Is The "Plagiarism" Thing A Big Deal?

Barack Obama is on record having said his borrowing Deval Patrick's language in a defense against Hillary Clinton isn't "too big of a deal." I think it actually could be, but not because it rises to the level of actual plagiarism.

I was intrigued last night speaking to a friend who works in what we'd consider the mainstream media, he referred to this story as a "scandal." Has it really escalated to those heights? The idea that politician A who's friends with and shares a political consultant with politician B would use the same defense against a similar attack rendered against politician B is not out of the realm of acceptability -- certainly there's no malicious intent, nor is there really an intellectual laziness as some have suggested; it was a defense that worked for Deval Patrick, why wouldn't Barack Obama use it? But what's so striking about the YouTube video showing the Obama and Patrick versions of the defense side by side (which has been viewed more than 280,000 times since Sunday) is the extent to which the delivery of the words echo Patrick's delivery, suggesting that an Obama speech is {gasp!} a performance that might be rehearsed and might be composed by a political consultant, all of which, as Susan Page of USA Today said on MSNBC today, "goes to the idealized image a lot of voters have of Barack Obama." It really pulls back the curtain on the Obama candidacy and raises the question of whether Obama really is the savior from "politics as usual" that his campaign has so effectively offered him up to be.

People really have bought into the idea that only Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, has engaged in misleading attacks on her opponent; only she, not he is engaging in a superdelegate persuasion campaign; only she, not he, sends her surrogates out to smear her opponent, and so when Obama is finally perceived to be engaging in what many consider politics as usual, it's potentially far more damaging, because suddenly it's apparent that he's practicing what he's claimed to decry. This is of course why Clinton is accusing Obama of flip-flopping on the public financing issue and why she is returning to the Obama's Illinois State Senate "Present" votes well.

I agree with David Kurtz at TPM, that for Hillary Clinton, this argument essentially amounts to "he's no better than me," not exactly inspiring, but if Clinton is ever going to get a fair hearing on the differences between them on the issues and on the different types of president each of them promises to be, leveling the playing field by knocking Obama off his pedestal seems to be a necessary first step.

Is the tightening of the Gallup Tracking poll an indication that it's working already? Hard to tell. Clinton had better hope that an uptick in her polling reflects in some statewide polls, and even better, some actual statewide election results, very soon.

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, plagiarism (all tags)




some of us still remember the NH mailers about "present" votes that even HRC's own NH supporters in the NH legislature said were 'dishonest'.

Some of us still remember the IA staffers that got shitcanned for forwarding the Obama muslim e-mail around.

Some of us still remember Shaheen, Kerrey, and plenty of others.

A Clinton supporter, back in the 1st week of January -- gave me some sage advise:  Get over, politics is tough business, you need thicker skin.

Well... we learn quickly.

by zonk 2008-02-19 01:46PM | 0 recs
It is about authenticity

Which is really a bad thing for Barack.  Because people will see his speeches in a different light.

by jasmine 2008-02-19 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: It is about authenticity

Good luck with that.

"He's just as inauthentic as I am" sounds like a winner!

by zonk 2008-02-19 02:12PM | 0 recs

So you are a fake too?

too bad.

by kevin22262 2008-02-19 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Really

I'm not admitting to anything - either about myself or about Obama.

I'm simply pointing out that the entire Clinton strategy of "He's just as bad as I am" is a really dumb strategy.

It was stupid when it was about PAC funds, it was stupid when it was about demographic splits, it was stupid when it was about Senate votes, it was stupid when it was about public financing in the GE.

But hey -- like I've said numerous times, far be it for me to disabuse anyone of carrying on with a self-defeating line of attack.

It feels unfair - normally you have to work to define the opponent in a bad light, it's a rare thing when they decide to do it for you.

by zonk 2008-02-19 02:19PM | 0 recs
Equivocation iz teh Awesome!

Man, this sure gets me jazzed for a HRC general election campaign:

Keating 5- See, John Mccain's just as a corrupt as I am!

Iraq, Torture etc., man I can't imagine how a strategy of being the same as your opponent, but basically concedeing that your oppoent is more likable could backfire.

by Socraticsilence 2008-02-19 01:46PM | 0 recs
Is The "Plagiarism" Thing A Big Deal?

