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Clinton's Attacks Backfire as More Party Heavyweights Back Obama

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Message Dion B. Lawyer-Sanders

Obama Solidifying His Lead Among Democrats Nationally and Gaining Momentum Among Superdelegates -- and Former Officials of Bill Clinton's Administration; Hillary Still Expected to Win Pennsylvania Primary, But By How Much Is Anybody's Guess

(Updated 12:00 noon EDT Monday, April 21, 2008)
By Skeeter Sanders

The presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton thought that by getting tough and going negative against her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, that the former first lady could stop Barack Obama's seemingly unstoppable juggernaut and convince the party's "superdelegates" that she represents the party's best hope of defeating GOP nominee-elect John McCain in November.

But it isn't turning out that way. Clinton's attack strategy has instead blown up in her face, making Obama stronger in the eyes of Democrats nationwide and prompting more of the party's heavyweights -- including another member of former President Bill Clinton's administration -- to lean more toward the Illinois senator.

Clinton's attacks certainly haven't hurt Obama in the fundraising department. On the contrary, Obama raised more money than both Clinton and McCain combined in March, according to campaign finance reports filed Sunday.

Another Former Clinton Cabinet Member Endorses Obama

To make matters worse for Clinton, another former member of her husband's White House cabinet endorsed Obama on Friday. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote in a blog post that "although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more so."

Reich also said Obama's plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding, and his approach to the nation's housing crisis and financial market failures "are sounder than" the New York senator's.

Reich is a former Rhodes scholar and a Yale Law School graduate who is a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He ran for governor in Massachusetts in 2002 and now is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Reich becomes the third former Clinton administration official to back Obama, following New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; and former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, who served as Transportation and later Energy Secretary under Bill Clinton. Pena became a co-chair of Obama's campaign last September.

Obama Gets Backing By Two Conservative Democrats. . .

Two other Democratic elder statesmen, former Senators Sam Nunn of Georgia and David Boren of Oklahoma, also said they were supporting the Illinois senator. Nunn and Boren said they have accepted Obama's invitation to serve as advisers to his national security foreign policy team.

Nunn served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1987 to 1995, while Boren was the longest-serving chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Both fall into the conservative end of the Democratic party's ideological spectrum and both gave Bill Clinton trouble during his presidency, trying to tug him to the right on issues while most congressional Democrats were leaning to the left.

Most memorably, Nunn forced President Clinton to compromise on the still-simmering issue over whether gay men and lesbians could serve in the U.S. military without keeping their sexual identity a secret. That compromise, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," remains in force.

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I'm a native of New York City who's called the Green Mountain state of Vermont home since the summer of 1994. A former freelance journalist, I'm a fiercely independent freethinker who's highly skeptical of authority figures -- especially when (more...)
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