going to quibble away our best hopes and our best talent all over again--and at a time when the election is ours to lose. We're really going to derail the conversation with trumped up attacks about "liking" Republican ideas. And we voters (some of us anyway) are going to reward this kind of trivializing because it's "tough." All this while the world is burning the way it is? Sometimes I think we Democrats really do have a death wish. Or we lack imagination. Or something.

People complain that the politics of "hope" is vague or naive, but what we're looking at in action right now is the politics of hopelessness. So depressing.

I share your sadness. But I have to say that I'm also experiencing a fairly strong sensation of disgust.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Mead said...

Hillary is way off base when she delivers distortions of Obama's statements.

She loses my vote when she does that stuff.

She needs to fire the guys that are telling her to do that stuff....AND NOT DO IT EVER AGAIN to get my vote.

2:09 PM  
Blogger christine moore said...

Where were all of you people when the press was giving Obama a free ride and tearing Hillary apart? Bob, If you , Claire, John Kerry, Rahm, and Teddy had all come out before and said "Hey, wait a minute. This race isn't over, we've had one caucus in Iowa. Let's slow this thing down and be fair." But no such luck for Hillary. So Bill had to come out and do the dirty work and now you guys are all crying for poor old Obama. Save it. The Clintons are in this to win. If Obama can't take a little heat from the Clintons, he will never survive the Republican meat grinder. May the fittest survive.

2:12 PM  
Blogger David said...

This post has been removed by the author.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous TheSitRep said...

Wow that was the first thing you ever Wrote that had an inkling truth to it.
I have started and ran many successful businesses which created jobs and wealth for many people. You ideas of Soviet style economics have never worked anywhere they have been imposed.

However, kudos for calling a spade a spade.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous WhatCouldBe said...

Let me ask those here who have defended the Clintons this question: If you witnessed someone stealing from your home, your car or your job, would you then hire them to watch over your children or your elderly parents? In essence that is what the choice has become here. We are looking for somone to entrust with the responsibility of caring for our nation for at least four years.

We have witnessed and are witnessing liars in action. I may be simple folk down here in Houston, Texas but I do believe there is a difference between hardball/point out the real record politics and blatant lies such as those now being repeated by the Clintons and their surrogates.

2:21 PM  
Blogger hollywood wags said...

Seriously, do you expect anyone to buy this broken crappy 70's-era disco record?

You guys have all said this before, yet defend the crap out of it when it is convenient.

Spare me, it's this disointed morality that drove me away from being a good liberal Democrat in the first place.

That and stupid ideas on economics.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At one of Bill Clinton's appearances in SC on Wednesday, an elderly black man stood up and said "black people are voting for Obama because he's black. But he can't win and he will make sure the Republicans win in November." Clinton showed "concern" while a few others nodded.

After it was over, reporters tried to get the man's name. He refused to identify himself and left with his BODYGUARD! Now, tell me. How many people attend town hall meetings with bodyguards, especially elderly black men in SC? This guy was a plant by the Clinton campaign used to continue to play the race issue.


Now can someone tell who in the past tried to scare black people from doing something?

Wasn't it called "KKK"?..........

The Clintons are now resorting to staging, having black people show up at rallies saying Obama can't win and can't help up. This is a scare tactic to steal your vote!

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HILLARY'S FRIEND IS AN OLD KKK MEMBER, CHECK THIS OUT HERE:

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/11/15/185205.shtml?et=y

Hilarious. Bill Clinton falls asleep at MLK celebration

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2008/01/clinton_gets_sleepy_at_mlk_day.php

CLINTON SAYS WE HAVE THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT BECAUSE LYNDON JOHNSON SIGNED IT.

GOLDWATER RAN A CAMPAIGN AGAINST JOHNSON...
SO WHY WAS SHE CAMPAIGNING FOR BARRY GOLDWATER WHO WAS AGAINST THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT???

BY THE WAY CHECK OUT BILL CLINTON'S RACIST POSTCARD HE SENT TO HIS GRANDMA IN 1966 DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

http://serr8d.blogspot.com/2007/10/bill-clinton-racist-postcard-buy-it-now.html

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

Thank you for writing this. I wish more people could know of your comments.

I'm one of the many who voted for Bill twice and defended him through his 'character' problems' (altho I never forgave him for NAFTA and the welfare reform that was passed); I didn't care that he had (some kind of) sex in the White House and didn't know why anyone other than his wife should care. When he said "I did not have sex with that woman. Monica Lewinsky." I knew immediately that he was lying (he is so good at parsing, it seemed so clear he was trying to give himself wiggle room - hence the 2 separate sentences). I still figured it was okay since most everyone lies about sex.

But: he has crossed a line and Hillary has joined him. I do not want the two of them back in the White House after they have shown so little respect for the truth and for decency. Why would I think they would be any different once they returned to power?

I've always voted the straight ticket. I will not vote for Hillary

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Reich,
I certinaly respect your right to an opinion but I think that you're over-reacting to the circumstances. If Obama isn't tough enough to counter Bill Clinton's comments, which I don't think were that horrid and I think you mischaracterized a little bit, how is he going to deal with critical comments from the GOP, Congress and foreign governments? Quite frankly, if Obama can't stand the heat, then he should get out of the kitchen.

2:33 PM  
Blogger M.O. said...

I was hoping to hear from you as I consider you one of the really decent people associated with the Clintons. Let us hope that more of the public will speak up. With your brave defense of Democracy, you have given us all courage. Thank you.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a big fan of both you (since "Work of Nations") and Senator Obama, I would love to see you with a prominent place in an Obama administration. Perhaps economic advisor?

2:36 PM  
Anonymous HillandBillLie said...

You are to be commended, Sir, for your honesty.
Hillary Clinton, like her husband, Honest Bill, is mendacious slime. She can trick New Yorkers into thinking that she's a winner, but the dog won't hunt in "fly-over country."

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are wrong when you said it was hillary clinton's camp who brought race into the campaign. this whole "race" thing started when the obama-leaning media and supporters in the obama camp accused president clinton of being racist when he called obama's inconsistencies on his iraq war stance and the media's failure to vet him about it a "fairy tale". they also falsely accused hillary of being racist in her comments about president johnson and martin luther king after barack compared himself to mlk when even most political commentators and black leaders said her comments were not racist at all.

some accusations against the clintons may be true; this one certainly isn't. but the obama camp have also been accurately accused of making untrue comments as well.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush helped the Clinton legacy by being such a terrible President. Bill Clinton's attacks on Obama have made all of us remember the attacks on his character and his financial dealings (i.e. whitewater.) I have lost what little respect I had left for Bill Clinton. Because of his behavior now and 10 years ago, Hillary in the White House or for this matter in the general election, will be the easiest target for the Republican slime machine. I unfortunately have come to realize that Bill is infact; Slick Willy.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous eddiehaymaker said...

I'm a Democrat and I'm outraged by Bil Clinton throwing himself into the debate. He has straight up lied about Obama's words/statements. Terrible.
As an Obama supporter, if Hillary wins the nomination I won't do a damn thing to help her campaign, including not giving her my vote, my money, or my time.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Clinton's started the first racial attack with, "Is he black enough?"

3:03 PM  
Anonymous number9 said...

1)
supply-side = no good
socialism = good

glad to clear up the agenda for bright new ideas...

2)
mr. clinton and attack team spent his entire 1st term condemning the "greed" of the eighties; then proceeded to bask in the internet boom created by the inventor of said internet: mr. gore, aka the great global warming swindler

3:17 PM  
Blogger VIVIAN said...

I cannot accept your criticism of the Clinton's as unbiased because you don't seem to be take note of the lies told about them by Obama and Edwards.

The worst untruth you are spreading in this blog is that it is the Clinton's who have injected race into this campaign.

Race entered this campaign when Hillary Clinton was viciously attacked for making a clear, true and perfectly appropriate observation that it was LBJ who pushed and signed into law the Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Voting Rights Actg 1965.

She was accused by Obama supporters of demeaning Dr. King's memory. Obama and Edwards knew the charge was false and unjust. Instead of coming immediately to her defense (as all the Democratic candidates did for Joe Biden when he was accused of racial insensitivity) they both decided to use the charges against her for their own political advantage. Edwards actually made a direct statement criticizing her for what she said, and Obama made a watery statement that she had "upset a lot of people." It was at that moment that the campaign turned vicious and dark. It wan't the Clinton's who injected race into the campaign, it was Hillary's opponents.

You are informed enough to know that Obama is not really a knight in shining armor. His Illinois record includes some shady dealings with his friend and benefactor of 17 years, Tony Rezko. I would assume you know of his ruthless betrayal of Alice Palmer, his mentor, when he forced her off the ballot so he could take her seat.

Please, stop trying to convince everybody that Obama is a new kind of poliltician. You can take the pol out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the pol.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! Someone needs to say this to his face.... it may be too late to save whatever reputation he had.


John Gordan - While I understand why you think the way you do, we need to move to a point where republicans have something to say rather than merely attack. Lost in all the attacking last time around was a small boy that never grew up, never aspired to anything, had no ideas, had never prepared himself for more than obtaining the next drink or the next fix.

The republicans will wear their shame for posterity.

We need them to give us things to be for, rather than things to be against.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Christopher London, New York City said...

Dear Mr. Reich: Your voice is one of my fondest memories of the Clinton Administration. You are always well reasoned and thoughtful and somehow always find the right way to express the truth. I volunteered for the CLINTON/GORE Campaign out of Boston in the Park Plaza Hotel in 1992 but have become deeply disturbed by the tactics pursued by the CLINTON CAMPAIGN (Bill, Hillary and Mark Penn) in this election cycle, so much so that if Hillary becomes the nominee through what amounts to FRAUD & RACISM, I will be left with no choice but to vote for the Republican or Independent. I cannot reward Hillary with my vote.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Bill has a *legacy*?

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Gartrip said...

Thank you for that... although it SHOULD anger you. It seems odd that after everything Bill has done to his party, his legacy, his wife, his daughter, and his reputation that the only emotion you have is "sadness". As a Democrat, I am voting for Obama, but not because of Bill and Hills attacks on him. I am voting for him because Bill Clinton destroyed the credibility of the feminist movement by molesting women and then trashing them in public while Hillary sat by or helped. I am voting for Obama because Bill promised to help the gay community, but then gave us DontAskDontTell, DOMA, and ENDA. I am voting for Obama because Bill sold military secrets to China. I am voting for Obama because Obama has never been convicted of perjury or disbarred.

I am not saddened by the Clintons; I am OUTRAGED by them, and I am sick and tired of having to apologize for their behavior, hold my nose when I vote for them (twice), and secretly agree with Republican pundits. Enough of them... ENOUGH!

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not only disingenuous, it is downright misleading. The Clintons did not inject race into the dialogue; it was Sen. Obama's camp who jumped on her statement concerning MLK and Pres. Johnson and feigned outrage and racism.

The Obama camp also described HRC as the senator from Punjab. The campaign also sent information to South Carolina about statements that could possible be interpreted as being racist.

Both campaigns are guilty. Sen. Obama was first to tackle Sen. Clinton about her sitting on the board of Walmart. How about fairness.

We all know most folks would prefer a fresh face, but we shouldn't throw fairness out the window. I am an African-American female with a doctoral degree and I am willing to vote for whoever wins the Democratic nomination.

3:56 PM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks so much for this post. I read about the Clintons' latest dishonesty last night and was so mad that I couldn't get to sleep for two hours.

If our political system wasn't designed to reward the people with the least sense of decency, we'd be celebrating President Al Gore right now. We'd be out of Iraq, fixing climate change, and giving a decent shot in life to ordinary people.

So, no, the first place to start fixing America is by restoring honest discourse and by rewarding integrity. That's why I can't support Hillary Clinton, even if she takes the nomination.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Texas Brother said...

Mr. Reich, your comments are right on. I agree with some on this blog who have said that the attacks to this point have been mild in their content, but content is not the issue. The true issue for African-Americans is the where; not the what.
As an African American who voted for President Clinton twice I expected better from him, and although I am sure he does not realize it there are a growing number of us who would rather stay at home come November than stand side-by-side with someone who has buried the long knife in our backs...

4:02 PM  
Blogger Lucky Buck said...

As a hardcore Democrate, I will be very happy to see Super Tuesday in our rearview mirror. Hopefully, the Dems will have selected a winner by then and the loser (I don't really care if it is Hillary or Obama) disappears into the woodwork.
While I think the trash talk is good practice for the Republican mudslinging machine to come, I find the current rhetoric from both Clintons and Obama to be quite distasteful. For what its worth, this stuff has me leaning heavily toward Edwards.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous claudette said...

I volunteered on your campaign for Governor of MA-- you lost to a party hack, so we got Rommney---lets hope we don't see something similar on the national stage! I am so dissapointed in President Clinton- I have always admired him. Is it possible that he lost some important grey matter when he had that heart attack? His instincts seem to be leading him in a terrible direction.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Ellen Hamm said...

Mr. Reich, I am urging all those democrats who want to protest Mr. Clinton's statements (can't use President in this context, Lol)please write Howard Dean at the Democratic National Committee's website. I've written twice, pointed to non-Obama and non-Hillary websites showing the animosity against this kind of politics and the response of comments sections to this tactic of the Clintons. Yes, Obama is right - they will say and do anyting to get elected. If McCain is the nominee of the Reps, I'll vote for him,-if McCain is not, I'll vote for local dems only! Never for the Clintons. Bill clinton is wrong if he thinks that we will all play nice and vote the ticket anyway. I voted for BC both times in the '90's and I am disgusted!

I live in Missouri, and a applaude Claire McCaskill's courage to endorse Obama.

To those who say that Obama should keep the high road when he is attacked you are fooling yourselves, answering the charges means that he is allowing his Chicago-style politico out, we who have followed his campaign since his announcement on the steps of the old statehouse in Springfield, IL know that his core beliefs and his character has not changed. He is honest, truthful and brilliant!.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous IndependentLady said...

Only wish you had spoken up earlier. Just as well guess we needed to be reminded of what was so terribly wrong about the Clinton era. If she wins the nomination I definitely will vote Republican - end of story.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,
I hope very very much you go on the news programs to let those who don't read blogs know about this smearing of Obama.
I also hope you can encourage more prominent democrats to come out and condemn what the Clintons are doing to fellow democrat.
I am very weary of this win at all costs attitude.
Those who keep worrying about the republicans I do offer this:
If someone survives this kind of daily and consistent character attack by a tag team like the clintons are doing to Obama, then, the republicans will be a piece of cake.
Also, if the republican nominee is McCain, I do not foresee a kind of campaign anywhere near the level of nastiness or dirty politics that is now being practiced by the Clintons.
I also would caution many that the bad blood the Clintons have created in the democratic party will not be healed by fall and many democrats will be happy to cross over to vote against the Clintons as payback.
Mostly, I do hope Obama shows his famous wit again in battling the Clintons. It is his wit that has had him triumph before over them and I can assure you that if he uses his wit it will help him triumph again.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Reich:
I once again agree with your post and commend you for having the courage to speak the truth about The Clinton's. It appears that the fear of a narcissistic injury has catapulted The Clintons to a level of anger and hatred that was beyond what most expected. I am distressed beyond words about this and I have made the decision to leave the Democratic Party and become an Unaffiliated voter. The behavior of The Clintons and the inaction of the DNC has made me realize that this party does not represent me.

After I vote for Barack Obama in my State's Primary Election, I will mail my party change notification to my State Board of Elections.

To think that they would do everything within their power to destroy our next best hope for this country is reprehensible. I am amongst a growing group who will never vote for a Clinton.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fear that the two Clintons' attack machine has already successfully baited the voters via race, gender, and ethnicity.

If Obama wins SC, I predict it will be a small margin (2-3%).

I wish there was a way to focus more on the Clinton presidency. It had scandals after scandals (from the first to the last day). All by the Clintons. I challenge anyone to identify sustained policy innovations over 8-years during Clinton presidency.

I wish someone from the GOP (who are in the cemetery having lost to the two Clintons) would talk about what it is to compete with them (e.g., Bob Dole).

I wish someone would dissect Clinton's senate career (e.g., voting for the war with great anguish but not reading the intelligence report).

Why is the press not working hard to be fair?

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, took you Dems long enough to fgure them out - only about 20 years! As a conservative, I will say that I don't have all that much to dislike about Bill Clinton's actual record of governing and policy implementation, but Hill-Billy's style of politics has always made me want to puke. The way that they and their thugs like Carville and Begala went after men like Bush Sr. and Bob Dole was just reprenensible - Bush and Dole may not have been your cup of tea politically, but they were always pretty decent guys (for politicians anyway) and did not deserve the Clinton treatment - though I will not try to argue that Dole's lacklustre performance deserved to win.

The Clintons have spent 16 years carefully ingratiating themselves with the various elements of the black leadership, and Obama has them absolutely freaked. They cannot win in the South without black support - and Iowa proved that they can't count on the midwest. You can expect the Clintons to use every dirty trick in the book to turn out the redneck vote against Obama (as the Dems did against Bobby Jindal the first time he ran for Gov in LA).

I personally happen to think that Obama is dangerously unprepared, particularly on foreign policy issues, but he at least seems like a decent guy.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wanted our party to unite after these tragic Bush years -- the country has been ready and poised to move on with real change, a voice to unite us, make us feel like we can "do for our country" again -- together! Unfortunately, Bill & Hillary will definitely leave a legacy -- just maybe not the one they wanted. Their legacy -- to have possibly torn apart our party with their icky politics. I will absolutely NOT vote for 4-8 more years of finger-wagging by Bill Clinton at me or anyone! I will hope for Bloomberg if Hillary is nominated.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,
Thank you so much for speaking the truth rather than giving in to Clinton pressure.

Please find a way to get this information more daylight...say CNN or the networks. They dertainly give a lot of time to Bill and all his misinformation.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google "Obama Whining" and you get 259,000 hits. Posts like this are part of the reason, as is Obama's whining about the Clintons' "attacks" on him. You're doing him no favors by whining on his behalf, so please keep at it.



This is politics, not a tea party. Obama and his partisans need to man up or get the hell off the field. Weakness like this will get him creamed in the general, when the repugs will laugh in his face and kick him even harder. And Obama's reverse race-baiting will be a boon to the repugs, who would ride it to another Southern Strategy-fueled victory. (He should have kept the race card in his bag of tricks until the campaign swung south anyway, rather than using it in New Hampshire. And accusing Hispanics in Nevada of being racist was risky in the extreme.)


Carry on, whine all you like. You're just reinforcing the impression of Obama as a weak-kneed pansy who has to go crying to mama (the media, his supporters) because the big kids are picking on him.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Reich,

Just wanted to echo a previous comment:

I, too, will switch my party affiliation to "Unaffiliated" after I vote for Obama in my State's primary.

After all this, I will never vote for a Clinton again.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have been playing the: "Bill Clinton is my friend...I am so disappointed in my friend card" since you left his administration. When was the last time you were actually friends. The only reason why anyone cares about your opinion is because your friend appointed you to a position you would never would have been appointed to but for your friend.

There is nothing the president has said that is not backed up by the facts.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

First, here is what Sen. Barack Obama actually told the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial board on camera, comments that were highlighted at CNN’s debate in South Carolina on Jan. 21, 2008.

“I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path, because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the sixties and seventies and government had grown and grown, but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating.”