Hillary Clinton consistently gets large amounts of grief for doing the exact same things every other politician does.  I think Obama must be finding out what it feels like.

by Steve M 2008-02-19 01:47PM | 0 recs

It is hard to tell, but that won't stop multiple articles on it per day.

by rfahey22 2008-02-19 01:47PM | 0 recs
That seems about right

I don't think it is plagiarism, and I didn't think it was a big deal when I first heard about it.

However, it does apparently reveal that Obama really is just another politician in an effective way.  

It also invites people to have a look at Deval Patrick's success or lack thereof after getting elected in Mass. using a strategy similar to Obama's.

by vj 2008-02-19 01:48PM | 0 recs
Exactly right.

Yes, Todd.

This is exactly right.

It goes straight to the heart of Obama's argument for why he should be president.

That is why it is more damaging for him than for Clinton, and why this seemed like a "scandal" to me yesterday.

If Obama is just as poll-tested and pre-packaged as Clinton...then why again is he a better choice?  To combine cliches...pulling back the curtain shows the emperor has no clothes.

by rcipw 2008-02-19 01:49PM | 0 recs
Poll tested and pre-packaged....

"...suggesting that an Obama speech is {gasp!} a performance that might be rehearsed."

Even their inflection was the same.

When you strip Obama of his mantle of self-righteouness, then people will have to look at what's left.

That's all I ask...a simple reality check.

by Shazone 2008-02-19 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Poll tested and pre-packaged....


When the shine comes off/the bubble bursts/the curtain is pulled back....whatever you want to call.

Where's the beef?

by rcipw 2008-02-19 02:01PM | 0 recs
Where's the beef? Recalled!

by Shazone 2008-02-19 02:15PM | 0 recs
It does help explain why his extemp answers

are so slow and halting.

I was thrown by the difference in his speaking style in his big speeches--and how he appeared answering reporters' questions (which doesn't happen that often) and during the debates. I figured it was because it was just easier when he had the teleprompter, and thus he was so much better.

It now looks like packaging to me. Axelrod has a branding campaign--Hope and Change, with soaring rhetoric, carefully cadenced speeches, easily changed slogans, and, we now see, well tested content.

This does remind me of BushBoy--he was so carefully rehearsed, but didn't do well in the initial debates because he had to know what to say. He always seemed to be flipping through some mental notecards, then, when he found one that fit, he would just go through the program. Whether it fit or not. But, he could give a speech.

Gee, maybe experience is important! If candidates have a bit more, we get a chance to know more about them.

Obama is more intelligent than BushBoy, of course. But he still sometimes seems to be really searching for answers, something appropriate, then gets into the better known material and starts to flow again. The long pauses and choppy phrasing kind of drive me up a wall, but I may have lived in the East too long....

Someone commented that when he talks about his proposals he often seems to not really know what's in them. I find that worrisome, to put it mildly.

Did Axelrod think he'd found a formula he could use on any likely candidate? Like something out of the movies?

I am worried about how well Obama will hold up--will we have voters' remorse?

by jawbone 2008-02-19 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: It does help explain why his extemp answers

I am worried about that exact same thing.

by rcipw 2008-02-19 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly right.

If Obama is just as poll-tested and pre-packaged as Clinton...then why again is he a better choice?

If Obama's inspirational speeches are just the product of poll-testing and pre-packaging, why can't Hillary Clinton give some inspirational poll-tested pre-packaged speeches of her own?

Leaders need to convince people to follow them.  It doesn't matter how good their ideas are if they can not persuade people to get behind them.  Hillary Clinton has shown herself to have little ability to inspire or persuade.  

She has shown herself to an expert at trying to win by changing rules after the fact (MI,FL delegates) and exploiting the existing rules (super delegate campaigning).  I don't think this approach will accomplish much for Clinton as president.  She's not going to be consistently over maneuver Congressional Republicans without getting the public behind her.

Obama has shown the ability to inspire and get people behind him so I think he can accomplish more.  You may discount this proven ability as pretty prose from speech writers but to think it does not make a difference means you are not living in the real world.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-19 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly right.

Because Axelrod only lets candidates hire him who can sell what he gives them?

by rcipw 2008-02-19 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly right.

Oh, so Axelrod is sort of the deity of in human form and no one else can match him?  

Considering the money that the Clinton campaign has burned though, it's absurd to say they could not have found speech writers or political consultants that can write inspiring rhetoric.

