Friday, April 18, 2008

Seen Enough

Former Clinton Secretary of Labor and frequent talk show guest Robert Reich has been watching what's unfolding in Pennsylvania, and is set to publicly announce his endorsement.

Of Obama.

"She's an old friend," Reich said, "I've known her 40 years. I was absolutely dead set against getting into the whole endorsement thing. I've struggled with it. I've not wanted to do it. Out of loyalty to her, I just felt it would be inappropriate."

So what's changed? I asked Reich.

"I saw the ads" — the negative man-on-street commercials that the Clinton campaign put up in Pennsylvania in the wake of Obama's bitter/cling comments a week ago — "and I was appalled, frankly. I thought it represented the nadir of mean-spirited, negative politics. And also of the politics of distraction, of gotcha politics. It's the worst of all worlds. We have three terrible traditions that we've developed in American campaigns. One is outright meanness and negativity. The second is taking out of context something your opponent said, maybe inartfully, and blowing it up into something your opponent doesn't possibly believe and doesn't possibly represent. And third is a kind of tradition of distraction, of getting off the big subject with sideshows that have nothing to do with what matters. And these three aspects of the old politics I've seen growing in Hillary's campaign. And I've come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can't in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They're lending legitimacy to a Republican message that's wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past 20 years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It's old politics at its worst — and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It's just so deeply cynical."

So, will James Carville call him Judas or Benedict Arnold?

Here's the thing...Much of what Clinton is up to with tearing into Obama is not designed to make an impact on voters, it's designed to worry undecided superdelegates. Hillary could give a shit about voters, the math there doesn't allow her to win. She's trying to scare superdelegates into bailing on Obama because he's unelectible—and can't handle the Republicans. It does not appear to be working. Obama's had a BIG week of endorsements and superdelegate pick-ups.

P.S. What? It's 12:01, that's not "morning" anymore...

UPDATE: The endorsement is now up at Reich's blog.

1 comment:

Toast said...

I read that quote earlier today. Good for him. I like that guy. Even if he does sound like Vizzini from The Princess Bride.