What are the “excesses” that Sen. Obama is speaking of? The creation of Medicare? Of Medicaid? Of the Peace Corps? Of Head Start? The Civil Rights Act? The Voting Rights Act? Perhaps, the Food Stamp Act? The Cigarette Labeling Act? The Motor Vehicle Safety Act? Maybe he meant the Endangered Species Preservation Act or the Wilderness Act?

He claims that he country “was ready for” the path the Reagan administration took us? Really? Ready for massive deregulation? For the union-busting? For no increase to the minimum wage for eights years? For saying that trees pollute the environment? For asserting that the homeless are on the streets by choice?

Ready for the decimation of America’s steel industry? For huge tax cuts for the wealthy and Fortune 500 companies? For the most annual bank failures since the Great Depression? For the massive budget and trade deficits?

Ready for Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court? For putting Antonin Scalia on the Court? For elevating William Rehnquist to Chief Justice? For giving us Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese? For Interior Secretary James Watt? For proposing to eliminate the Education Department?

For arming and backing Saddam Hussein? For selling weapons to Iran? For an even greater dependence on foreign oil imports? For William Casey? For Adm. John Poindexter? For Lt. Col. Oliver North?

Sen. Obama would do well to go back to school and learn more about the Reagan presidency. For someone seeking the Democratic presidential nomination he clearly shows a total lack of understanding as to why so many of us lifelong Democrats found his comments on Reagan’s legacy indigestible, to put it politely.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Bad Martigen said...

Your comment is silly, Phil. Anyone who was there knows that Reagan was a transformative figure in American politics. Just as Obama was saying, the transformations were not all to the good, but they WERE real. And to notice this fact does not mean he supports all the items on your half-baked list; it just means he's willing to describe reality as it is. What we need is a Democratic version of Reagan -- someone who can pull enough votes from the other side to win a mandate and push real change forward. With Hillary, what you would get instead is the Democratic version of Bush/Rove -- someone who can suppress just enough of her enemies and parse the electorate in just the right way to squeak by with a narrow win in the electoral college (if not the popular vote) and use slime and bullying tactics to win a couple of tactical victories here and there but accomplish nothing really important. No thanks.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I would like to see all the dirty politics go away especially in the democratic primary I think that you Mr. Reich ought to look at this video all the way through before you accuse Mr. Clinton of being the only one who engages in dirty politics.


http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/01/23/bill.clinton.yellin.cnn

And if Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Obama can campaign for and defend their husbands Mr. Clinton ought to be allowed to do the same and it doesn't matter what his previous job was.

Mr. Obama aired an ad in NC that usd the euphemism she'll say anything essentially calling Mrs. Clinton a liar. Is that not beyond the pale? And who was it that distorted Hillary's comments about Martin Luther King and LBJ to make them seem as though she was belittling MLK. Was that not a distortion?

A balanced criticism of both campaigns would be a lot more useful.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Aquarius52 said...

Mr Reich:

Thanks for your honesty and courage. Politics is not a game. It is about public service to improve people's lives. It is regrettable that the Clintons are deliberately spreading falsehoods against Obama and attacking him so viciously. It is especially disappointing that Bill Clinton is acting so un-presidentially. His actions are more deserving of Karl Rove than an elder statesman. His legacy is definitely being tarnished.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo for standing up for the truth. My only hope is that enough Americans realize this as well. It will be extremely disheartening if Hillary gets the nomination.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Rich P. From Princeton said...

The one good thing that could come out of the clintons' smear campaign is that, if she -- or, more accurately, they -- win the nomination, they'll drive Bloomberg into the race as an independent, and he'll clean her clock but good. And then we can all go about the important work of burying the clintons once and for all.

5:17 PM  
Blogger seiun said...

Personally, I can't think of anything more Reaganesque than NAFTA. Bill Clinton's got a lot of nerve.

In their ruthless and cynical attempt to trash Barack Obama, the Clintons are trashing the entire Democratic Party. And you know what? I'm guessing they don't really care.

What an arrogant, self-centered couple of creeps.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Julie, Los Angeles said...

AGREED. Originally, I was happy to support whichever of the 3 frontrunner Dems would come to win the nomination -- and had planned to vote Edwards since I liked him since 2003 when learning of him then. Came to learn of Obama since he spoke in 2004, learned of his more than a decade of legislative experience and stellar Harvard/Harvard Law Review accomplishments and such and thought great! If Edwards should drop out, he gets my vote and if Hill wins? I support her. NO MORE.

If it isn't Edwards or Obama as nom, I'm leaving the Democratic party altogether and choosing Republican if I can stomach it, or 3rd party if I must -- NO CLINTON. They have sullied the entire Dem Party, let alone Bill's legacy and image as an edler statesman. All politicians lie, but even criminals have some lines not to cross.

The Clintons are ethicless, two-faced, race-baiting sociopaths. Say what you want about Obama's responses; a man should defend himself and his record as he sees fit. They played with racial issues then tried to blame the black guy (who's actually white and black to boot). We've seen this game before and should be past it in America. Draining.

I used to tak up for Hillary when people called her polarizing and such, thinking she was getting a hard time because she was a woman -- and that may still be true in some instances, but not she and Bill's behavior this time. As much complaining as they did about right-wing-this-that? They're acting just like those they complained about - BLAZING HYPOCRITES.

So go Edwards, go Obama - and thats it.

Should neither get the nod?

Go Most-Stomachable-Republican!
'Cause-I-refuse-to-vote-for-any-Clinton-ever-again

5:33 PM  
Anonymous anonymous #2 said...

Anonymous said,'Google "Obama Whining" and you get 259,000 hits.'

Oh Please...

Google Clinton Whining gets 386,000

5:42 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

My husband and I have been more than upset with the Clinton strategy; we are inflamed. As progressive Democrats we were delighted to see our Party put forth some wonderful candidates. We aren't members of a minority group (unless you count women). We marveled at the wonder that one's gender or race didn't matter in our Party. We are deeply saddened and hurt to find the Clinton's using the race and gender card to destroy another Democrat. Both the former President and his wife have shown that winning at all costs is the way to do business. If the Clinton's receive the nomination, we'll not reward them with our ballots. Enough of the seamy Roverian tactics that have been a hallmark of politics for the past eight years.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

As for you people who are whining that you won't support Clinton in the Fall. Fine. Stay home then, if that's your attitude. You're no better than the people who helped give us Richard Nixon in 1968.

Bad Martigen, your response to my comment is disengenious, to say the lease. I merely pointed out what Sen. Obama actually said, which was that he felt the country was ready for the direction Reagan's policies took us. He also spoke of his belief that the country felt tired of "all the excesses of the sixties and seventies."

Well? What are the "excesses" the Senator was speaking of? And don't forget. Reagan actually had to win that 1980 election first. And it was not a campaign of the kind, rosy, sugar-coated optimism that the media elites now like to look back on the Reagan era with. As for Sen. Ted Kennedy, who has recently critized former President Bill Clinton for his criticism of Obama, he did about as much to defeat President Carter with the type of campaign he waged in his primary challenge against Carter as Reagan-Bush did.

Sen. Obama made his comments to the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial board. He was pandering to conservatives outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area and, indeed, Obama did well in the more conservative parts of the state in the caucus. How about he tries giving that exact same speach in Harlem or South Central Los Angeles and finds out what the reaction would be?

What the Democratic Party needs is a nominee who can first beat the Republicans in the Fall, has coattails to increase the Democratic majority in Congress and then has the political clout to make things happen with a Democratic-controlled Congress.

If Sen. Obama can't face the softball politics the Clinton campaign is using against him now, you seriously believe he can face the hardball tactics the GOP will use against him in the Fall? Republicans, especially the past two generations, don't give up power easily. They would make it look like Dukakis had it easy in 1988 compared to what they will throw at Obama.

Want a preview?

''What is it about the Pledge of Allegiance that upsets him so much?'' Bush 41 said of Dukakis, to great effectiveness.

''What is it about the U.S. flag that upsets him so much?'' is what the GOP nominee will say of Sen. Obama's decision to stop wearing a U.S. flag lapel.

Sen. Hillary Clinton has shown she can handle the Republican attacks and fight back. Sen. Obama has not. And Sen. Edwards couldn't even handle Dick Cheney in 2004.

Would I prefer a different Democratic nominee than any of the final three this year? Sure. Unfortunately, Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945.

5:52 PM  
Blogger seiun said...

If Hillary cheats her way to the nomination, I will write in Al Gore.

I'm willing to make a blood pact--right here and now. It's either Edwards, Obama or Gore.

As far as I'm concerned, Hillary's out of the race.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous meta said...

Sir, thank you so much for speaking out. I know you do so at great personal risk. As a life-long Democrat, the last few weeks of this campaign have been absolutely demoralizing. I am thoroughly disgusted and repulsed by the behavior of both of the Clintons. It's the most depraved approach to politics one can imagine next to Karl Rove and George W. Bush. I would never ever EVER vote for HRC for any public office. I'm done with compromising my values for a party that will not even stand up to such immoral thuggery.

After the horror show of the last 7 years, the American people are sick and tired of the incessant, divisive distortions and manipulations from self-serving professional politicians. And we reject it with every fiber of our being.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

It is wonderful to see that all the decent people like Bob can see throught he dirty game that is going on. I am believing again that there is big group of people who call things they way they are. Can you imagine how mild Obama's Walmart line was? He can have enormous amount of dirt that can be thrown at the Clintons. He did not. His modesty should not be treated as weakness and this teasing him out to fight is clear as a day. They just want him to say something real nasty and turn into an angry-black-young-drug dealing-slumlord-friend dude who can win SC. They are just painting this picture through hundred surrogates. This lynching of Obama by thousand cuts is disgusting and sad.

6:03 PM  
Blogger seiun said...

PS: Unfortunately, domain squatters have already registered anyonebuthillary.com, .org, and .net.

Might be worth pooling funds...

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something fundamentally wrong with the head of the Democractic party (Clinton) actively supporting his wife's candidacy for the Democratic nomination. What will he do when Obama is the Democratic nominee?

6:18 PM  
Blogger seiun said...

The New York Times just endorsed Hillary Clinton. So much for their reporting of the campaign. What in the F*CK could they be thinking??? Their "endorsement" reads like it was written by a member of the Clinton team.

I just removed the New York Times from my list of news sources. They are now officially an advocate.

The corruption and filth runs so deep...

6:23 PM  
Anonymous GeorgeL said...

I absolutely fear a Republican in the White House for another 4 years. Yet at the rate the Clintons (particularly Bill) is flat-out lying about Obama, I find it more and more difficult to even want to vote for her if she were to become the Democratic nominee.

The Democratic establishment tearing down the most capable, qualified, and honest in the race (Obama) reminds me too much of Reich's gubernatorial campaign in MA against Shannon O'Brien. The primaries tore the party apart and as a result the Republican (Romney) walked into the governor's office.

Shame on the Clintons and their brand of politics of personal destruction.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't belive I'm saying this, but it's true. If she is the nominee, I will not vote for her. I simply don't respect her. I love her policy positions, but I hate her style of politics. I want to feel the way I did when I voted for Bill Clinton the first time, excited and hopeful, but in a period of 3 months she has eroded that goodwill, by dooming the party. We will not win in Novemeber if the is the nom. Period.

6:32 PM  
OpenID dels@mac.com said...

I am not saying this out of sadness, but anger. I never thought I would be so angry at Bill. Hillary I understand my anger though. What broke that ice was the John Kerry 'stuck in Iraq' incident when she parroted the Repuglicans.

I may vote 'present' if she wins the nomination.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What utter bunk. Anyone who has done even the slightest amount of homework will find that not only has the Clinton campaign been hitting Obama on the issues (and ONLY the issues, race and gender being injected into the discussion by the punditry), but everything Bill Clinton has been saying is totally verifiable. Do I think Bill is making a PR mistake in speaking out loudly against Obama? Yes. He and his supporters seem so thin-skinned that they cannot take even the slightest bump to their fragile Hope balloon without crying foul. Hillary has run a classy campaign from the beginning. Did she bitch and moan when referred to as D-Punjab? No, and apparently nobody in the press noticed either. But when she brings up perfectly legitimate questions about Obama's progressive credentials she's cast as hitting below the belt. Well, let me tell you. The republicans will not flinch from hitting him on his complete lack of foreign policy experience, or his past in Chicago (which may be perfectly innocent, but sure doesn't look good), or the fact that his record is deeply inconsistent (compare and contrast: Kyl-Lieberman & Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007). But you all feel free to turn up your nose at Hillary. Focus on change and hope and a new type of politics. And you see how far your ideals get you without pragmatism, experience, and a detailed understanding of the issues.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Reich, Sir your honest opinion...as well former President Clinton unfounded attacks against Sen. Obama-as well manners unbecoming a a former two-term President, serves only to prove to point i've been arguing lately:
(1)The Clinton political dynasty as a progressive brand is done...as well it should be-boxed up and stored away. (2)Hilary's victories only further proves that Americans have become a lot of revisionist thinkers, and not the progressive visionaries that will be needed to chart a bold and new course for America. Question: Why dust the Clinton Dynasty off once more? What's next, Laura Bush will make a run after Hilary, then the Clinton-Bush daughters. Why don't America just crown Hilary as a Queen, and be done with politics as usual. Sen. Obama is just what the doctor ordered!

6:45 PM  
Blogger Aquarius52 said...

People like this "Anonymous" above who dont read or cannot read or deliberately misunderstand what they read are the most frustrating to deal with.

Hillary Clinton at a fundraiser by Indian-Americans was introduced as the "Senator from Punjab". SHE then said " I am not just the Senator from NY, I could also be the Senator from Punjab". The internal Obama memo was using HER OWN WORDS to poke fun at her as a joke.

The Reagan quote has been dissected and debunked by CNN, FOX TV (much as I dont like Fox) and various truth squads. Example Factcheck.org. Check Google.Meanwhile Hillary Clinton has said Reagan was great at striking a balance in politics. Again, check Google.

To suggest we should vote for someone who is most skilled at attacking and lying is ludicrous!!

Shame on you!!!

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much of my sentiment has been stated earlier. No need to repeat anything other than THANK YOU for standing up for the truth.

If this is what the campaign is like GOD help us all during the next four years if this continues.

F. Mack

7:08 PM  
Anonymous baron said...

Yes, I'm afraid it's two for the price of one!

Ambition in both Clintons seems to be their primary motivation - the general good - sincere perhaps, but a secondary one. Had Mr Clinton put the country ahead of his 'legacy,' he would have resigned after the Lewinsky debacle, Gore would have been a sitting president and .... ah if only!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous malarson2@comcast.net said...

It’s the electability, stupid. Democrats, please pay attention: Hillary cannot win the general and that is the ONLY point worth putting out at this crucial moment of the primaries. Don't get distracted or side-tracked: put every other piece of info, scrappy fight, comment by surrogates, squabble, newspaper article, blog, story and propaganda-filled speech aside. Its not about race or gender or policies or change or experience. You only need to know ONE piece of information to make your decision: no candidate can win a general election that is not supported by half of her own party. Keep your eye on the 11/08 ball before it’s too late. She is the only thing that will rally the struggling Republican Party. Tell every Democrat and Independent you know: a vote for Hillary is a vote for John McCain, HIS war in Iraq and an economy that will not recover for a very long time. Why does the DNC not recognize this? We are running out of time to put an end to the eight, and I now fear 12, years of negative and never-endingly bad mojo and the moment to do something about it is right now. So stop talking and go out and do something. One simple first step? Email The DNC and tell them how you feel about the way The Clintons are leading our party and running their campaign. http://www.democrats.org/page/s/contactissues . Pass it on.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your principled stand. People may differ on the Obama/Clinton contest, but it is especially important for Democratic Party leaders to stand up against the knowingly mendacious, scorched earth, and--in my opinion--racialist campaign of the Clintons. (P.S. I voted for Clinton twice.)

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Lois said...

Thank you for speaking out via your Blog against the tactics of Bill Clinton. I heard about it on MSNBC and checked your message.

I am amazed that some of the comments (from intelligent people) seem naive about the manipulations of the Clinton machine.

The timeline began with the Clintons bringing up issues of “race” in a vague way and then wondering out loud why Barack Obama was getting so upset. It reminds me of the bully of the schoolyard pushing another child when the teacher’s back is turned and then acting cute and innocent.

How many have noticed this ploy? How many are gullible enough to watch a partially smiling Bill Clinton become irritated by questions from reporters and how many believe his argument that the Obama camp is starting to play dirty?

Those Clintons are very clever – aren’t they? Unfortunately their game-playing (politics as usual) might just work and might defeat Obama’s efforts to win the Democratic nomination

I would hope that we are smart enough to see through these manipulations.

Barack Obama is a reasonable and good person who can bring honesty and unity to our country.

Hillary's active and strong negative approach to Barack was a big turn-off at the beginning of last week’s Debate. This is typical of the "Clinton Machine" approach.

Read Sally Bedell Smith's "For the Love of Politics" and you will decide that another four or eight years of a Clinton White House will not be in the best interests of our country. The behind-the-scenes manipulations might be politics as usual - but we need to get away from that and take a more unified approach to move our country forward.

Also - remember that Bill will be the unofficial Vice-President…which will lead to more negatives and Bedell Smith's book reinforces the number of faulty efforts of Bill Clinton's administration.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my letter to the NYT concerning the endorsement of the Clintons:

Nice try in trying to justify your endorsement of the Clintons. I can see by this that your paper is rank and file with the mainstream media.

No matter of conscience to your editors what kind of campaign is endorsed. Dirty campaigning and the stale smell in the air this endorsement left me with seem to go hand in hand.

So much to my Sunday ritual of reading your paper…..I will have my own little protest that you will likely not care about. Hey, I can now save myself $5 every week now. I'll send it right over to the Obama campaign.

Kellie
Boulder, Colorado

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Nation
Bill and Hill's Dangerous Game
by Nicholas von Hoffman
[posted online on January 23, 2008]

In the last couple of days Barack Obama has found out what Paula Jones must have felt like after being worked over by the Clinton organization. Ms. Clinton goes slap, slap, slap across his face as husband Bill lets the Illinois Senator have it below the belt.

Nipped, kicked, jabbed, socked, bitten and bopped by the Clintons and their liegemen, Obama has been fighting back as best he can. Hence his attempts the other night in South Carolina, in what was called a debate. Mixing it up with Hillary in that format is asking for it. He was taking on an experienced political thug. If Lyndon Johnson, a president Hillary Clinton has recently come to admire, had had Obama's ear before the lights went up at Myrtle Beach, Johnson would have reminded Obama of the political adage about not getting into a pissing contest with a skunk.

The heart of the Clintons' strategy is to pull Obama down to their level. They are playing demolition derby politics. They understand that they cannot compete with his idealism or with his grand hopes for his country and its people. They know that they cannot match the inspiration he brings to young people and the renewal of faded dreams to older ones. The Clintons know they must take away the joy the Obama volunteers have in their belief that they are making history. They are going after Obama with fire extinguishers to douse the flames he ignites in hearts.

The Clintons cannot compete with the enthusiasm Obama sets off so they must destroy it. Their tactic is disillusionment. They are the quashers of the dream. Bring Obama's people down by showing them he is just another pol like themselves. Discourage idealism with the politics of experience--the politics of the payoff, the deal, of hit-man surrogates, of the slyest of slanders and of when we all are back in the White House, we'll take care of you.

The tactic is to bait, confuse and anger Obama until he says things in heat he does not mean and are not who he is. The tactic is to make him look less noble than he is and show the millions who have placed their hopes in him that he is not a special person after all.