Hillary Clinton is not a superb orator.  Never has been.  Never will be.  It does not matter who writes her speeches.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-19 03:08PM | 0 recs
We'll See

If this is a real issue for voters, then Hillary Clinton should win in Wisconsin tonight. The polling average only had her down about 6 points, and given the number of undecideds heading into election days so far this cycle, a supposedly damaging story should be borne out in actual results.

My guess is that this issue will take a backseat to the narrative of Clinton not performing too well in a state she should be extremely competitive in.  

by Hadi 2008-02-19 01:52PM | 0 recs
I doubt the words-words-words thing has been

absorbed by the public yet.

I don't think it will have much impact on WI.

It's kind of scary that only so late in the game has the MCM deigned to give us poor shlubs some additional information about Barack Obama. Might have been useful for them to googled or Nexus-Lexused for the Boston Globe articles before now. es/2007/04/16/Patrick_said_Obama_said/ es/2008/02/12/bay_state_voters_know_thei r_limits/

But, of course, the Mainstream Corporate Media (MCM) is not there for our edification--more for propaganda to enhance the business opportunities for the Corporate part of the name.

by jawbone 2008-02-19 02:48PM | 0 recs
"Plagiarism" A Big Deal?


This again, huh?

Don't you guys have pledged delegates to steal or something?

by obamania 2008-02-19 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Is "Plagiarism" A Big Deal?

Yes, it is and here's why. We are seeing a pattern of this kind of behavior from Obama. I posted this comment earlier today here on myDD on the same topic. But, I'll repost it here:

This "speaks" volumes about Obama and his character. He's a liar and a fake. Obama has been engaging in this type of behavior for quite some time. In the August issue of Progressive magazine, Elizabeth Edwards almost goes so far as to call Obama an outright copycat. What also troubles me is that Obama has copied both Edwards' and Clinton's policies, not just modeled, but copied sections of them. It was so glaring that Obama copied Clinton's economic plan, that the Clinton camp raised the issue, but the MSM didn't listen. Even McCain's economic advisor, Kevin Hassett said, "Obama's plan today is the most shameless piece of potential plagiarism that I have ever seen."  Hassett went on to say that "he [Obama] basically took Clinton's words and Clinton's policies and called them his own." Obama, Patrick, and supporters can keep spinning this, but facts are facts. Obama has based his entire campaign and candidacy on "just words" and, in the end, his words are someone else's. Obama is little more than a neatly packaged parrot. Shame on him.  

by grlpatriot 2008-02-19 01:55PM | 0 recs
A pattern certainly seems to be...


Even Obamaphiles can't deny that.  Oh wait, they will even in the face of evidence to the contrary!

by Shazone 2008-02-19 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: A pattern certainly seems to be...

We Obama folk don't give a shit.

We see this for what it is: a cynical ploy, a last-ditch hail mary pass to save a faltering campaign.

Save you sanctamonious crap for someone else.

by obamania 2008-02-19 02:06PM | 0 recs
Thank you, again, for your kind words.

by Shazone 2008-02-19 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A pattern certainly seems to be...

Good luck with that line of attack.

I'm sure it will bring the same success that "35 years", "ready to go on day 1", "present votes", "slumlord Rezko", "empty suit", and "Kumbayah won't work", "Obama hearts Reagan", and all the rest have brought.

So how long will this one last?  

by zonk 2008-02-19 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: A pattern certainly seems to be...

The real question is for how much longer will Texas be a state that counts, after all its a REd state so there is some pre-made spin they can use to deride it if HRC loses.

by Socraticsilence 2008-02-19 02:25PM | 0 recs

The whole argument revolves around the classic strawman of Obama as some sort of "messiah".

FDR was no messiah - few folks realize it, but the New Deal actually did very little to right the US's economic ship in the 30s.

JFK was no messiah - in fact, I've always hated the lionizing treatment he gets because he was a warmonger and escalationist.

Lincoln was no messiah - in fact, every political historian worth his or her salt would readily admit that Lincoln was a MASTER politician.  He was Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan 100 years beforehand.

No serious person thinks Obama is 'magic'.

We simply think he's a better candidate and a better president.

He's a politician -- he just happens to be very good at politics and many of think he would also be a great President, based on his resume and voting record.

by zonk 2008-02-19 01:55PM | 0 recs

You guys are so desperate that it's funny. Is this all you have? A little preaching to the choir going on.