The Clintons would barter the goodwill that they have earned among African Americans in a trade for Hispanic votes. If the exchange sows disunion and rubs raw latent antagonism, a politician of experience accepts the bitterness and the division to follow. It's for a higher cause--getting back in.

In the face of his enemies' campaign of disillusionment, Obama must get back to being Obama. No more debates which have a viewing audience of minus three but which supply embarrassing sound bites and You Tube tidbits for millions. The Lincolnesque Obama is unsuited to the circus of TV debate, where ringmasters angle for catfights and humiliation. It is for Obama's surrogates to challenge the Clintons at their game.

By the time the convention rolls around, the Clintons may pull it off. The machine wins again. Money trumps all. Campaigns of the good die young, etc. However, if those two think that the discouraged youth and the disgusted older people and the again embittered African-Americans are going to vote for her in November, they will find out that the cost of destroying Obama and the dream in the spring is their own destruction in the fall.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous daveabides said...

Just more respect from a guy in Milwaukee. I hope it isn't repetitive to read that. Kind of like applause maybe. The more people the better.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read most of the comments herein and it's all been said, and eloquently so. Bill and Hillary embody the "ends justifies the means" ethos, their smear job on the most charismatic leader in a generation is shameful, and they're proving what we suspected all along: she simply can't be a unifying candidate. I voted for Bill Clinton twice, and proudly. After this, his approval ratings have plummeted in my personal poll. In two weeks I'll vote proudly for Sen. Barack Obama, a man of principle who has the potential to heal this country. Please urge your friends and family to do the same.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous music32 said...

Thank you Professor Reich for telling it like it is. The Clintons, collectively, hand in glove have stooped to new lows.
Why do so many Americans have such a short memory about what really transpired during the Clinton years, and how the government was disrupted for too long because of unbecoming behavior on the part of our nation's president. Al Gore basically lost because of Bill's behavior, so we were left with Bush.. and now there is basically a recapitulation of the same shameful antics that are an extension of the old, lying Clinton. If Bill keeps this up, the Democrats will lose the November election, and more Republicans will rise to power.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are at the inception of the end of media and pundits as we know it.

Your post is just another brick on the wall.

The Clintons have not done a darn thing. This is about rooting for your team even when they don't deserve it. It appears everyone has picked a side and they are running with it.

It won't fool the majority. Most of the media and pundits fool themselves into thinking their opinion is correct because they get support from like minded bloggers.

It has been obvious to anyone who is not an Obamaphile that Mr. Obama has been playing his race for votes from the start. That Mr. Obama uses inflamatory and racist comments. And that Mr. Obama has no problem pitting his own people against each other.

I am glad to see the Clintons fight back. That is what we wanted and now that we have it, you all are getting squimish.

And Obama has got to be the most disrespectful, divisive, arrogant candidate we have seen other than Bush, Jr.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Carthage said...

Thank you for speaking up - where is Dean, Kennedy, Feingold, Gore and other Dem. leaders, speaking up against this pointless damage to the party and the one candidate who is bringing the next generation to the party? The Clintons are attacking another candidate, but also a "movement" against this sort of politics= they bring the deep divsion of the country into the very party they pretend to lead. If they succeed, many independents will be turned off, and enough democrats might refuse to "get over it" and come to their support in November. Leave it to the dems. to let this happen - I admire the fact that you are willing to take this position publicly and hope you will encourage others before it is too late... I cannot thank you enough!

7:59 PM  
Anonymous hippybaby1970 said...

Dr.Reich, thank you for your principled stand. bill clinton marked the emergence of baby boomers into positions of power. i voted for this man twice. as a member of the generation x cohort, i am disgusted with how the boomer generation in general have used their positions of power to advance their own petty desires. i sit here not recognizing the country i knew as a child. i am numb from the steady stream of lies,greed,and general corruption i have had to witness for most of my adult life. the 'me generation' had lived up to it's name.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous cathy said...

Sir, Thank you for your honest and truthful commentary. I am a lifelong Democrat, a white woman , and a school teacher. If team-Clinton are the Democrat's nominees I will not be able to support them due to their "win at all costs" campaign.I urge all those posters who have expressed a similar view to forward their remarks to Howard Dean and the Democratic Party.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike V said...

Thank you for speaking out.

I strongly support Sen. Obama in this campaign, but if Hillary were to emerge the nominee for some reason, I think I'm not going to vote (or vote 3rd party).

Mike

NYC

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Reich, for your honesty and courage in speaking the truth.

It was indeed the Clinton campaign that began courting the 'race' card when they fed the media with the news that one of their campaign staff "resigned" after taking responsibility for spreading rumours that Obama was a drug dealer.

Several weeks later, Bob Johnson dropped his 'innuendo', aimed at discrediting Obama, a statement that HRC refused to dispel openly. Only weeks later after respected leaders in the Black community called her on it, did Johnson come forth with an apology.

That was just the beginning, of course. Bill jumped in to muddy the waters and it continues still.

It's clearer to me that we need Obama more than ever to bring respect to the office of President once more.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very sure Mr.Reich will go back and listen or read well all comments made by all candidates or by their spouses on the campaign trail. I did not hear any cries from him when Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Obama were all insinuating things about the Clintons. Americans deserve better.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Lou Minatti said...

This is a splendid example of the fact that the so-called "Democratic" Party is in fact the party of hate and divisiveness. Democratics absolutely love to divide people by race and set people against each other. Democratics have been doing this since Lincoln, and they continue this today.

Hey Bob, how does it feel to have a genuine, 100% unrepentant certified KKK leader serving as a leading US senator in your party?

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Democrat truist said...

You're a fucking dwarf idiot, so get real. Bill IS THE MAN!

8:27 PM  
Anonymous hippybaby1970 said...

regarding the sewage spouted by 'democrat truist'(what a misnomer): this is the type of person supporting the clintons, need i say more?

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I had voted for Clinton twice, I am now disgusted and disheartened by his demeanor and vitriolic speech, both as a past President and symbolic head of the Democratic party. It is definitely a 'turn-off' for me in voting for Senator Clinton.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous robertindc said...

Thanks for the candor!

Thank you posters for reminding us that poltics is not a tea party. Safe to say that Mr. Reich is more aware of the reality of politics than any of of you posting today. That is not the point--the point is that former presidents should conduct themselves in an appropriate fashion--i.e. not lying. Yes poltics is rough but what some of you fail to grasp that its a difference of degree of poltical debate.

Its also very telling that "Clinton Supporters" post things like: You're a fucking dwarf idiot, so get real. Bill IS THE MAN! That people post such hideous things is worrisome...and sadly this and other pro-clinton postings only highlight the accuracy of Mr. Reichs piece. It also demosntrates the truth of the position of the other great american from the Clinton years--Al Gore and his view on the death of reason and civility...

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Concerned said...

Dear Reich,

Congratulations for speaking out!

The whole DNC, with Dr. Dean at the helm, are so scared of these two coward and dirty couples (Clintons)
and are letting the Party go to the gutter.

There is these huge concern among prominent democrats (Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rep. Jim Clayburn, etc..) with Clintons playing the race, gender and
pure untrue smear campaign against Obama in this Democrats Primary.
However, they've to say it in the most clear and forcefully, the way you put-it!

Glad you are so honest and said things as many people are observing.

It's some how back-lashing against them, and hope people will see the true color of who has the honesty and integrity.

The Clintons will do any thing to get the Presidency again. This is excactly how the Monarchy continues, and it's about time the Americans wake-up before this dynasty put forward Chelsea next time around.

Hunger of power has no limit for these Clintons.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am former Clinton loyalist. For long time I was so blindly devoted to them that I ignored what was said about them. But now, I have lost all respect and begin to think all those allegation against them must have had a merit. This sort of political tactics is only going to take the country down to the mud and diminish US as the beacon of democracy. Perhaps this is natural evolution for a sole superpower, and if so it is the natural path that took Rome to its demise. Thanks for speaking out.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous women in blue dresses said...

After over six some decades as living as woman in a society in which one needs to be a both a bit smarter and a bit tougher to make it, the idea of the first US woman president is an exciting one. But the spectacle that has become Billary is a sad commentary on the “first” and it is comforting when other women, or “Friends of Bill” are willing to boldly state the truth in the midst of the untruths that Billary have been directing against Obama.

Do we really want “our first” woman President to be elected because people like her husband more than they like her but can only vote for her to get him back in the White House? Can it really be that deep thinking women think that the Republicans are even more excited about Billary defeating Obama so the general election can revive the explicit scenes of oral history from the Clinton Oval Office? The Billary duo is not one that will bring pride to women but rather will revive the memory that the blue dress didn’t lie.

There will be no basis for pride for women if Billary return/s to the Oval Office. We need to show up at the Clinton rallies in our blue dresses over the next weeks. We need to show them and others that we reject the images of Hillary grabbing Bill’s stained coat tails to carry them both back to the White House or, more likely, to bring defeat to the Democrats in 2008.

Let’s rally as Women in Blue Dresses before February 5!

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Everybody is an expert now said...

For the most part it seems posters "get" what Mr. Reich is saying. Its amazing that some poster in Whichita who works at Seven Eleven feels that he must correct a former Cabinet Secretary of the reality of politics. Its also amazing that some think that the standard campign approaches adopted by Obama and Edwards are equal to a former president lying to advance the career of his wife. I think Mr. Reich can tell the difference and most of us can. This only confirms what the data show--Clinton more popular among the less educated.......

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Acanthus said...

"This is not only disingenuous, it is downright misleading. The Clintons did not inject race into the dialogue; it was Sen. Obama's camp who jumped on her statement concerning MLK and Pres. Johnson and feigned outrage and racism."

You're conveniently leaving out the references to cocaine, the "shucking and jiving" remark, and Robert Johnson's stupid comment about what Obama was "doing in the neighborhood".

"The Obama camp also described HRC as the senator from Punjab."

Chicago Tribune, 6/7/2007:

At the fundraiser hosted by Dr Rajwant Singh at his Potomac, Maryland, home, and which raised nearly $50,000 for her re-election campaign, Clinton began by joking that, 'I can certainly run for the Senate seat in Punjab and win easily,' after being introduced by Singh as the Senator not only from New York but also Punjab.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never voted for a Republican and don't think I could, but I will not vote for Hillary. I thought this campaign would be about the huge challenges facing our nation. I now see the Clintons are desperate to take the White House, invoking any means necessary. The future of our nation requires a leader who is open to new ideas and sees possibilities, not enemies around every corner. Alas, that is the Clintons

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect sir, Senator Obama's wife injected race into this debate months ago (Chicago Sun-Times 11/12/07):


'With polls showing African-Americans have yet to give overwhelming support to White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), his wife Michelle said "black America will wake up and get it" in an interview running on MSNBC on Monday.'


Is not the implication of that quote that black folks should "see the light" and back Obama because like them he is black. But that isn't injecting race in your eyes, correct?

Obama surrogates have done the same by indicating how historical his candidacy would be (code word: first African-American President of the USA). I am African-American and none of this bothers me. Especially the latter since it is fact. And apparently it didn't bother you either since you never wrote about it or how bad it was that race was injected then.

Anyone who looks at Obama can tell that he is black. It is ignorant to pretend that by either of the Clintons mentioning his historical candidacy (remember his surrogates did as well) that "white" and "latinos" will now see him as ..... drumroll please ... black.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Will wonders ever cease? said...

Somedoby said:

The Clintons have not done a darn thing. This is about rooting for your team even when they don't deserve it. It appears everyone has picked a side and they are running with it.

Guess the outrage by senior senators and members of the house is unwarranted. You should send them a memo and tell them this whole thing of Bill Clinton doing anything wrong is just a fantasy.....What do those old senators know about poltics anyway....You tell em...... The capapcity among current clinton supporters to ignore basic facts is astonishing! Thanks Bob!

9:01 PM  
Blogger hardcle said...

Secretary Reich,
I'd like to thank you for honest comments. I know from reading your books that you're close to Bill and Hillary, so this must have been difficult for you to write. I can only hope that they stop what they're doing before they hurt the party.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Acanthus said...

"It has been obvious to anyone who is not an Obamaphile that Mr. Obama has been playing his race for votes from the start. That Mr. Obama uses inflamatory and racist comments. And that Mr. Obama has no problem pitting his own people against each other."

Well, that's just not true. In fact, it was Obama's success at NOT playing his race for votes that started all this in the first place. The Clintons became so frustrated by the fact that Obama wasn't "playing the race card", they decided to play it themselves, and then accuse HIM of having done it.

Oh- I'm a black man who supports Edwards, btw.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous hippybaby1970 said...

regarding lou minatti: how does it feel to have a complete idiot as the head of what i assume is your party? i refer to the moron sitting in the white house in case you were wondering.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have been very open with your feelings about the Clintons and their tactics in this election. And your honest comments about the demeaning, despicable (my word) behavior and lies being spread not only by the former President, other campaign surrogates and even the candidate herself. My suspicion is that it is all for the personal ego boost, a way to redeem a presidency gone wrong.

I also wonder about other members of the Clinton cabinet who have signed on the Clintons for part two. I wonder if they see their former boss conducting himself in this manner and are disappointed in him. I wonder if they remember that one day where many gathered to stand behind the President and give him support about the "Lewinsky sharges" only to find out a short time later that he had lied to them and to us. I wonder just what personal ambition would allow them to go back again, sign on again, with a man and a woman who took their trust and violated it again and again over the course of his entire term in the White House. At what point to the lies just not matter?

Other writing here have applauded your courage, and rightly so. Because I suspect it might be easy to be seduced by the prospect of another cabinet position, power and access. You and Tony Lake and Susan Rice, among others, have had the courage to chart a new course to the future. I, for one -- and perhaps on behalf of many -- thank you.

-- Jade7243

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Sir,
I think that Bill Clinton did a brilliant job of defense, and at the end of his 8 years, the minds and hearts of Americans were where Ronald Reagan left them. While Bill triangulated, the hearts and minds of Americans moved sideways.

I support Obama precisely because he defines the Presidency as an opportunity to change hearts and minds - to move the center back toward a more progressive America - to fulfill America's promise,,,And I have no doubt that he is wise enough and tough enough.

jim Street

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When reading your latest blog, I must say I agree fully with you. The Clinton's have greatly disappointed me. Being a Black African Amercian Voting Woman, I have changed my opinion about the Clinton's. To me they are two of the same. Where she did have my vote as well as my family, that is no longer true. To see the viscious way they have attacked Obama is utterly disgraceful. The lies they have put out there about Obama have made me lose all respect for them.. Right now they remind me of a viscious pack of desparate dogs trying to get that last bone. But out of all of this, I must say I am glad I now see this part of them, better now than later. They have made me make a very uniform decision on who I will cast my vote for and when talking with family and friends they now also feel that maybe Hilary is not the one to vote for because it seems Bill will be running the White House to finish what he couldn't do when he occupied the Oval Office, you can be sure it will not be for them. If Obama should unfortunately not make it on the Democratic Ticket, I will vote independent for the candidate that best represents my ideas and views. So keep it up Bill, let America see the true Bill and Hilary Clinton, maybe more poeple will change their minds also. You were never the First Black President for me, although I did at one time support you. I don't any longer. Keep showing your true colors and keep letting America see the desperation you now exude. I am from Ohio, I only hope Ohio sees them for what they are, how it seems to be more about them than about our Country.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you go again being a contrarian to do the thing you do best - promoting yourself. You were a failure in the Clinton Administration and you are clearly attempting to come back as an advisor in another Administration. Thank goodness you won't have that chance! No one would be reading this blog if Bill Clinton hadn't given you the chance to fail!

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I would have had no problem a few weeks ago, I could not vote for Hillary now. The blatant distortion over the Reagan remark went way too far and showed incredibly bad judgement. If she's the nominee I simply won't vote.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Will they ever stop--do they even read? said...

Ah the Clinton supporters or attackers of those who disagree:

promoting yourself. You were a failure in the Clinton Administration and you are clearly attempting to come back as an advisor in another Administration. Thank goodness you won't have that chance! No one would be reading this blog if Bill Clinton hadn't given you the chance to fail!


The man is a professor at Berkely, hw writes best selling jobs and was by all accounts one of the most visisble and successful labor secs in history. The only thing he is visibly and clearly doing is expressing his views in his blog. Disagree with him sure but like your hero attacking and making false characterizations w no evidence seems to be a deeply pathological behavior--clearly!

9:33 PM  
Blogger reddal said...

Thank you for your honesty and willingness to speak up against the dirty tactics employed by the Clintons. I voted twice for Bill Clinton and never understood the hatred he engendered. Well, suddenly I am able to say, of course, I get it! This is why the Clinton's are so hated. I will vote Obama in the primary. Then if HC is the nominee, I will not vote or will switch parties.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So as someone who was involved in the 92 campaign, do you truly believe that this is tough stuff? Do you think we shld all drink lattes in Berkeley and just let Obama have the nomination so that we can have the Repubs for four more years? Where were you three weeks ago when evone in the press was outrageously piling on Hillary? What a friend you were!

9:36 PM  
Anonymous danjo said...

I am really disapointed with the senseless energy that the ex-president has invested in the dishonest campaign. This brings into rememberence the lies of the eighties. Power. Yes. Say anything to get and retain power. Americans are giving this one a second look.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous hippybaby1970 said...

anonymous 9:27 pm, i have a very nice bridge to sell you at a very reasonable price.

9:39 PM  
Blogger butai said...

I can only agree with you. The Clintons are only showing their true colors. I am a very strong Democrat but am sick of this kind of politics from the left as well as right. This year I am voting for who I want and not the best of two evils as I have many times in the past. If that means I go for a fringe party so be it. But this is it. I am done with the Clintons for good. I can only hope that Obama makes it because if he does not it is a guarantee the GOP wins yet again. I wish the democrats would wake up!!!

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last I checked politics was about winning an election AND after winning...getting something done.

My personal view of politics..evolution is real and doable; revolution is a dream..great for starting a country but in our current political system...can't get anything done.

If I could perform magic...Hillary wins the primary, offers Obama the Vice President, he accept; voter turn out is the highest in USA history for the general election...and they WIN.

While in office they both SERVE the nation and achieve good results.

Hillary gets her 4 years as President then leave along with Bill, the next 4 years belong to Obama as President. He can try his revolution then...

10:26 PM  
Anonymous S said...

I say to Robert Reich and all you Bill and Hill complainers and nit pickers...leave them the hell alone...washington and new york insiders 'get a grip' the rest of the democratic base out here in the country still LOVES the Clintons and admires Bill's fight...if we have to choose between the MSM, cable TV, and other creatures of harassement...we are sticking with the Clintons...so you all chill or go take a nap...thousands of us are so happy the Clintons are back...

10:37 PM  
Anonymous hippybaby1970 said...

's', you might be orgasmic about the liars, but the rest of us have nothing but contempt for yesterday's news.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's astounding that people are equating any of this with swiftboating. It doesn't even come close to what was doen to John Kerry in '04 and it's mockery to call this swiftboating. Obama needs to grow a spine and stop whinning.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous hippybaby1970 said...

it is astounding that the clintons make bald-faced lies and think that voters are too stupid to not notice.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Avery said...

Mr. Reich, thanks for your candid description of the slime politics of Bilary Clinton. I am a staunch democrat and have supported all of our presidential candidates (since I've been able to vote).
I share the feeling of repugnance and disappointment over the behavior of the Clintons. Their “all or nothing” attitude will push most moderate democrats and independence to voting for a 3rd party candidate or McCain (if he wins the republicans nomination).
I will certainly not waste my vote on a Clinton candidate!! Mark my word….if Hilary Clinton wins; she will bring the Democratic Party down!!
I rather see a republican in the white house than Hilary and Bill Clinton.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous S said...

as I said...chill... hill and bill are back and "there ain't no stoppin us now...no, there ain't no stoppin us now"...

...happy days are here again...smart people who have brains and a heart...happy days are here again...a new president that speaks coherently...happy days are...

we will save you a seat...come on board...

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Sir,
Thank you so much for your honest and thoughtful response to the outrageous behavior of the Clintons. I am a lifelong Democrat and I'm afraid that if Hillary is the nominee, I cannot vote for her. What she is doing (and allowing her husband to do) is Rovian politics at its best. Please consider voicing your protest of these tactics on some of the mainstream media programs. And, have you considered endorsing Senator Obama? Thank you.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous hippybaby1970 said...

why would we want to board a sinking ship?

11:43 PM  
Anonymous MP Flinn said...

There is a new attitude among many people in our country that transformation, sacrifice and honorable interactions with one another and other nations are the 21st century while the politics of belittling, falsifying and obfuscating should be relegated to historical analysis. I am a boomer and support those in the new generation of younger voters for whom globalization is a lived reality not a bad word, and for whom political parties are far less relevant than an intelligent person offering hope for something better. It is amazing to watch how the media foments this situation and how many of the pundits of my generation simply don't "get it" - have they forgotten the feelings we had listening to a M L King or a Kennedy? Let the media carry on fomenting the "old ways"; time for me to ignore them and listen for who can restore our faith in ourselves, get us talking things out and compromising as the documents of our republic envisioned - before it's too late.

Thank you, Mr. Reich, for your courage.

12:26 AM  
Blogger David said...

A life-long Dem and supporter of the Clinton administration, my reaction to Bill's antics of late is verging on disgust.

The difference on Iraq between Hillary and Obama is enormous despite the similarity of their voting record in Congress.

Once the decision to invade Iraq was made and implemented, reasonable minds could differ over how to handle a tragic, globally catastrophic, and impossible situation. That Obama voted to "support the troops" is subject to debate as to whether it was the "right" thing to do.

In contrast, the positions of Hillary and Barack in the run-up to the war, taken when the chips were down (in one of those few moments per generation) could not be more different.

Obama spoke against the invasion of Iraq while in the Ill. legis.

Hillary together with the rest of those in congress who voted for the war, no matter how much she protests that she did not really know what she was doing, abdicated her constitutional responsibility together with the rest of the Congress that voted for the Iraq War Resolution.

We went to war and invaded a sovereign country WITHOUT a congressional declaration of war thanks to Hillary and the rest of her ilk! At least in Korea and Viet Nam, putative governments invited us in to defend them. W/Iraq it was war waged by a President in violation of the constitution ... good God!

Hillary's vote smoothed the path to a pre-emptive war of choice and now she says she was misled? By the likes of Dick Cheney and the President? Bob Graham, former Intel Committee chairman, read the NIE and was not misled nor were the 22 other Senators, who unlike Hillary, refused to give Bush a blank check to take this country to war w/potentially HUGE consequences. Robert Byrd spoke from the Senate floor w/every ounce of eloquent voice any Senator has ever mustered against any war. Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin ... the list goes on of those able to see through the Bush web of lies and deception that MANY MANY ordinary americans saw.

Edwards made the same mistake (due to political naivete and taking bad advice from Bob Shrum over Elizabeth's objections). It doesn't say much for him as a potential president but at least he fessed up quick. (Funny, isn't it, how it seems all those who voted for the war [Kerry, Edwards and Clinton] have been leading pres. contenders since March of 2003?)

Meantime, Bill Clinton, who has tarnished his Presidency quite enough already by lying under oath and being impeached, is engaging in demeaning scoldings of reporters in public as he cleverly engages in "mirroring" power politics. (That is, confuses everyone else by blurring the enormous differences between Hill and Barack to make them think there really is no difference over the most significant policy decision in decades when in reality the differences could not be more stark.)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going ... and when the pressure is on, the true colors of folks emerge.

Bill Clinton's confused "go-to-Sunday school one minute/be bettin' at the race track the next" moral center is on show for all to see and Hillary is giving him free rein because it is helping her in the desperation of post-Iowa.

Really ... it is enough to make Obama supporters and independents vote for McCain in the fall despite his militaristic ways.

If this low moment is what "experience" is about, Hill and Bill can have it. We don't need their kind of experience any more than the country needed the vast governmental experience of Dick Cheney that has done such egregious wrong to America and the world.

Anger is dangerous in politics but so is sitting around feeling sad in the face of public, Post-presidential perversity for petty political gain in the lead-up to the next fateful choice with which voters are faced.

Buck up, Bob! You had the guts to speak out. Thanks for that and bravo ... I wish more public figures would point out the truth about these two with as much courage as you have shown.

By the way, think you could give a "Draft Gore" movement some muscle?

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me jaded, but Ms Clinton wants the nomination so badly that she will poison the Punch Bowl, if necessary, to get it. This is a Clinton we are talking about, after all.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“One picture is worth ten-thousand words”…so says a very ancient Chinese proverb. Reading all of your comments-irrespective of your candidate-of-choice, the visceral imagery of a reborn, re-united American Republic actually engaged within this dark political narrative…well, it’s as close I’ve come to being politically-optimistic since the Nixon Impeachment/Watergate Hotel break-in.
And yes, I’ll admit…as one somewhat financially-isolated by wealth during this nightmare posing as the past eight-years, never in my most conservative hopes had I anticipated there would exist so many brilliant young and erstwhile-intellectuals yet living in America whose integrity hasn’t been bought…rather silenced, by a corrupt government and reckless complicit media.
How refreshing it has been observing an American public actually demanding accountability from their prospective future leaders…candidates, and not idly whisking through “a field-of-delusions” laid out by herds of “swift-boating” neo-cons and Bush-Cheney Klingons.
Regarding this “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” slug-feast between Esquires Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama…mark me down as conflicted; hell, I love and truly admire them both. Can you imagine the duo as a Presidential-ticket…just unbeatably!
So, in keeping with the spirit of complete-disclosure exhibited here within the Blogosphere…particularly for an affluent Baby Boomer who at the age of eighteen was a poster-child for all the “60’s” bohemianism-existentialism.
Having tired of getting my butt kicked by police officers and being gassed stated-side here in America…one that could easily afford to select alternative logistics, moved to Paris-where it was far less volatile.
Life there along the Champs-Elysees in Paris was rich: day-in-and-day-out flip-flopping; wearing flowers about my neck; around-the-clock drinking and illicit drugging; partying; anti-war protesting; engaging in sorted random-sexual encounters of every persuasion conceivable? “Tuned-out, I was totally as an American teenager. And, though tough sometimes, it wasn’t really too dissimilar to what I’m seeing today with all the internet voyeurism.
And, you all are a refreshing departure from all “Leave-it-to-beaver” archetypes yet blinded by complacency? Such an election as 2008 may never opportune itself again in your lifetime, so…as the X and Next generations, chose a candidate who reflects who you are, and who you aspire to be. Don’t be blinded by the racial BS… “BET’ Bob Johnson a Billionaire disgrace!”
I’m not advocating that you side-step decisiveness, but consider the road ahead. Now might perhaps be the most prudent time for our nation to be lead by one of your peers. Allow the “future” to chart its own course from here in. At fifty, certainly I cannot…and shall not, inherit your future.
As it appears my generation temporarily has really screwed things up for you guys around the world. Nevertheless, thereupon reviewing many of your comments, I’m now convinced more than ever before, that you… “Have the right stuff,” and can rise to the occasion-“wake up”, and rescue this planet… “Save yourselves; forget about us!” Given…in the broader context of the looming global crises, in the course of the next twenty, thirty, or forty-years, those of my generation…respectful of both Sen. Hillary and Pres. Bill Clinton’s legacy…not dynasty, which have wrought you the current economic and foreign affairs debacles, we all would have long disappeared from the face of the planet! Hell, we’ll could easily be somewhere on the other side of yesterday dancing the “Texas Two-Step” with immortality.
Sorry guys! And…really, honestly, neither luck, race, nor experience effects change…it’s all about you…all about what you define as authentic “change”!

1:29 AM  
Anonymous anil said...

Dr Reich'

Finally a voice of reason and sanity. Thank you for your firmness and integrity.

Please communicate the disgust most of us feel at Bill and Hillary Clintons campaign

1:49 AM  
Anonymous StCyrlyMe2 said...

Robert Reich's comments are right on the mark.

I am sure he now knows there are millions of Americans that support his message.

The Clinton's are running a two man team to distroy everthing we all have worked so hard to accomplish in the Democratic process, just as they did, while they were in office.

2:30 AM  
Blogger Kenneth Almquist said...

Excuse me if I find Reich's claim that Bill Clinton is saying thing that are "patently untrue" less than convincing. Reich's example is Clinton's assertion that Obama has not consistently opposed the Iraq war. The phrase "patently untrue" implies that Reich is not quibbling about tone or interpretation--an accusation like that can only be justified by a clear factual error. Clinton made four claims (see the video here):

1) In 2004, Obama said that he didn't know how he would have voted on the resolution authorizing the use of military force.

2) In 2004, Obama said that there was no difference between him and George Bush on the war.

3) Obama removed the 2002 speech, in which Obama opposed the war, from his web site.

4) There has been no difference between Obama's and Hillary's Senate voting records with respect to the Iraq war.

Which one of these claims does Reich believe to be false? He doesn't say.

Now, let us assume for the sake of argument that Reich is committed to the truth. That would mean that he would not accuse Clinton of saying things that are untrue based on someone else's word, much less pull the accusation out of thin air. When writing this post, he would have documentation before him--perhaps a web page showing a Senate roll call vote in which Hillary Clinton vote for funding for the war and Obama voted against it. Having gone to the trouble to locate that information, why not help out someone who wants to check his facts by posting the bill number, or simply providing a link?

One must also wonder about the Reich's characterization of Bill Clinton as saying that: "Obama's anti-war position is a 'fairy tale.'" This makes it sound as though Clinton claimed that Obama never opposed the war.

The bottom line, then, is that Reich leaves out the details we would need to verify the heart of his claim, and with regard to what we can check (again, without any help from Reich), we find that his characterization of what Clinton said is at best misleading.

What should we conclude from this? Not that Reich is lying. Perhaps he just expressed himself badly. But with hints--and I stress these are hints, not proof--that Reich might be being less than honest, should he be praised as a bold truth-teller, as some commmenters are doing? I think a bit of skepticism is in order.

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching the Clinton tag team, I will be voting Republican for the first time in my life.

4:11 AM  
Blogger ASM826 said...

Look harder at what you are seeing. This is what the Clintons are, you're just noticing it because at the moment they are attacking another Democrat. She thought she was a shoe-in for the nomination, and Obama is giving her a scare. There is no limit to what they will do to win.

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Yak said...

It's now the Hillary and Pillory campaign. (definition: to expose to public derision, ridicule, or abuse: as in: the candidate mercilessly pilloried his opponent.) This sort of negative invective is what Washington "experience" is all about. "Experienced" politicians learn how to elevate winning above the public good. The Clintons ought to drop their pillorying and turn to the issues. In truth there is little difference between the policies of Clinton and Obama. And certainly, whatever policies each of them has will be modified as the legislative branch tries to enact these initiatives. So perhaps Clinto, if she wins, should choose Obama as her running mate and try to heal these dangerous rifts. If that does not happen, the chances increase that Bloomberg will run as a third party candidate. And I for one would consider seriously voting for him.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Mr. Clinton took the honor out of the White House by his behavior. So many had forgiven and forgotten. These last few weeks that same queezy feeling about the shame we felt during those years has come back.

It just feels dirty and I hate this feeling. Obama was so refreshing. Why is he, as McCain once said, getting into it with the hogs? You both get dirty but the hogs like it.

Politics over principle is not what this country needs right now.

5:04 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Thank you for your comments, Mr. Reich.

I would think that you, having worked for the Clinton administration, is familiar with the Rovian-style attack machine Bill and Hillary use against their rivals. Apparently, it's the stuff of legend back home in Arkansas.

I say this having voted for Mr. Clinton in 1992 and 1996. I think he was a very good president and compared to the current disaster in the White House today, Bill Clinton seems almost mythic by comparison.

But his recent behavior, continually attacking Barack Obama for his wholly unqualified wife's campaign, in a kind of good cop, bad cop dymanic, has caused me lose much respect for him as a senior statesman.

In fact, when he verbally attacked a news reporter in the Bay Area, I saw a glimpse of an angry, and frustrated man, who appears to be desperate to get back in the White House and begin a third Clinton term.

I am not interested in another Clinton term. Just as I am not interested in any member of the Bush clan ever setting foot in the White House again either. The idea that two families have controlled the presidency since 1988 is very disturbing to me. The families Bush and Clinton treat the presidency as if it's the family business.

The time has certainly come for a change -- real change and for me, the person most qualified to turn the page on the Bush/Clinton era is Barack Obama.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous gallo146 said...

Mr Reich I admire your courage to express your opinion, my wife and I agree with you. The Clintons now made us leave the Democratic Party. Why? Not only Bill Clinton is a "yard bully" but the most of the Democratic Party are weaklinks that do not deserve our vote. This election we plan to stay at home.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Piranha Feeding Frenzy on the american internet. The Clinton skeleton chewed clean. By the Bitter and the Haters. By the forgotten who who never could bring Bush down. Now they have a new cause.Their mission is to bring a couple down because the couple exposes and opposes the political business as usual. A couple that stands up against hypocracy in the face of called hypocritica. Once in a sudden Clintons economy record and his forever pursuing of peace in the middle east and in Kosowo means nothing. The only thing is important now, Clinton opposes a black man with a partial muslim education in Indonesia to be the only good presidential marterial and the only answer for America. Wow! What spoilers the Clintons are. The actually tear you out of your dream and hope for politics as usual. Well, we can't have that. We must chew them up . American needs another 8 year disaster, and with the help of the Media, internet, and all the bitter, and forgotten, my god I think it can be don. Good luck America.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Rossini said...

I voted for Bill Clinton twice. There is not a day of George W. Bush’s disastrous administration that I did not wish that Bill was still in office. I always thought that Bill was a great (but flawed) man. Today, I see that he has become a very small man. Maybe, he was always that way and I was blind to it.

If I was a Republican, I would pray that Hillary was the nominee of the Democratic Party. I know that she will unite all the Republicans (currently fractured and divided) behind a Republican candidate. Almost without exception, my Independent and centrist Republican (there are some) friends have told me the will never vote for Hillary, but would consider another Democratic candidate. If I ask them about Edwards vs. Obama, more would be willing to vote for Obama than Edwards, but either candidate would do much better than Hillary.

I am a Democrat. I want to win back the Whitehouse. The key will be winning over the independents and moderates. Hillary shows great weakness against both McCain and Romney in this group. She performs poorly against the two front runners in the Republican Party. I don’t want to relive Whitewater, “that woman,” and what the meaning of “is” is. But surely, if Hillary is our candidate, we will relive all of that, plus the criticisms of her own tendency toward triangulation, and a lack of straight talk. Hillary is a very smart, hard working, woman. Clearly, she has become a policy wonk. But, I see few signs of the leadership qualities that this country sorely needs. Simply twirling the dials on a better legislative agenda in Congress will not get us out of the incredible morass our country finds ourselves in.
I am an American, and love my country. We need to have a visionary leader that can unite Democrats, independents, and at least some Republicans to overcome the issues that face this Country. The type of issues we face are almost unprecedented in modern times; competing in a World that is becoming more flat, our trade and fiscal debt, our broken healthcare system, our deteriorating infrastructure, our fading competitiveness, the loss of high paying middle class jobs, our lagging K-12 educational system, etc. No Democratic President can start to fix these types of issues without the American people, Democrat, Independent, and Republican, behind him (or her). We need a leader that can bring our people together for a common purpose. With that type of leadership, Congress will follow. Based on her performance to date, Hillary is NOT that leader.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bill Clinton's Old Politics" aptly describes how the Clinton campaign has allowed itself to sink
to the level of the very campaign tactics that have always served to mislead voters by going negative. When this happens it is because the candidate's campaign believes winning is everything and the end justifies the means- surely an admission that truth, honesty and fairness don't count when they don't serve the candidate's interests. The American people cannot be united as long as this kind of politics prevails. Those things that have divided Americans have been fed by these very tactics and recently raised to a sinister art form by the likes of Karl Rove to elect George W. Bush twice. The media is responsible for helping to promote such
negative tactics by relentlessly repeating and sensationalizing them, 24/7, with no good result
except to serve as an accomplice in moving the real debate off point. Just as George W. Bush claimed to be a uniter not a divider, it is alarming to find that we Democrats claim to want change and to represent change while remaining mired in negative campaigning. Change cannot come through the many deceits of "old politics". The voters are weary of the lies, false promises, corruption and hypocrisy that the old politics has represented for too long. This is why Obama has been such a phenomenon and why his eloquence has resonated with so many Americans. Obama is seen as the potential uniter that Bush never was. Our government cannot effectively solve the many problems that await the next President unless he or she can elevate its conduct to a higher moral plain and unite all of us by a new kind of leadership that will earn the respect of all citizens and friends around the world. Thank you Mr. Reich for calling Bill Clinton to task. It is,
as you have said, "demeaning" for a former President to be part of a "smear campaign against Obama that employs some of the worst aspects of the old politics."

6:10 AM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

I can't believe you'd defend Obama here. His cowardly attack on Clinton's legacy (the Reagan comment" precipitated all of this.) If the little dog takes a nip at the Big Dog, we're supposed to act surprised that the little dog gets bit?

Obama's acting like a wimp about this. He's really exposing his his weaknesses.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous David Propst said...

Robert, Thank you for your comments, I greatly respect your opinions and perspective (thanks for the podcast!).

I have admired the Clintons, voted for Bill, and was still undecided between Hillary or Obama. The tone of the Clinton campaign since New Hampshire has exposed a willingness to use tactics that are very dishonest, disturbing and unfortunately gives some validation to their many critics. For the first time I see Bill as a negative to her in the campaign and more importantly as president.

This is quite unfortunate and ultimately damages the party as much as it does the Clinton's reputation.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous g yilma said...

I now realize that one of the good things about the Clinton years in the White House was the kind of people that supported him then.

I think its remarkable that you have the courage, desire, and passion to call out the Clintons for behaving like the "right wing republicans" they used to complain about.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be joking. Obama's anti-war record IS subject to legitimate criticism. Calling it a "fairy tale" is hardly outside the bounds of political discourse, or even polite dinner table conversation.

Obama has called the Republicans "the party of ideas" in the last fifteen years (that is, post-Reagan) and called Reagan an agent of change. This supporters want to play that as a neutral comment, but it isn't. Stalin and Hitler were agents of change as well, but no one would describe them that way because the phrase is a compliment. Even if you believe that Hillary is wrong on this, it is certainly no more a mischaracterization than the attacks on her statement about Johnson and King.

Obama's campaign is hot air. He is less progressive than Hillary, but because he's a new face, he talks about the politics of hope, just as George Bush talked about rising above Washington politics.

This is mild stuff, and the Clinton aren't wrong on the facts. All the Obama supporters do is whine and call the Clintons bullies. Unlike Obama himself, who remains positive, they all sound like bitter losers who hold onto false grievances. They are the ones who are badly representing the party.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Christopher London, New York City said...

Dear Sir: I greatfully respect your opinion as I have expressed it here on a prior post. Many earnest Progressives, Independent thinkers and Feminists I am certain read your blog. I pose this to that audience. If you are a FEMINIST (See: National Organization of Women) and you endorse, support and/or plan to vote for HILLARY CLINTON despite her campaign's explicit and extensive use of race and gender baiting tactics against OBAMA on the theory that she would be a stronger PRO-CHOICE Advocate, consider that doing so would be similar to the SIERRA CLUB endorsing ADOLF HITLER because he had a strong platform to preserve the enviornment or Transit Union endorsing BENITO MUSSOLINI because he would make the trains run on time. The character, integrity and honor of the individual matter beyond the significance of your organization's signature issue.

-Former president of Chicago NOW Switches from Clinton to Obama: http://www.bluemassgroup.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=10212

-Gloria Steinem & the Faux Feminism of Hillary Clinton: http://visiblevote08.logoonline.com/2008/01/14/gloria-steinem-the-faux-feminism-of-hillary-clinton/

-Are You Listening, Hillary? President Rape Is Who He Is. by Andrea Dworkin: http://www.andreadworkin.com/hillary/index.html

-America's Hillary problem: http://media.www.pittnews.com/media/storage/paper879/news/2008/01/15/Opinion/Americas.Hillary.Problem-3152052.shtml

7:33 AM  
Blogger Steve Michaelson said...

Let me add my thanks to Robert for addressing this hurtful issue.

The "swift-boating" began here in Nevada, when the at-large caucus lawsuit was filed after Obama unexpectedly received the endorsement of the Culinary union.

When a reporter tried to pin Bill down on why the people who filed the lawsuit were the same ones who had approved the rules last year, Bill claimed it was not the same people. (It was exactly the same people, and I'm sure Bill was aware of this.)

The Democratic caucus I attended was more like a meeting of the Hatfields and McCoys.

If Hillary cannot even unite the Democratic party, how can she ever expect to bring the country together?

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with everything you said. I've voted Democrat since 1980. I always felt Clinton had elevated himself after he left office and had overcome all of the scandels. Now I see him as a political sleaze who will do or say anything. "I never had sex with that woman" I had forgotten how he said that with such conviction. I can't and won't vote for Clinton. I will be voting Republican if she wins the nomination.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo, Robert Reich!
I must say I feel embarrassed for Bill Clinton ...and Barack asking "who am I running against?" is truly funny and sad. The whole Democratic Party is being mocked right now. And it all frankly looks like Hillary can't stop the hubby from pontificating. It gets Uglier every day.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Davec said...

What I find surprising is that everyone is surprised and saddened by Bill and Hill's behavior. Did you really expect them to behave differently? The folks who seem to be most disappointed with Hill and Bill are the ones who held them in high opinion prior to now. What should really be reexamined is how we came to have such a high opinion of the Clinton's. The two of them, Hill and Billy, 4 handedly destroyed what little was left of the Democratic party of FDR and created the new Republican lite.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous TimCleaveland said...

Thanks so much Robert for your courage to criticize the Clintons' recent smear campaign against Barack Obama. I am as much disgusted with Hillary as I am with Bill. Although I am a life-long Democrat and was an admirer of Bill's, I find the Clintons' recent descent into dishonesty and hypocrisy unforgivable. I strongly encourage all Democrats of integrity to abandon Senator Clinton now and turn their support to Barack Obama or John Edwards. The only way we will ever rid ourselves of the gutter politics that the Clintons' have now embraced is to punish the practitioners at the polls.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Nick, Mays Landing, NJ said...

Mr. Reich, I believe I saw you on Hardball one time and heard you endorse Hillary as your choice for President. In full knowledge of the Clinton's recent campaign, how could you still support the Clinton camp when this is just further evidence of the old-school political system? Aren't you getting tired of it? That's why I'm for Obama... perhaps he won't deliver on his promise for change, but at least there's a chance that we'll be able to move past this nonsense that just pulls the country apart.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous atlanta214 said...

This is politics as usual, no better, no worse. Mr. Reich, I have often enjoyed your commentary on "This Week" and other places, but I have to respectfully disagree. The Obama camp has played hardball too, calling Senator Clinton the "Senator of Punjab" for her support from Indians and in Obama's S.C. ad where he states that she will say anything (to get elected) and do nothing. That's so untrue. But why are you not calling him out on that?

This smacks of intraparty infighting and both sides playing victim. If Obama can't hold up against this incoming fire, he surely can't stand against Mr. McCain with his talk about "waving the white flag of surrender" and worse in the general election -- were he to be the Dem's nominee. I agree, this is pansy stuff. It's not pretty, but it's penny-anny stuff.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Atlanta214 said...

Reich is an Obama fan. That's why he's taking up for him (see his hasty prediction on 1/4/08 below). However, I think most would agree that it's looking less and less likely that Obama will be the Dem's nominee.


Friday, January 04, 2008
Prediction

The nominees for president in 2008 will be John McCain and Barack Obama. I can’t, as yet, see far enough into the future to know which of them will win. I'll report back just as soon as I do.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

You're my f***ing hero (and I include the bleeped out word for the emphasis that your awesome post deserves!)!

I wish you and Senator Webb would run as a team to reinvigorate the middle class and bring the American economy and way of life back from the brink! You said it so well, when you referred to Clinton virtually ruining his own legacy, which it pains me to admit, given his recent disgusting displays, I am still so proud of.

I thought I was a very good president, and I voted for him twice, but I cannot fathom what is going on in his and/or his wife's head, when we see what extent her campaign is willing to go, to smear their opponent on their way back to the White House they for some reason think is their due.

I call on Howard Dean, you, Gore, Gary Hart, and all the other leaders (male and female) of the Democratic Party, to compel Bill to pull Hillary's campaign back from the brink of destroying any Democrat's chance, hers or otherwise, from winning in November, against what will surely be a no-holds-barred GOP candidate, Karl Rove or no Karl Rove.

I actually emailed Gov. Dean directly to ask him just this, and only wish the candidates would actually listen to us, who want to vote for a Democratic victory from the bottom of our hearts, and are only hoping and praying that the Clintons' arrogance does not in actuality, result in the GOP maintaining their grip on the White House.

How can my fellow ever concerned voters get our point across any more clearly, than to say the last thing we need is our self-absorbed former president (as good as he was) and his self-absorbed wife, to ruin it for all of us. In some ways, it's not so different from Ralph Nader's cut his nose off to spite his face campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and now we hear he and Bloomberg may both run what could turn out to be self-congratulatory spoiler campaigns.

I thought we had this one in the bank, quite frankly, even if the last two campaigns were ours to lose as well, but especially now.

BILL CLINTON, GROW THE F*** UP!

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Monk said...

Robert,

I respect your courage and respect for the truth in what has been happening in South Carolina in the last several days with the Clintons. I was both very angry and saddened by these events. I no longer respect the Clintons for their despicable swift boating of Senator Obama. I agree with your comments wholeheartedly.

Even the press needs to be slammed for their coverage. Recently, I wrote MSNBC for their coverage of what was happening in South Carolina, especially the coverage by Keith Olberman. Below is what I sent via email to MSNBC in protest of their coverage. I hope your site will allow it to be covered in your blog. I don't expect to hear from MSNBC and I have not heard an apology from Keith Olberman.

Hi Brian Williams,

I couldn't find a way on the MSNBC site to contact Keith Olberman or his producers with regard to comments made on his CountDown program. Please pass this information on to Tim Russert and the CountDown producer.

I have been a die heart fan of Mr. Oblerman for over the past 2-years. He has been an articulate and ardent spokesperson for our constitution and civil liberties.

On today’s episode, January 22, 2008, Keith Olberman most reprehensibly distorted or lied about presidential candidate Barack Obama. With Keith’s background and access to varieties of news reports, I tend to believe that these distortions or lies were intentional and consituted highly bias reporting. I don’t believe that they represent the views of MSNBC.

Let me explain why I believe Mr. Olberman intentionally lied about Senator Obama when he told Howard Fineman that “to be fair, Obama said Republicans had all the good ideas in the last 10 to 15 years.” Let us look at the context of this highly significant distortion of the truth. Perhaps, Mr. Olberman can be listed as “the worst person in the world” for this infamous and dishonest comment.

Several days ago, Senator Obama made the following statement about the Republican legacy of the last 10-15 years.

“The Republican approach I think has played itself out. I think it’s fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time over the last 10 or 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies, when they’re being debated among the presidential candidates, it’s all tax cuts. Well, we’ve done that, we’ve tried it.”

Then the Clinton’s started the campaign of lies to distort this honorable man’s run for the presidency. There has been a clear pattern of these half-truths, smears, and lies throughout the campaign in the last couple of weeks by the Clintons. The mainstay press has not done their part in addressing these smears and lies.

Prior to the Monday night Democratic debate, Senator Clinton made the following comment, via transcript released from her campaign, with regard to what Senator Obama had stated in reference to his quote above.

"I have to say, you know, my leading opponent the other day said that he thought the Republicans had better ideas than Democrats the last ten to fifteen years. That's not the way I remember the last ten to fifteen years.

"I don't think it's a better idea to privatize Social Security. I don't think it's a better idea to try to eliminate the minimum wage. I don't think it's a better idea to undercut health benefits and to give drug companies the right to make billions of dollars by providing prescription drugs to Medicare recipients. I don't think it's a better idea to shut down the government, to drive us into debt."

These lies were again perpetuated by her husband prior to the Monday night democratic debates.

Specifically Bill Clinton was reported to state in reference to Senator Obama’s quote above:

"Her principal opponent said that since 1992, the Republicans have had all the good ideas," Clinton told a crowd in Pahrump this morning. "It goes along with their plan to ask Republicans to become Democrats for a day and caucus with you tomorrow, and then go back and become Republicans so they can participate in the Republican primary. I'm not making this up, folks."

"I can't imagine any Democrat seeking the presidency would say they were the party of new ideas for the last 15 years. But it sounded good in Reno I guess," he said. "So now it turns out you can choose between somebody who thinks our ideas or better or the Republicans had all the good ideas."

Now what happens at the Democratic debates Monday night. Senator Clinton again makes up the lie about what Senator Obama stated, which mirrors what she stated in transcript provided to the news media before the debate. She stated the following: “He said he liked the ideas of the Republicans over the last 10 to 15 years.”

Keith Olberman’s perpetuation of the lies as represented by the Clintons needs to be addressed by MSNBC. I strongly believe that Keith owes Senator Obama and the American public an apology for his false and defamatory attributions. Is he becoming so arrogant that he can’t even see his own bias in his reporting? He criticized George Bush for his lies so eloquently and vociferously so why does he perpetuate lies himself.

Written by a white male who wants to see the truth prevail!

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how you would say that Clinton is the first to acknowledge race is a key element, be it we like it or not in this race. It is enough in our lives that slavey still haunts some of our outlook, let along the coming of age of it in America or even Barack, announcement of his 'civil rights division that is working with local law enforcement so that they are enforcing laws fairly and justly' in reference to it. To ignore race as a factor or to bury our head in the sand that it makes a difference is the same demon of when we DIDNT think that inslaving a race was an issue. It was. Clinton bringing up the ugly truth that race is a factor, be it negative or positive isnt the issue, and I think as a country we should be able to be black proud, and BRING it up.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Art A Layman said...

Reading over the variety of comments here one can better understand how we ended up with 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of Bush the elder and 8 years of Bush the jester. How in the hell Clinton managed to slip in there for 8 years is one of those phenomena left to historians to sort out.

For those threatening to vote Republican or not vote at all; I hope you will be happy with your new face without a nose.

For those ranting about the nastiness of politics; where have you been? Are all of you that young that you are just entering the real world of any sort of competition? Why would anyone enter the political arena with its similarity to the ancient Roman games of Christians versus lions?

Most everyone seeking political office does so because they believe they have solutions; they believe they can make a difference. You can harangue about power grabs and ego assuagement but one would think that the emotional investment; the energy, humiliation, frustration, and depression if you lose, enveloped in this process, would suggest those devoid of a strong conviction for improving our plights would be much more likely to seek gratification by other means.

In order to have the opportunity to effect improvement you must enter the arena (Fred Thompson thought he had a better model and couldn't deliver).

Once entering the fray it is a free for all. It's not a tea party. It's not a church social. There are no rules, save the financing ones. There is little in the way of decorum. The only values issue is skirting the line just enough to damage your opponent without damaging your image; a tight rope on which many missteps take place and contrition and sometimes doublespeak are often called upon.

The primaries are the most heinous of these contests. I know sports analogies are trite but the primaries are like football practices. The big game is off in the future but to get a chance to play in that game you have to battle your teammates in practice. You don't want to hurt them but you want to, you have to, beat them to ensure your opportunity to play in the big game. So you commence to employ every trick you have learned to press any advantage to render your teammate/opponent as weak, as ineffective. You want him sitting on the bench during the real game rather than you.

In the political scrimmage the tools are not physical talent nor physical supremacy. The tools of this game are words, mental acuity, quick-wittedness, identifying opponent weaknesses. Ideas are less useful because basic ideologies are the same or similar. The astute candidate looks for weaknesses, for missteps, for small cracks in which to insert the wedge. Taking advantage of another has always been considered unseemly but in competitions we want our team to win so we cope with it. In fact we often applaud it. Fouling a breakaway opponent is a violation of the rules but its better than letting him score so we accept it. We even encourage it. Values consistency is not an American strength.

These tactics and the strategies to employ them are especially distasteful when the opponents are attempting to appeal to the same constituancy - less so in the general election campaign when the basic philosophies are at odds - but what are the options. We surely do not want "wishers" nominated. We don't want candidates floating platitudes about their opponents with a cavalier concern for who wins. We want fighters. We want to see strength exhibited. We truly want a survival of the fittest. This desire forces the opponents, lacking discernible policy differences, to dip into the well of "dirty" tricks. To use nuance, obscurity, whispers, even distortion; not so much to defame but to throw curves; not so much to harm as to confuse, forcing a defensive posture from our opponent resulting in lost time for pushing his message.

The to and fro of these point/ counterpoints, while being mastigated by the media, serve to frustrate us, to confuse us, to render reason difficult, thus we withdraw to our typical decision making criteria; emotional logic. Candidate A appears to be unfair to candidate B therefore A must be bad and B must be good.

Our ability to discern who started what directed at whom gets tossed because it's too difficult for us to sort out and reason and good judgment suffer.

This primary is further muddled by the existence of two minority opponents. Attacking Obama's blackness is rightfully verbotten for most of us but the real question is who opened up his blackness as an issue? Attacking his Iraq stance, less so, if the attacks are fair and warranted; nuance is especially important here.

At the same time attacking Hillary riles up in many of us our male protective and female defensive modes and creates an extreme emotional response.

The Bill factor is most interesting. It is an entirely new phenomenon with no historical precedent aiding us in determining limits. The real irony is, that Dr. Reich, in the company of many other prominent Democrats, chide President Clinton for damaging his legacy by becoming too ensconced in the down and dirty of his wife's campaign. Can you imagine, were he to standback, maintaining his ex-presidential decorum, and then if Hillary fails, the tar and feathering that would be heaped upon him for fiddling while Hillary burned? In many respects he's in a no win situation. He is her spouse; what would you spouses do in similar circumstances?

His involvment is unprecedented; and it feeds our childhood emotions about ganging up. Get over it folks, it is what each of us would do.

One could expect the more sophisticated, supposedly objective, assessors of our political process, to take a reasoned, understanding based, rational stance but old disagreements die hard.

We all appreciate and admire Obama's kindler, gentler admonishments. In a future time this approach will hopefully be warranted and desired. Now is not that time. Listen to the vitriol already spewing from the Reps candidates. Granted Hillary seems to be the focus, currently, but much of it is also aimed at the heart of Democratic proposals. You can bet that should Obama prevail, the opponents name is set up to easily cut and paste a new name.

The right wing nuts the next president will be facing in the Congress are not yet amenable to reasoned argument. They are still struggling for party supremacy. They have no interest in what is best for all in this country but rather in pushing that decision to the wealthy, the haves, and let them determine what is best for the rest of us. Should they, in their zeal for improving their own plights, misjudge the "trickle down" benefits to the rest of us; oops, sorry!

Vote for whomever you wish. Criticize the participants, the process, your fellow countrymen or whatever else turns you on. Just keep in mind the process is what it is because we, the voters supported it, nurtured it and responded to it.

Keep in mind Pogo's wisdom.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Monty said...

I disagree with Mr. Reich whose condemnation of the Clintons appears to be based on the assertion that the Clintons interjected race into the campaign.

President Clinton's "fairy tale comment has been widely misquoted. It is not inaccurate of him to state that Sen. Obama made statements against the war before he made statements indicating that he didn't know how he would have voted if he had been in Congress.

Senator Clinton's statements about MLK were at best inartful and insensitive -- and stupid, not racist.

The Clinton statements about Sen. Obama's comments regarding the Republicans are nothing more than political fluff, not racism.

When Senator Clinton brought up Senator Obama's affiliation with Rezko, who let tenants go without heat for five weeks in a Chicago winter while he made a contribution to Senator Obama and who facilitated the purchase of property by Senator Obama, that's not racism.

After New Hampshire, I heard a firmly clear charge of racism: the projected winner was declared Clinton and a journalist declared that the win was due to the "Bradly" factor. No analysis of the polls; nothing but a charge of racism.

After Senator Clinton was on "Meet the Press," Senator Obama claimed Clinton's allegation that Obama was feeding the allegations of racism was "ludicrous" even though he knew that his campaign's press contact in South Carolina had released a four page memo to the media alleging racists attacks by Senator Clinton and Pres. Clinton.

And after his spirtual advisor continued to make anti-Semitic and racist comments, Senator Obama adheres to his pastor's teachings.

What exactly is "old politics" versus "new politics?"

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Monk said...

We sure can see Monty is a professional blow heart who is a staffer for Clinton. What about the lies from both Clintons? That is: He liked (i.e., Obama) the idea of the Republicans .. more specifically she stated: "I have to say, you know, my leading opponent the other day said that he thought the Republicans had better ideas than Democrats the last ten to fifteen years. That's not the way I remember the last ten to fifteen years. She then repeated these lies in the debate, Bill echoed these lies, and then they become re-packaged distortions in radio ads.

Give me a break Monty!

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Clintons in 90 were the new fresh wave of the future. I voted for Bill, and I respected Hillary. I am hopeful that Obama is the Democratic Candidate for President. Hillary is now 'old school', and Obama is the fresh face of a new millenium. Bush took us Back to the Future with his fathers Cabinet and ideas. The Clintons are so intent on capturing the brass ring, and making history,that they will stoop to anything. My dream team would be Obama/Edwards, Hillary as Secretary of State, and Bill at the UN schmoozing everyone Bush alienated!

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Monty said...

"Dr. Monk," let me state that I am not a professional (or unprofessional) staffer for any political figure, including Senator Clinton. Your comments emboddied my point: the "new politics" includes the same vitriolic, unsubstantiated assertions as the "old politics." Thank you, "Dr. Monk," for your comments.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Bob,

I thought we were friends?

HRC

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Monk said...

Monty, if that is a fact, I stand corrected. I guess you just have a one-sided perspective on the issues.

However, why didn't you address the issue of the Clintons' lying, which is much more egregious than the issues you discussed in a previous post?

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Carol from Santa Fe said...

It is a very sad day for our country when the Clintons interject race into the dialogue in order to win. I doubt there is anyone who does not realize that race continues to be an issue in this country but for the Clintons to use it to divide and conquer the electorate, to win an election, is outrageous. Further still, are the pundits who applaud and thus encourage this type of behavior by saying "it works." If indeed, it does work and Hillary and Bill win this election it will be a dark day for America. I am a woman,I am white and I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. Carol, Santa Fe, Nm

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton's White House experience is essentially the same as Laura Bush's. Same with her executive experience at the state level -- as spouse of the governor. It is doubtful she would have won her first Senate seat if her husband hadn't been President. She is now deferring her South Carolina campaign to her husband while she goes elsewhere. Imagine if John Edwards left South Carolina to leave final week's campaigning to Elizabeth Edwards. It's appalling to me that the first viable female candidate for President is allowing her husband's campaign to overshadow her own efforts (see the recent Onion article satirizing this very point). What does that say for young women? In order to be successful in politics you need a man to do your fighting? It's shameful campaigning. She should run on her own merits, fight her own fights and win. She could do it.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous average citizen said...

Bush was a "decider" and Hillary is a "divider."

Only Obama has tried to remain above the fray and restore dignity to the process of electing our leader. It is refreshing to see.

Some have said "if he can't take the Hillary attacks how is he going to survive as President." NO ONE should have to "take Hillary attacks." That's the point!!!!

11:14 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

As a life long Democrat, I am in complete agreement with you.
Sadly, Bill's behavior gives credence as to why Republicans have such a dislike for him.

Maybe all of my Republican friends weren't as wrong as I thought.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HATE that the Democrats are chewing on each other and providing ammunition for future use by the Republicans. But Obama supporters turned this into a race issue. Oprah, who NEVER found any previous political candidate of any race or gender worthy of her support, jumped forward to endorse a freshman Congressman who, if he were white (male or female), she would NEVER have supported. And her words at the rallies made it clear that his blackness was why everyone in the audience should also support him. I resent entertainers trying to influence a Presidential election - whatever their reason. By accepting and using "the Oprah factor" Obama tried to look "innocent" of active aggression on the subject but achieve the goal - establish the expectation "blacks need to vote for me" period.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Race is the only thing that can never be changed (modern medicine does allow one to now change their gender) and the notion that a man who stands for change and has placed himself within the body politic as an open book for all to read would now "inject" race is only a play to keep us all divided. Obama has never done this-- other well-educated and not-so-well-educated blacks took issue with their character attacks and misinformation platforms that jesters at some notion of "blackness" never purported by Democrats since the days of Lincoln.

The race card is being dealt by the Clintons not Obama.

Bill and Hillary scare me.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Hope said...

I'm amazed that Carl Bernstein's book ("A Woman in Charge") hasn't come up in these discussions -- read it, people, and you'll get some ideas about what's going on with Bad Bill . . . and yes, it is very scary.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Art A Layman said...

dr. monk:

You appear to be a learned man. I have read other posts that exhibited some degree of wisdom whether I agreed with them or not. This post is sorely lacking in wisdom or intellect. It is one of those emotional knee jerk reactions so often espoused.

On today’s episode, January 22, 2008, Keith Olberman most reprehensibly distorted or lied about presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Now the lie!

“to be fair, Obama said Republicans had all the good ideas in the last 10 to 15 years.”

Then you proceed to display the quote from Mr. Obama. First of all, you did a little cherry-picking. You left out the first part where he talked of Reagan being transformative and related remarks. I can see where in your mind this section was not specifically germane to your argument but the remarks really were. They were, in the sense that they created the seeming foundation for that which followed. They were, for they, inadvertently or not, created a sense of praising Reagan, glorifying him.

Next we see Mr. Obama say:

“The Republican approach I think has played itself out. I think it’s fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time over the last 10 or 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom.

Now the first sentence may have been intended to be a disclaimer but it disclaims nothing that follows as regards Reagan and Republican ideas for the last 10 or 15 years. It suggests they have run their course but good ideas often run their course so you cannot discern from that Mr. Obama was pronouncing those ideas as bad. In our cultural vernacular the phrase, challenging conventional wisdom is viewed as a good thing. The theory is that conventional wisdom is acceptable, it works until something better comes along. To challenge it suggests a new and better idea. Ergo, a good idea. Mr. Olberman, as did I, as did many bright, reasonable people, interpreted that as supportive of the Reagan ideas.

Mr. Obama goes on:

Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies, when they’re being debated among the presidential candidates, it’s all tax cuts. Well, we’ve done that, we’ve tried it.”

There is nothing in that portion that negates a purview that Mr. Obama thinks tax cuts were at one time a good idea time. He seems to be implying that they were a good idea at one time but they no longer are, yet, the current crop of Republican candidates are still pushing for them.

All in all, the entire statement, including that section which you chose to highlight, clearly sounded like an acknowledgement that Reagan gave us better ideas that lasted for 10 or 15 years, but whose time had come. I accept and trust Mr. Obama's exhortations that his remarks were misunderstood, were misinterpreted. I believe he is an honest and honorable man. He must, however, and he does, know that it is not what you say but how you say it that conveys the meaning.

The Clintons nor Mr. Olberman nor any other reasonable man can be impugned for arriving at an interpretation of those remarks as exalting Reagan and by inference denouncing the Clinton years.

The Clintons did just what Obama would do in similar circumstances and that is make hay while the sunshines. Read my previous post; it is the nature, perhaps, the rules of the game, that if your opponent misspeaks, or speaks obscurely, then you have to pounce, you have to exploit, you have to take advantage before the issue is muted by a corrective statement.

Mr. Obama was clearly pandering. He was seeking Republican and right leaning independents votes in the open Nevada caucuses. It was a smart move since the Republican caucuses didn't really have a contest and Mr. Obama is highly thought of by both those constituencies.

No one lied, no one told half truths. No one unfairly maligned Mr. Obama. Mr. Olberman reported the conventional wisdom's interpretation of those remarks. The Clintons, while likely knowing what Obama meant, are not in this contest to be apologists for their opponents.

Perhaps it is you who owe Mr. Olberman and the Clintons an apology and maybe even a follow up letter to MSNBC correcting your error in judgment.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the Clintons are ruthless and dishonest. They will do and say literally anything in order to advance their interests or avoid accountability.

Some of us have known that since 1992.

Better late than never. Welcome to the sadder but wiser club, Bob.

Mark in Texas

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty. There is a deeper question here. What if the Clintons win in part because of Bill's attacks and mis-characterizations? What does this say about us and our system?

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir, thank you for your honesty.

In the end, the Clintons’ ruthless political tactic will give the Republican party a resounding victory in 2009.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, sir, for the courage of your insight. I agree entirely.

It both angers and saddens to see the Clintons so debasing our political discourse.

One can hardly escape asking - to what end?

To a loss in the general election?

Or, to an impotent and ineffectve presidency? To another round of cultural warfare and legislative impasse?

11:48 AM  
Anonymous nohoman said...

Robert, I am a huge fan of yours, and while I don't think you are technically wrong in some of your concerns, I am surprised at your niaivety on this. And I am particularly appalled at the tut-tutting of the pansy democrats responding on this. For crying out loud people, haven't we learned over the last 20+ years that politics is bloodsport to the GOP, and they will TRULY say and do anything to win. But anytime a democratic candidate dares to grows a pair of you-know-whats and plays some hardball, pansy-dems like you all are shocked, SHOCKED and appalled. Bill and Hill know what it takes to win the prize. Is it worth having another fascisto-GOP-er in the WH, just so we can feel good about ourselves, and how nicely we campaigned? Toughen up and get over yourselves! America's future is at stake, and the other guys will roll over Obama like so much roadkill, from what I've seen so far.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mr. Reich, for speaking out. I supported the Clintons through thick and thin, but now I'm beginning to understand their detractors. My husband and I were in NH working for Obama for the primary. We witnessed many smears--the press release calling Obama weak on choice issues, Shaheen and former Sen Kerrey's sleazy hits at Obama, Mark Penn's effort to smear him, former Pres Clinton's many misstatements. And the beat goes on. Please speak out more loudly and broadly, we need an honest voice for Obama.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous JRo said...

I voted for Clinton twice and Bush once. I found Clinton to be a liar and Bush to be a liar. It is time for a new representation in Washington. What a lack of experience brings is fresh ideas to old problems and think tanks that don't do the same old looking for new results. Should Hillary win the Dem nom, I will vote for McCain or stay home.

12:01 PM  
Blogger William said...

Liked your book on Supercapitalism.

I think your criticism of the Clintons is a bit overdone. They are good at winning elections, and thats all thats going on.

I think we'd all be better served if all of the candidates collectively stuck to establishing concrete positions and policies, and debated within the boundaries.

But, hey, this is America, and its always a bit of a food fight.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous S. said...

It's not only bad form for a former president to act that way. It's disgraceful that a would-be candidate encourage that kind of behavior so she can play nice.

Even prominent politicians and journalists excuse the Clintons' behavior as "toughness."

What happened to strength of character, honor and dignity? It's much harder and takes much more strength to win without lying, cheating or breaking the rules.

Think about the message we're sending to our children about how to get ahead.

I think that if the party nominates the Clintons, voters will revolt - and don't try to lecture us about voter apathy or the need for public service. Our right to vote includes the right to object to the process, no matter how little that may do to change the process.

Regards,

A voter.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your excellent post. I find it amusing though that the standard Clintonian politics (lies, innuendo, misrepresentation, etc) are now so outrageous. I like Obama (as a WM Republican) and am less endeared to the Republican's choices. But Hillary/Bill are vipers in the Democratic party.
Poor Obama will lose to the Clintonian regime because the fix is already in (via superdelegates etc) and Obama is spoiling the triumphant coronation of Billary. Expect more trash/innuendo. Expect another "Come Back Kid" meme from the Clinton campaign.

I just wish an end to the Clinton/Bush years (all 20 of them)

12:40 PM  
Anonymous The Condor said...

I have been following the campaign for a while now. Hillary seemed to be well ahead of Obama everywhere except for the early states. Obama and Edwards both ganged up on Hillary to try to find a way to bring her down. I remember I started losing respect for Obama (i passionately dislike Edwards' slimy style) at the time. Hillary started responding only after she saw that Obama's attacks were taking effect. You have to agree that the Hillary hate campaign is, and has been for years, a terrible disservice to this country...She seems Brilliant and very capable of bringing the country together.

All that being said, you are absolutely right that Bill is wrong in mis-representing the truth, and anger at Obama's personal attack, do not justify it.

Where is Joe Biden when we need him?

12:44 PM  
OpenID befalas said...

So...are we to believe that you're supporting Sen. Clinton and offering some avuncular advice -- and thus that this advice is supposed to be taken as gentle chiding from a supporter, rather than an attack by a detractor?

If you're supporting Sen. Obama, by all means just come out and say it. This type of criticism by a detractor is incredibly hypocritical and shows a lack of integrity; by a supporter, incredibly brave and a signal of high integrity.

Please tell me it's the latter. I highly doubt it, though.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wish Robert Reich would run for president.

The Clintons clearly feel entitled to the presidency--this is what drives and inspires Hillary's current campaign. Their beat-the-other-guy, football game approach to politics caters to the vast majority of Americans who believe that politics is merely just another form of inconsequential TV entertainment in which we vilify "the other side" for a few hours (or a few days or a few primaries) and then tell ourselves that it's all just a (political) game ("no harm done, right, Barack?"). But there are those of us who insist on growing up, rejecting this amoral view of the world, and preserving our sense of right and wrong. I'm not sure whether Obama or Edwards have the right moral fabric to be President, but I'm certain that Hillary Clinton does not.

As I watch the Clintons campaign, I'm reminded of one aspect of American society/political culture that the rest of the world has come to strongly dislike: our mean-spirited competitiveness. We compete at 110% for everything in this country (parking spaces, the Presidency, NYC nursery school spots) and when doing so often forget to take a step back and ask ourselves whether it's really necessary to beat each other up. It's all very childish, really. My sense is that the Clintons think that it's perfectly ok to spend your life re-living high school over and over and over again. Is that the best we can do as Americans? Is that the best Hillary can do? How sad.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this (as reported in the NYT) is probably the worst I've heard from the Clinton camp yet:

The Clinton campaign also announced that Mrs. Clinton would support seating presidential nominating delegates from Florida and Michigan at the party’s national convention this August, despite party rules that punished those states for unilaterally moving up their primaries to January. While Mrs. Clinton, like other Democrats, took a pledge not to campaign in either state, she ended up winning the Michigan primary just the same.

Asked if Mrs. Clinton was trying to have it both ways — taking the pledge to satisfy other states with early primaries, but also trying to gain a political edge from the delegates — Mr. Penn said that she was simply “hearing the voices” of voters in Florida and Michigan who do not want to be disenfranchised from the nominating process.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Monk said...

Monty:

In order to respond to your arguments fully, I have reposted your blog in full and my responses to your agruments will follow by placing them in brackets, that is [ ].

dr. monk:

You appear to be a learned man. I have read other posts that exhibited some degree of wisdom whether I agreed with them or not. This post is sorely lacking in wisdom or intellect. It is one of those emotional knee jerk reactions so often espoused.

[Thank you for reminding me I am a learned man with emotions. As for the other kind remarks, I just chalk them up to the author.]

On today’s episode, January 22, 2008, Keith Olberman most reprehensibly distorted or lied about presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Now the lie!

“to be fair, Obama said Republicans had all the good ideas in the last 10 to 15 years.”

Then you proceed to display the quote from Mr. Obama. First of all, you did a little cherry-picking. You left out the first part where he talked of Reagan being transformative and related remarks. I can see where in your mind this section was not specifically germane to your argument but the remarks really were. They were, in the sense that they created the seeming foundation for that which followed. They were, for they, inadvertently or not, created a sense of praising Reagan, glorifying him.

[I was not cherry picking information I did not include the entire remarks by Senator Obama for brevity's sake. As for your interpretation of Obama’s remark creating a sense of praising Regan, glorifying him, this observation is without substance unless you consider the audience. This may be true of an uneducated or uninformed audience, but not of an audience that is knowledgeable of the issues and who can discern what is being said in its entire context. In other words, an audience that has the requisite ability to interpret the intention of the speaker and the nuances of the message. The Clintons knew what the speaker’s intent was. They just saw it as a cheap political opportunity to distort and lie about that intent. As somewhat stated, this just another page of Rove’s ruthless tactics. It is a clear smear job!]

Next we see Mr. Obama say:

“The Republican approach I think has played itself out. I think it’s fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time over the last 10 or 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom.

Now the first sentence may have been intended to be a disclaimer but it disclaims nothing that follows as regards Reagan and Republican ideas for the last 10 or 15 years. It suggests they have run their course but good ideas often run their course so you cannot discern from that Mr. Obama was pronouncing those ideas as bad. In our cultural vernacular the phrase, challenging conventional wisdom is viewed as a good thing. The theory is that conventional wisdom is acceptable, it works until something better comes along. To challenge it suggests a new and better idea. Ergo, a good idea. Mr. Olberman, as did I, as did many bright, reasonable people, interpreted that as supportive of the Reagan ideas.

[Your argument here is circular. You cannot disregard the opening sentence as a disclaimer unless it is your sole purpose or intent is to make it a disclaimer about the subject disclaimer. As far as cherry picking, why didn't you include the first two sentences of Senator Obama's remarks, which were: "Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it". Looks us look at the 'entire' context of Obama’s statement:

Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. "I think it's fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10 to 15 years in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom.

As far your remark that the challenging of conventional wisdom is considered to be viewed as a good thing, according to whom and under what circumstances? Your argument is not supported by the entire context of the statement to draw the erroneous and self-serving conclusion that Senator Obama was suggesting that the Republican ideas were good ideas. Your aligning yourself with Keith Olberman's statement and interpretations by so called other bright and reasonable people, I believe is just nothing but a disingenuous attempt to manipulate and control the opinions of others. I think Machiavelli would be very proud of you. ]

Mr. Obama goes on:

Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies, when they’re being debated among the presidential candidates, it’s all tax cuts. Well, we’ve done that, we’ve tried it.”

There is nothing in that portion that negates a purview that Mr. Obama thinks tax cuts were at one time a good idea time. He seems to be implying that they were a good idea at one time but they no longer are, yet, the current crop of Republican candidates are still pushing for them.

All in all, the entire statement, including that section which you chose to highlight, clearly sounded like an acknowledgement that Reagan gave us better ideas that lasted for 10 or 15 years, but whose time had come. I accept and trust Mr. Obama's exhortations that his remarks were misunderstood, were misinterpreted. I believe he is an honest and honorable man. He must, however, and he does, know that it is not what you say but how you say it that conveys the meaning.

[see my previous comments]

The Clintons nor Mr. Olberman nor any other reasonable man can be impugned for arriving at an interpretation of those remarks as exalting Reagan and by inference denouncing the Clinton years.


[Your defense of Keith Olberman is without merit. Keith Olberman stated that Obama said "Republicans had all the good ideas in the last 10 to 15 years.” This not a misunderstanding or nuance, this a fabrication (a lie!) of what Obama actually stated. Keith could have stated that it sounded like this to him. He did not! I stand by my email to MSNBC.]

The Clintons did just what Obama would do in similar circumstances and that is make hay while the sunshines. Read my previous post; it is the nature, perhaps, the rules of the game, that if your opponent misspeaks, or speaks obscurely, then you have to pounce, you have to exploit, you have to take advantage before the issue is muted by a corrective statement.

[Not to the point where it will tear your party into pieces. Why do you think so many leaders in the Democratic party are so upset? Again, I think Machiavelli would be proud of you. You even know how to keep emotions and passion out of your viewpoints. Moreover, you sure know how to use words as "smoke and mirrors." Good job!]

Mr. Obama was clearly pandering. He was seeking Republican and right leaning independents votes in the open Nevada caucuses. It was a smart move since the Republican caucuses didn't really have a contest and Mr. Obama is highly thought of by both those constituencies.

[Finally, you present an argument with merit and insight. However, at this point, I will no longer choose to entertain my thoughts with someone so apparently intent on misrepresenting the facts for no other reason to impress himself or to distract others from the truth, or both. No apoligist here.]

No one lied, no one told half truths. No one unfairly maligned Mr. Obama. Mr. Olberman reported the conventional wisdom's interpretation of those remarks. The Clintons, while likely knowing what Obama meant, are not in this contest to be apologists for their opponents.

[See my previous comments. No apologist here.]

Perhaps it is you who owe Mr. Olberman and the Clintons an apology and maybe even a follow up letter to MSNBC correcting your error in judgment.

[See my previous comments. No apologist here.]

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only more Democrats would have the integrity and courage to speak out against the Clintons, there might be a chance of salvaging the 2008 primary and presidential campaigns.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous davidnjacoby said...

Since I'm the 218th commenter on this post (218! - You GO Brother!), I am probably saying something that has already been said. But here goes:

I was just watching a video at Obabma's site of a woman named Annie Bennett. She's a South Carolina native who was part of the Civil Rights movement. There was this one thing she said, so simple, that just drove this whole thing home for me:

"[Her experiences during the Civil Rights movement] gave me a different prospect of who I am, and who we are as a nation of people, and how we have to come together and get along."

I ask you all this: Is the Clinton's behavior over these last couple of weeks indicative of a future administration who will have any interest in coming together as a nation and getting along, much less coming together as a WORLD and getting along?

I am so sickened by this smear campaign. Really, it puts a lump in my throat and makes me feel physically sick.

Do we, as a nation, have the Audacity of Hope? Damnit I hope so.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Reich,
You left the Clinton administration in frustration that Bill Clinton was more keen on reducing deficits than pandering to your wishes of creating an egalitarian society. When Clinton left office, he left a budget surplus, jobs were plentiful and people were generally better off. I do not believe you should be taking out your frustration on Hillary now, it may not lower you in people's eyes, because they already know you, but it certainly does not behoove well for a former Secretary of labor to stoop so low.

The Clintons wish to take back the Whitehouse to repeat their success story. At this juncture in history, it would take very experienced people like the Clintons to restore America. Obama is too green behind the ears for now. Maybe a few more terms as a Senator might give him the experience that this office requires.

Ofcourse, if you were to openly endorse Obama, things would be different. But, to claim neutrality and then attack Hillary is reprehensible and in poor taste.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Robert, You are my hero but I do not agree with your blog about the Clintons.
This is a very tough race. To date, I have been neutral between Hillary and Obama. I just want a Democrat to win. When I heard Obama say Reagan was a transformation president with ideas, I nearly vomited. I was around when Reagan was President. As I recall, most of the media made fun of him as a puppet of the right wing extremists, now, the media and the right wing are trying to re write history and proclaim he is an icon. Now for Obama to invoke his name as he did is ridiculous. Obama can tiptoe around the intent of his words, but it is more than obvious that he was praising the right wing and minimizing all the amazing accomplishments of the Clinton years. To say his intent was otherwise is a big fat LIE!

Doesn´t anyone remember the successes of the Clinton years? High employment, positive budget, Peace.. What is wrong about wanting to go back to a time of peace and surplus?

This is an election year. If Obama cannot take the tough election dialogue now, he may as well pack his bags and take his ball and go home. Doesn´t anyone remember the Republican swift boat campaign? I am reading several Republican and ANTI sites talking extremely negatively about Obama. Bill clearly is throwing softballs in comparison. The Republican and ANTI sites are saying Obama isÑ
1. A Muslim
2. A Manchurian Candidate
3. Has Hussein as his middle name
4. Not patriotic because he did not put his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance
5. Is a member of an African Black Church with associated allegiances and not an American Christian

IF Obama is selected as the candidate, this is only the beginning of the attacks he is bound to recieve. He has to be aware of many more extreme negative tactics.

Obama has to be tough.
He cannot invoke Reagan again.
If he cannot take these softballs, he can forget about becoming a viable candidate in November.

We need a candidate that will WIN in November.

I say to Obama, get tough and quit crying about tough campaigns!!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

One more comment -

the hateful Matthews and Tucker, the MSNBC media zealots who HATE the Clintons have mentioned your blog against the Clintons.

There you go Robert. The hateful extremists agree with you.

Not a good sign!

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Aquarius52 said...

Dee:

The smear campaign you mention is in all likelihood coming from Hillary Clinton's camp. I doubt very strongly the Republicans are behind this so early in the game.
If Bill and Hillary will allow such falsehoods to eb attched to theio name openly, imagine what they will endorse behind teh scenes.
I agree Obama needs to be able to take (in Hillary's words) "incoming fire", but it is twisted to say the better candidate is the one who fights dirtiest.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe that I am the only one who thinks that this country would be better off with no more Bush and no more Clinton presidencies.

The first President Bush was elected in November 1988. After twenty years of the Bush-Clinton merry go round, I am ready to move on.

3:32 PM  
OpenID agricanto said...

Two families at the peak of government for 28 years! That doesn't even smell like a democracy.

I wish you had been at Berkeley during my three degrees on that campus. Too bad for me that I got my doc degree in '95 and missed the R.Reich years. But you did have a job in DC then if I recall.

You are still the honest straight-up dude you have always been. Billary Clintons should read yr blog. Keep calling the shots RR, you are a welcome voice of sanity.

(why duzzing P. Krugman get a hint here?)

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Monty said...

"Dr. Monk," just a clarification: you posted a reply to a comment posted by "Art A. Layman," (you even reposted "Layman's" original post) but you addressed your comments to me. Of course, everyone makes mistakes; no commentor, no human being and no politician walks on water.

4:35 PM  
Blogger David Dj said...

I hate to be right on this issue, but the clintons confirmed my worst fears about them. I suspected throughout the nineties that they were all talk and no action regarding many issues including race. It was very apparent that they would do or say anything to advance their agenda. But actions speak louder than words and that was very obvious when Clinton stood silent during the Rwanda massacre, cutting aid to children in 1996 to please the republicans, pushing NAFTA instead of Healthcare, betraying his appointee for the civil rights position because she wanted election reform. And firing his Surgeon General for promoting safe sex.
Lets face it electing another clinton is just more of establishment politics, lobbyists will dictate the national agenda and will prevent instituting healthcare for all americans.
We need a third party.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Monk said...

My apologies to Monty. I inadvertently attributed his name to Art Layman's posting. As to Art Layman's posting, and my subsequent response, on January 25, 2008, at 1:35 p.m., I remain yours truly ... unapologetic.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this thoughtful post. (I came here through the New York Times blog. It takes tremendous courage to speak out as you have. We who believe in democracy must have foresight here. The Clintons' 'win at all costs, and by any means necessary' mentality hurts the entire democratic party. But as Hillary said as her voice cracked, "This is personal for me." But at what cost?

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I support Obama since i believe that he will do more for african americans that hilary will

Hilary stabs african americans in the back with her immigration policies.

everyone in the black community knows that recent immigrants from mexico push down the wages of african americans. yet all Hilary can do is push for more and more of this immigration.

African American voters are about to rise up agasint those that oppress us.

You white liberals who support hilary should be ashamed of yourselves. you are conspirators in a system that keeps wages low for african americans and keeps our young men out of the work force and on their way to prison.

shame.

http://www.mnforsustain.org/immg_beck_r_case_against_immigration_chp9.htm

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if my link does not work then here is the article i refer to

The log cabin where Frederick Douglass was born is gone ―as is the plantation house. But many of the descendants of the slaves who once worked the region's fertile soil remain in the area. And so does an economic system that sometimes seems stacked against a Black worker ever getting ahead.

"The economic situation isn't too good for Blacks around here," says a White neighbor across the road from the former plantation. He notes that local Black residents now face the additional challenge of job competition from immigrants. What has happened to Black workers near Douglass's birthplace is symptomatic of the negative effects of recent immigration on lower-skilled Black Americans throughout the country.

At the corner of the plantation, two Black residents fishing from the bank of Tuckahoe Creek are well acquainted with the local job market and the increasing influence of foreign workers. One man is a cook. The other, Robert, works at a poultry-processing plant. After ten years there, he earns a wage that keeps him just a step ahead of poverty. "I think the company must get something out of bringing in immigrants," Robert says. "They put a lot of effort in recruiting."

As it turns out, the road from where Douglass lived in slavery runs directly to one of America's fastest-growing low-wage industries. Just two miles down the Blacktop to the west is Cordova, Maryland ―a small town with a big poultry processing plant.

One would think that the popularity of poultry these days and the great profitability of the industry would pave a road to improved wages and working conditions for the industry's workers. One of every sixteen new industrial jobs in America in recent years has been in poultry processing. Employment is booming in the "poultry crescent" that extends from Maryland, down through Georgia and Alabama, and swinging back up to northern Arkansas and Texas. While employment has declined by one-third in the slaughterhouses for beef, pork, and lamb, it has doubled over the last 15 years to more than 150,000 jobs in poultry plants.1

America's growing appetite for White meat, however, has not been translated into improvements for Black workers, who predominate in the poultry plants that traditionally have been located in southern rural areas with large Black populations. Despite tightened rural labor markets around the plants and increasing demand for the products, real wages (adjusted for inflation) have been falling at the Cordova plant and throughout the industry.

Rather than improve wages, the poultry industry is turning to foreign workers. Robert says the major changes he has seen during his ten years at the Cordova plant have been the hiring of foreign workers and the speeding up of the line, and the two are not unrelated. Ten years ago, "I don't think there were more than maybe ten immigrants in the whole plant." Now, almost half the five hundred workers are foreign, he says. "Parts of the plant are entirely Spanish-speaking. Many of the line leaders speak Spanish."

A spokeswoman for the Cordova plant later confirms that about half the employees are immigrants and that nearly all the native workers are Black.

It isn't that the area around the Cordova plant doesn't have people who could fill those jobs. A lot of local residents are without jobs or have just part-time jobs, says the cook as he casts again into Tuckahoe Creek. So why is the company bringing in foreign workers? Robert and the cook answer in unison, "Because they'll work cheaper." The cook used to work at the poultry plant, "but I got out of it." He wanted to work where he didn't have competition from the immigrants, and they as yet haven't moved into the restaurant jobs of this largely rural county.

As has been true ever since Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery and since the Civil War ended it nationally, a renewal of high immigration has once again blocked the road to middle-class security for many Black workers, and has detoured them back into a morass of low wages and dismal expectations.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Robert Reich. I just finished posting a comment on Hillary's web site, stating that I will not, under any circumstances vote for her. This country is sick unto death of Karl Rove politics. No one who will stop at nothing to win the White Housed deserves to win that sacred duty. I would rather see a corrupt Republican take us over the cliff, than accept a corrupt Democrat to do the same.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Reich, thank you for helping the republicans destroy the Democratic Party.You believe that insulting the Clintons is the right way to help move the party forward. Good for you.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News to LIBERALS.

Any 'liberal' who would act to defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election is not a liberal.

Playing fair has given the US 8 years of Bush. It is time to win.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous soledad said...

Bravo, Mr. Reich. You are a man of bravery, let alone integrity. Rather than fall in line with the rest of the sycophants, you've chosen to take a stand -- likely at some level of professional and personal risk.

Regardless of the fact that Hillary Clinton's time in the senate has been anything but noteworthy, the "old *Cliton* politics" is incredibly disheartening.

I hope we will be saying that the Clintons (yes, plural, they asked for it) underestimated the American public; that the very public they sought to divide and conquer, remembered the political and emotional carnage of the late 1990s and will run like antelope away from the time bombs the likes of Whitewater, Mark Rich, Hsu, the list goes on and on ...

I respected what Clinton and his administration did in office. I still do. Taking into account the Internet Boom, you still must give the administration credit for its handling of the economy.

That being said, if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic Primary, I will personally write a letter to Mayor Bloomberg imploring him to run .. and if there is no Bloomberg, I will write-in an Obama/Edwards ticket.

She has lost my vote, regardless of the opposition.

If you are under the age of 40, you have seen the same names on the Presidential Ballot/Primary Ballots since you've had the right to vote for the past 20 years ... This is a democracy?

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Joe, Oregon said...

Prof Reich,
How grand standing, how righteous you are, split out poison lie condemning the so-called lies from otherside?

If this is kind of double standard, double that we heard from Obama's camp. Is this what Prof Reich called the new politics. Like I have never relationship that individual (Tony Rezko). Well, we all know Obama did more than 15 years, and got a lot of money from Tony Rezko.
Just how scary the relation between Obama and Tony Rezko is, watch the movie "The Departed"
joe

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for having the balls to post this.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Polly_Tics said...

Mr. Reich, I thank you for your convictions and for the courage it took to post this article. All too many former members of an administration are more hack than truthful, and you prove them wrong.

It is painful to watch how former President Clinton is acting and misrepresenting the facts about a member of his own party! I voted for Clinton twice and have viewed him with love and admiration, but his actions of late have made me actually loathe him. These actions say more about his own lust for power than they do about any so called "truths" in a primary.

I can only hope that both of the Clinton's (and their campaign folk) read this article and accompanying comments and take note. This is DISGRACEFUL behavior for anyone, but especially for someone who I had previously held in such esteem.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Moonstruck said...

I see and hear the anger, dismay and disgust with the Clintons everywhere in the rural area where I live and it is a rural area that went for Clinton in 1992 and 1996.

It is overwhelmingly evident in the comments to this blog, too, Mr. Reich. (Look at the number of them compared to other posts of yours.)

The nerve hit going after the first serious African-American president will tingle for a long time.

In fact, I think that Bill's clever, sleazy campaigning and Hillary's support of it will haunt her forever. Just Bill's face on TV makes her extremely vulnerable if the R's decide to go for an electable candidate.

Bob: please forward these comments to your friends running the Clinton campaign as a wake-up call although I think its too late. And thank God.

The Democrats need an Edwards/Obama ticket or an Obama/Biden ticket but they don't need the "you get 2 for 1" Clinton ticket. Otherwise, they will lose to either McCain, Romney or, god forbid, Giuliani if he should miraculously arise from the dead before next autumn. If Clinton is on the ticket, the only hope for the D's is if Huckabee is the opponent. (Wouldn't that be something? A choice between a President from Hope Arkansas AGAIN or a First Man from Hope, Arkansas. What's in the water in that place?)

Back on pt.: Edwards says he's from the "grown-up" wing of the D party. Why not all the grown-ups get together and say enough is enough. Give us
an adult to run against the Republicans: Al Gore.

Bill blew it this time. He has reminded everyone that they ought not to vote for Monica Lewinsky's ex-boyfriend's wife for President.

Believe me. I won't. Neither will my wife who has never voted for a Republican in her life. Hillary is in deep, deep trouble.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Moonstruck said...

I see and hear the anger, dismay and disgust with the Clintons everywhere in the rural area where I live and it is a rural area that went for Clinton in 1992 and 1996.

It is overwhelmingly evident in the comments to this blog, too, Mr. Reich. (Look at the number of them compared to other posts of yours.)

The nerve hit going after the first serious African-American president will tingle for a long time.

In fact, I think that Bill's clever, sleazy campaigning and Hillary's support of it will haunt her forever. Just Bill's face on TV makes her extremely vulnerable if the R's decide to go for an electable candidate.

Bob: please forward these comments to your friends running the Clinton campaign as a wake-up call although I think its too late. And thank God.

The Democrats need an Edwards/Obama ticket or an Obama/Biden ticket but they don't need the "you get 2 for 1" Clinton ticket. Otherwise, they will lose to either McCain, Romney or, god forbid, Giuliani if he should miraculously arise from the dead before next autumn. If Clinton is on the ticket, the only hope for the D's is if Huckabee is the opponent. (Wouldn't that be something? A choice between a President from Hope Arkansas AGAIN or a First Man from Hope, Arkansas. What's in the water in that place?)

Back on pt.: Edwards says he's from the "grown-up" wing of the D party. Why not all the grown-ups get together and say enough is enough. Give us
an adult to run against the Republicans: Al Gore.

Bill blew it this time. He has reminded everyone that they ought not to vote for Monica Lewinsky's ex-boyfriend's wife for President.

Believe me. I won't. Neither will my wife who has never voted for a Republican in her life. Hillary is in deep, deep trouble.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Chester White said...

So you've concluded that Bill Clinton is a smear merchant and self-absorbed jerk willing to do or say anything if it advances his interests.

WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL!

Some of us had that figured out by 1988, the first time we laid eyes on him. Only took you 19 years. Keep up the good work!

4:53 AM  
Anonymous bacalove said...

I can tell you that myself, some friends and family have gotten turned off by the Clinton's behaviour to do anything to win. Their behavior and distortions, like on Meet the Press, in which Hilalry said: "Sen. Obama's chief strategist accuses me of playing a role in Benazir Bhutto's assassination.'' When in actuality David Axelrod never made such an accusation. He said former Prime Minister Bhutto's death will ''call into issue the judgment'' of ''taking the eye off the ball and making the wrong judgment in going into Iraq.'' and their recent attempt at voter suppresion in Nevada, entering racially devisive remarks into the campaign to dvide black and white voters in the following way -- On Martin Luther King's birthday, Hillary Clinton stood with Rev. Calvin Butts who read from hand-written notes to the general public aired on television: "I got several angry calls today from African American women who wanted to know how I could support this white woman".

This was from a Rev. who being intelligent, and supposedly Christian, I quess, read this incensory and inciteful phrase knowing full well it's intention of creating a racial divide! While Hillary stood there looking smug and nodding her head in agreement. That phrase should have never been read -- all he had to say is that he supported Hillary and why he supported Hillary. Then there is a compelling story can be heard from the former President of Now, Lorna Brett Howard, who Switched from Clinton to Obama, You Tube Video in which she explains that Hillary lied on Obama in regards to womens' issues so she is now supporting Obama. http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/samgrahamfelsen/CG5nh

These kinds of demeaning and unethical tactics from both of the Clintons, have shown a number of people another side to them which they did not know existed and it does not look pretty. In their attempt to achieve power, they have divided the paty and it is a deep division. They seem more like Karl-Rove Republicans than Democrats and it is a shame to see their moral demise! There is a negative way to fight (lies and distortions) and a positive way to fight. The leaders we elect into the highest office of the land should be men and women of principal and high moral character and should not engage in behavior unbefitting the highest office in the land.

In the future, there will have to be some kind of Campaign Reform: Rules and Regulations from the Perspective Parties in the way politicians run their campaigns to keep them truthful and from distorting one another's records.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Grillman and Luna said...

Mr. Reich, This is sanity itself, what you have written. Thank you for your courage and strength. It must have been difficult to say.

One point to suggest: the spectacle media seem to need a Race race to keep ratings and profits up, and the Clintons, even when saying "let's calm down" succeed in keeping Race in the headlines. Thus it follows, doesn't it, if, as many observers believe, a McCain-Clinton race would go to McCain on "authenticity," the Clinton-ShowNews "Race race" stragegy will have served the interests of the plutocracy, the very folks they say they are opponents of.

Want to take bets on how big Carl Rove's smile must be right now?

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me why the democratic leadership is silent on this issue?

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After all the division that the Clintons have caused in the Primary process so far, it is very difficult to imagine A "President Hillary Clinton" uniting the country. Bill and Hillary Clinton have managed evoke more racial emotion in a very short time, much more than any Republican could ever dream of doing. The net effect will be a fractured Party.

Vigorous debate between both candidate on the issues,voting record and plan for the future, included, is fair play. Outright distortions and lies must be openly dinounced. The Clintons might win the nomination, but at what cost? I was behind Hillary until they started the fiasco. I am a democrat and I will cast my vote but I will hold my nose and vote Republican before I vote for Hillary. Many of my colleagues hold the same view so I wonder how many people out there feel the same way. One can really lose by winning.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Art A Layman said...

dr. monk:

[I was not cherry picking information I did not include the entire remarks by Senator Obama for brevity's sake. As for your interpretation of Obama’s remark creating a sense of praising Regan, glorifying him, this observation is without substance unless you consider the audience. This may be true of an uneducated or uninformed audience, but not of an audience that is knowledgeable of the issues and who can discern what is being said in its entire context. In other words, an audience that has the requisite ability to interpret the intention of the speaker and the nuances of the message. The Clintons knew what the speaker’s intent was. They just saw it as a cheap political opportunity to distort and lie about that intent. As somewhat stated, this just another page of Rove’s ruthless tactics. It is a clear smear job!]

First of all, I was considering the audience. Obama was pandering to that audience. His mistake might have been a failing to realize that remarks a presidential candidate makes to an audience, any audience, will, if notable, be "heard round the world" (could this be inexperience?). Historically a Democratic candidate would not attempt to pander to conservative voters but this election cycle is different. Those, shall we call them Obama Republicans, can be a beneficial constituancy for him in open primaries so it makes good sense for him to go after them. It is a very slippery slope however, as we see. Obama would have never made those comments to a Democratic audience; it would have been senseless to do so.

Taking all that into consideration it is no stretch of logic to presume he was praising Reagan. He may have thought he was subtle and obscure enough to not offend his own party but he was wrong. The only faction of the Dems that he did not offend were his loyal followers and supporters (you, for instance). Alas, this is a truism for most any candidate; mistakes and missteps are overlooked by those loyal to the candidate.

Let's expand his remarks with some of what you left out:
I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what is different is the times. I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. They felt like with all the excesses of the 60s and the 70s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

On the one hand this could be viewed as purely historical commentary, although some of his conclusions are arguable, proposing nothing more than analysis of the Reagan phenomenon. He clearly is drawing a parallel to his movement and that of Reagan, not in the sense of political philosophy, rather in the sense of transformation. His flaw or mistake was in not making any suggestion that the Reagan ideas were wrong - a position held by the vast majority of Democrats, if not all of them - and this void, more than any other, creates the question of intent.

I, personally, have little doubt that Obama holds the same views of the Reagan ideas as most Democrats. Reagan's ideas, to a great extent, sent this country back to the 1920's, to the "Gilded Age". I would think Obama agrees with that premise. He did not say that though. It was not politically expedient for his audience or his purpose to express that thought. Is this political expedience less heinous than the Clinton or Edwards responses? One could argue that in delivering his analysis of history he might have been better served by leading with the Kennedy comment and then seguing to a more muted Reagan assessment.

By making the comparison of Reagan to Clinton, relating to trajectories, he also employs some political expediency, albeit subtle, to the current contest.

In his attempt at pleasing a political faction averse to his own party's interests, he, at best, left open a question of intent. In the absence of any comment serving to disclaim Reagan and his ideas he opens up his statements to interpretation and parsing; often a death knell in politics. It was an amateur mistake and coupled with his opening of the SS Pandora's Box and the arguments about mandates he might as well take up writing advertising copy for the Reps in the general election. One might question what he really meant but no one can question what he said.

As far your remark that the challenging of conventional wisdom is considered to be viewed as a good thing, according to whom and under what circumstances?

Throughout the history of mankind, all of the advances, in science, in engineering, in social sciences, in politics, have been achieved by those willing to challenge conventional wisdom. Intel, the microchip company, moved us light years by not only challenging conventional wisdom but conventional science. Reagan challenged conventional wisdom, to our detriment in the eyes of we liberals, but to the good in the eyes of conservatives. It takes no stretch of reason to argue that challenging conventional wisdom, the status quo, is generally believed a good thing. The results may not always bear fruit, but, better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all; one could posit that statement as the great American credo.

Your aligning yourself with Keith Olberman's statement and interpretations by so called other bright and reasonable people, I believe is just nothing but a disingenuous attempt to manipulate and control the opinions of others.

I align myself with no one. I have a mind, though it may be feeble, and I come to my own conclusions, and did long before Keith Olberman made his comments. At best, Obama left himself open to different interpretations if not misinterpretations. To conclude that his intent was other than what his words said would be to assume that one can ascertain intent; which one cannot. It is the purpose of language to communicate. Mr. Obama is well schooled in the effective use of language and excels at it, usually. He has established himself as an orator, par excellence, his rhetoric is usually visionary, explicit, precise. His stock in trade, his whole premise and message is open and honest dialogue. Therefore when he slides into nuance and obscure rhetoric, one's first impression will be that he means what he said or what we think he said.

[Your defense of Keith Olberman is without merit. Keith Olberman stated that Obama said "Republicans had all the good ideas in the last 10 to 15 years.” This not a misunderstanding or nuance, this a fabrication (a lie!) of what Obama actually stated. Keith could have stated that it sounded like this to him. He did not! I stand by my email to MSNBC.]

At worst Mr. Olberman's statement is a misinterpretation of Mr. Obama's intent. When you fail to communicate your true meaning you, nor your inane supporters can cry foul, if someone comes to their own conclusion. While Obama did not actually use the term "good", by the totality of his statements the adjective is not unreasonable to infer. Mr. Olberman's job is not to disect and massage what is said, it is to report or expound on what is stated by others giving due reverance to the generally accepted interpretations. That is all he did.

One could argue, using the dictionary definition of "lie", that Mr. Obama was at worst, lying to his audience, or at best, was being disingeuous.

[Not to the point where it will tear your party into pieces. Why do you think so many leaders in the Democratic party are so upset? Again, I think Machiavelli would be proud of you. You even know how to keep emotions and passion out of your viewpoints. Moreover, you sure know how to use words as "smoke and mirrors." Good job!]

In politics it is always difficult to coordinate party best interests with the best interests of the individual campaigners. This is not the first time it has happened, it happens all the time. Look at the 2004 campaign and the Howard Dean factor. Fortunately in 2004 the phenomenon was short-lived. Take a look at the Rep's debates and primary ads. The mix of political philosophies among their candidates tears at the fabric of the collective conservative ideology.

It is generally accepted, and has been somewhat historically true, that the party members will bury any hatchets once we have a general election candidate and will rally behind that candidate. If that paradigm has changed then we could be in trouble. That is why we, while supporting with all our might our particular candidate, have to take a step back from the fray and avoid adding to the vitriol.

The party leaders, while concerned about the presidential race, are also concerned about the congressional races. Their concerns are centered around any party damage that might affect those elections. Surely a reasonable concern given that many voters will vote straight tickets and that will often be predicated on their presidential choice. Winning a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, or just in case, a veto proof majority in both houses would go along way to offsetting a loss in the presidential race. All three goals would of course be preferable.

In this primary the limits of decorum are being stretched both by the number and the strength of the three top candidates. In the near horizon there appears no clear winner and this portends a continued heated debate with a possible denting of the party fabric. I don't have an answer to that dilemma. The situation is exacerbated by the presence of Bill Clinton, the defacto leader of the party. This adds to a confusing and unprecedented confluence of events. It would be absurd, as some have suggested, for Bill to just stand back and let Hillary go it alone.

This, dr. monk, is a competition. It's a dirty one as it always has been. It's also an especially perplexing one in that we have two leading candidates, both of whom are, competent, bright and personable, representing minorities; this is a fact that we should take great pride in. Since it is a competition, competitive fundamentals, if not rules, apply. Again, like it or not, mistakes and miscommunications, nuances and obscurities, are to be jumped on and exploited to gain, often, minimal advantages. In a contest where little difference exists in policies or ideas, these are the only openings with which to gain advantage. Obama has done it, certainly Hillary has done it and Edwards has done it. It is the real world. Many here have expressed their disdain for the process. Many far beyond here feel the same. I would prefer a more civil discourse. I do, however, understand the process and the reasons it is what it is. As an observer, not a disinterested one, I can even appreciate the various thrusts and parries that occur as braintrusts attempt to score points.

All this whining and crying adds nothing to the process. Support your choice! Fight for him/her! Counter the crtitcisms! But do it with reason, with logic, with better arguments, explanations. Don't jump in with a lot of emotional BS that furthers and exacerbates that which you so fervently disdain.

The irony here as that you are guilty of the same tactics that you accuse the Clintons of. Using loaded words and distortions and simplistic conclusions and spreading them is, for we sideline viewers, sophmoric and peevish.

[Finally, you present an argument with merit and insight.

LOL! I say a few kind words for Mr. Obama and all of the sudden I am lauded. Of all I have said, and it has been voluminous, my praises of Mr. Obama are the only words worthy of merit and insight. Priceless!!!

I will no longer choose to entertain my thoughts with someone so apparently intent on misrepresenting the facts for no other reason to impress himself or to distract others from the truth, or both.

Frequently the runaway syndrome is the last bastion of security for those whose arguments are lame; who bring nothing of substance to the table and who find peace and comfort in mommy's apron strings. I have no one else to impress but myself. I receive nothing from anyone else for exposing the ludicrosity of the many fatuous statements posted on blogs, nor do I seek anything. It was not I, who, in an effort at self-flagellation, frequently referenced Machiavelli. It is the small mind, or the emotionally blinded one, that must exhibit to the world their implied knowledge of classical thinking.

There are no facts here being misrepresented, merely your assumptions and perspectives, both of which are far from factual. Anyone who is easily distracted from truth has little true conviction.

I have no desire to inflict my feelings on others. I simply try to awaken people to logic and reason and pry them away from emotion and distortion. I start with the premise that all here are thinking people, capable of abstract as well as well-founded logical thought. When I run across rants, exhibiting a rampant exodus from reason and expressing purely self-indulgent prattle, I am moved to try and return the dialogue to reality.

Have a nice day.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Art A Layman said...

Dr. Reich:

Sit back! Relax! Smile! Relish in the realization that you truly do influence people's hearts and minds.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous kayxyz said...

From out here in television land, as the Bush admin sinks on economic problems, all Democrats have to do is show up, if the previous G.H.W. Bush-Clinton campaign is any indication. Hillary on her own is best, because on her own she would remind people of the last Clinton years and the economic boom times.

Bill Clinton co-campaigning with her almost sends the subliminal message "a woman on her own isn't enough." That's the visual message in television land. Ironically, the visual message undercuts her experience, and I liked the point Gloria Steinem made in the NYT.

The lesson to be learned in Nov 2008: 1. how much special interest group monies influence election outcomes? and 2. how rigged are the voting machines?

Find a copy of Mohanda Yunus's two books, read them, and figure out which US candidate comes closest to Yunus's proposals, because he can demonstrate success.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous blue98 said...

How can we get back on track, the track we were on after Iowa? When the entire nation was swept by the fervor of hope, unity and change. Clinton's effort in killing the positive message is certainly panning out, however, knowing what Clinton's are capable of, how can we unite the democratic base for Obama?

Mr. Reich's outspoken courage should be encouraging for Gore and other senior democrats to endorse Obama after the SC victory. It is imperative that we don't leave SC along racial divide.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At age 60 I have spent most my life voting against democrats. However, after the mess Bush and the republicans have left us in, I had decided I would vote for whomever the democrats nominated. That is, until Hillary began her relentless attacks on Obama. While many of us, who consider ourselves moderate-to-liberal republicans, have long been ready for a change in Washington. we have recently been reminded of why we have always hated the Clintons: not because of their political views (many of which we share), but because of their Machiavellian tactics. The Clinton machinery will destroy anything and anybody in their way, and in the process undermine both Hillary and Barack's chances of winning in November.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sad to see that everyone in this country calling the Clintons, who have worked diligently for racial equity in the US, calling them racists repeating misquotes etc.. to make the point. Now even you Mr. Reich who I always respected are doing it too. I was taught growing up by my father, who is a doctor, it is wrong to make judgements on people based on the melanin content of their skin, the gender they were born with, or any disabilities they suffer with. I have been shocked to see this nation indulging in a giant gender hate run against Mrs. Clinton. They may think hiding the hate behind attacking her husband takes the biogotry out of it but it does not. Racism, Sexism, all the "isms" are the same thing. Nothing cleans it up. Attacking on political positions-FAIR. Attacking using an "ism" you can only get to through manipulating facts to make the others look less acceptable because you don't like thier race or gender. Biogtry. End of story. Mr. Reich please give that some thought before you write about why you think your candidate is superior again.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Mosquito said...

I think that for the first time we maybe seeing the REAL BILL CLINTON...

And I was once a supporter of the Clinton presidency....but when I look back on it I realise there were too many lies even then.

Clinton ran on a promise of National Health Care....He gave that to Hillary to manage....How did Hillary do this? Well, in the beginning she spent alot of time at the White House kitchen table and let the foxes into the hen house at the beginning. Dr. Donald Dozoretz and his wife of the large First Hospital HMO were there to help her set up a health insurance system that would keep them in business...HMO's and the decline of American health care resulted...

Then Hillary singlehandedly took what should have been a Bush Republican scandal and turned it into a Democratic scandal--Travelgate. Great work Hillary...

And then we were promised that gays and lesbians would be able to serve openly in the military. Did Bill Clinton give an executive order and make that happen? NO.....He sold out his gay/lesbian supporters and created that awful don't ask don't tell...

Speaking of awful creations...welfare reform under the Clintons might have been done by any neocon conservative Republican president. As a result, the welfare reform under the Clinton's ripped our safety net to shreds and hax created more poor and hungry children and families....

The biggest outrage of all? The Clinton's are responsible for pushing NAFTA through and creating a huge decline in the wages and jobs for middle and lower class Americans.

Now we have the Clintons campaigning in the neocon Rovian style...They will lie, cheat and steal....stop at nothing to win this election. They and their allies are lying and smearing Obama calling him a muslim (he's not he's a Chirstian) AND lying about his record on women's right. The fact is that Obama has a 200% rating from both NARAL and NOW...

So far Obama has been honest....the Clinton's haven't even displayed that. Then if you look at their record (they follow the Rove playbook and tell you to look at the record)...you will see that their record is nothing to be proud of....

There is NO WAY this country will unite under Hillary Clinton...She will simply divide us further and push through another corporate agenda....She's the ultimate corporate girl...She is the status quo....

We do not need any more Clintons in the White House.

Buzz...Buzz...

1:09 PM  
Blogger Art A Layman said...

Where does this naivete come from? We are not going to unite this country with kinder words. Once united we can maintain it with kinder words but the issues now are ideologies.

Listen to John Boehner, the minority leader in the House; listen to Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader. Do they sound like reasonable men just waiting for a friendly argument. Look at the candidates in the Republican race, everyone one of them proposing more and more tax cuts when any primary school kid can tell you we're in trouble and increasing taxes is one of the key answers.

Look at John McCain, likely one of the most bipartisan members of the US Senate, but listen to him now; caving into the conservative mantra; falling in line with the others trying to sound mainstream instead of maverick and hoping to ride his military advantage into the general election. These folks are emblematic of what the next Chief Executive will face.

They are extremely adept at clawing your eyes out behind the scenes and then coming off as pollyanna's in public. It's not that Obama can't make some headway in this rhetorical battle but if that is your principal reason for voting for him you will be disappointed. I'm in favor of reaching, eventually, that same goal. Do I believe it's going to happen in 4 years or 8 years? No! Do I believe that attempting to do it in 4 years or less could render Obama, or anyone else, mulch? Yes!

There is a reason for the old adage, "Nice guys finish last".

2:21 PM  
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2:32 PM  
Blogger john a. bailo said...

In 1992, I gave up. I saw Bill Clinton and Hillary coming down the path of power and I thought it was useless to get in the way. I would have liked many other candidates, but it wasn't about right or wrong, it was about power, and two people who craved it more than anything...people who wanted power more than loving their country.

Now they are older. I can only hope that their age has weakening their wills and America cannot be put under their strangehold for another miserable 8 years...

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, American have very short memories of what the Clintons stand for or what they brought to the White House when Bill was president. Because economy is the number one issue in this campaign, that's how Bill is remembered. Frankly, I believe that's all he accomplished, was to balance the deficit. He and Hillary brought more scandals and deceit than any President in history. I believe putting the Clintons back in the White House will only do more harm. My heart tells me that Hillary is only in this for her own selfish reasons, to be the first woman president. These two are more corrupt than Bush and Americans need to wake up to the facts of their shady past. Do we really want a president who boo-hoos at the drop of a hat and then goes running to her husband when things are going her way? How sad that so many can't see through them. How sad that so many want to keep going down the same path with no hope for our children.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Monk said...

There was a time when I was an avid supporter of the Clintons. In fact, for the last 15 years I had been an active supporter of both.

However, because of their egregious lies, deceptions, and winning at any cost mentality, like many of you reporting on Robert Reich's blog, I no longer support or respect them as political figures.

In the web site article below, there is more anecdotal proof for this change of attitude towards the Clintons by politically liberal-minded folks. Who can honestly support leaders in this country that will stoop to any level to be elected? In my opinion, many of the recent misrepresentations of Barack Obama record and statements by the Clintons and by some in the media are indefensible.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-chait26jan26,0,7890763.column

Thanks again to Robert Reich for his courage, fortitude, and insight. A "person of reason's" intellect is not divorced from their emotions. Without the aid of the emotions, the impacts of ‘measured outrage’ (existential anger)for injustices and the vision for a better world will not have their beneficial effects. The “Age of Reason” or Enlightenment was a direct result of these subject impacts. Moreover, the birth of America was found as a result of these impacts. Unfortunately, the light of that historical legacy has slowly gone out in the past 7 years. Our civil liberties and honor of the truth have become or are becoming more and more conditional and relative. Keep hope alive!

3:25 PM  
Anonymous james d. granata said...

dear secretary Reich:

that hillary clinton could mention obama's slumlord "friend and supporter" in light of a certain asian supporter of hers is insulting to anyone with a mind and a memory. that her husband, the most insecure and emotionally needy of all the presidents could say with a fairly straight face that he didn't give a rap what any one said about him when he was running would be laughable if it were not so pathetic and so patently untrue. given his moral fiber that he could tell a reporter that he should be ashamed is stunning in its projection. are the clinton's able to tell the truth: I think not.
james d. granata

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comimg from a man who owes all that he is in the public world to the Clintons - you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Moonstruck said...

Well Bill is permanently (and deservedly) in the Doghouse now.

Obama crushes Billary in SC.

can the Big O keep up the momentum and more importantly, can he capture the Super Delegates both he and Hillary will have to get to win the nomination ... ?

stay tuned but it appears the country is waking up to that which makes you so sad, Bob ...

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Black leaders do a little counting. They are being thrown off the bus in favor of the Hispanic vote which is larger. Nothing Clinton is accidental.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Monk said...

As I said, the Clintons' will try to win at any cost. This is on the heels a Obama landslide in South Carolina. Access the link below and you decide.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/01/bubba-obama-is.html

8:23 PM  
Blogger David said...

I could not agree with you more Robert. I am sorely disappointed in both Clintons. They are running a nasty campaign, and Bill at least is clearly playing the so-called race card with comments like this (from an MSNBC story today):

""They are getting votes, to be sure, because of their race or gender. That's why people tell me Hillary doesn't have a chance of winning here," the former president said at one stop as he campaigned for his wife, strongly suggesting that blacks would not support a white alternative to Obama."

It pleases me no end to see Obama whip Hillary in South Carolina. The way this race is shaping up, it looks like our February 10 caucus here in Maine may actually be meaningful. I'll be there throwing my lot in with Obama!

8:49 PM  
Anonymous sallythewally said...

Art A. Layman,

Your comments are wonderful! I can't understand all these folks who are going to not vote if Hillary is the candidate! They are Karl Rove's very favorite useful idiots.

And I deeply appreciate your insights about Obama's likelihood of "bringing us all together" when he has to deal with the current crop of Republicans and Republican "values" that hold sway in much of this nation. That some feel an Obama-McCain ticket would be ideal nearly makes me swoon with horror. (as though McCain would run "under" Obama anyway).

Finally, on so many of these comment threads, the vitriol of Obama supporters is astonishing. They so admire their "gentle" candidate with the broader level of compassion and empathy that he espouses - and totally fail to live up to that. They are working very hard to divide progressivism and doing absolutely nothing to bring anything together.

It grieves me deeply that the quality of thinking in this country has become so poor. I suspect it has to do with the fact that there is so little room for actual thinking in our culture. It's as though people under, say, 40 just can't follow a long thought - even those who are supposedly educated. You can't have a real thought process and prefer McCain to any of the Democrats.

It makes me want to cry.

9:42 PM  

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