No one cares.

Free advice, stop playing "gotcha" politics and start organizing. This is why you guys are losing.

You know what everyone will be talking about tomorrow?

They'll be talking about Obama beating Hillary in yet another primary.

by obamania 2008-02-19 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: "Plagiarism"

That's the problem -

HRC supporters have this completely misguided idea that they can 'attack his strong suit'.

I've always been insulted by the whole "cult" theme - but you know what?

Sure - there are PLENTY of Obama supporters whose support is based on less than "crystal clear policy" reasoning... but guess what -


Some folks have this strange idea that it's not enough to win votes, you have to win votes for the right reason.


If someone wants to vote for Obama because they saw some attractive woman in an Obama cutoff on Youtube, I'll readily admit it's an awfully dumb reason to vote for someone... but - why should I bother convincing them that he's the "right" candidate policy-wise... It's a complete waste of my time.   I'd rather go after undecideds and indies.

This why this gambit will fail miserably just like the 20 or so that preceded it.

This line of attack is meant to dissuade the low-info voters.... but guess what... the low-info voters aren't watching MSNBC... they're not reading DailyKos or MyDD.  MAYBE they see it on the nightly news, but it sure isn't going to stick with them.

Sometimes I almost wonder if Penn, Wolfson, and company aren't secretly double agents.

by zonk 2008-02-19 02:06PM | 0 recs

It is really about authenticity.

by jasmine 2008-02-19 02:00PM | 0 recs
by global yokel 2008-02-19 02:01PM | 0 recs
The plagiarism thing


Do you really think this is a big deal?  

Does it actually give you pause about whether BHO would make a good President?

Maybe most important, is this Obama's biggest weakness?  If so, he's in good shape.

by TL 2008-02-19 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The plagiarism thing

Hey let the Clinton people focus on plagiarism. We Obama folk will focus on winning primaries.

by obamania 2008-02-19 02:04PM | 0 recs

Let 'em run with this.

by zonk 2008-02-19 02:09PM | 0 recs
Hard to Admit

It doesn't matter to his supporters if Obama is proven to be a liar and a fake. Nobody takes longer to see the light than someone who has been duped. They aren't going to lose faith that easily. Believing in Obama makes people feel good about themselves. After making the leap to follow, it takes maturity and self-awareness to accept that you've been fooled. If Obama is really a poser, then those who follow him are fools. So called progressives admitting they are fools? Not likely.

by msmich 2008-02-19 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to Admit

Good luck with that strategy.

When I phonebank, I find insulting the folks I call to be a very effective tactic :-)

by zonk 2008-02-19 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to Admit

Or are you being fooled into thinking that Obama supporters actually care about this non-issue?  Fooled into thinking that we see him as the second coming of Christ and not just a very effective politician?

by rfahey22 2008-02-19 02:13PM | 0 recs
How dare you!

How dare you say that Obama may not be pure and innocent! That makes me so angry!


by kevin22262 2008-02-19 02:08PM | 0 recs
But Is It Working?

Hard to quantify but the steady stream of negative narratives from the Hillary campaign, while it may occupy the media for a few new cycles, is having two other collateral effects, firstly it is reaffirming the 'old politics' and 'win-at-all-costs' message which Obama's campaign is consistently using to respond to these tactics and secondly it is starving her policy positions, the solutions which she has been emphasising as the justification for her campaign, of much needed oxygen.  I am not sure this is a win-win for her.

It seems credible that Wisconsin is being used as a test case for this style of campaigning against Obama.  Personally I think she is framing herself the way the Obama campaign has been trying to frame her for some time.  We will know in a few hours.  If she loses Wisconsin by a significant margin I'm guessing her campaign will, yet again, go back to the drawing board.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-19 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: But Is It Working?


Are you saying we'll get Hillary Version 12.0?

Maybe that's the reason her campaign sucks as badly as it does. Has anyone ever seen a worse run campaign than Hillary's?

by obamania 2008-02-19 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: But Is It Working?

There is no more damning indictment of her campaign than the endless procession of slogans.  'Change with Experience' was my vote for the dumbest.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-19 03:22PM | 0 recs
It's a blunder....

but I don't think it's a campaign ender.  It obviously had it's desired effect and brought Obama down a few pegs.  However, I don't think it's a dealbreaker or that it should be an issue of trust.  I think anyone who thought he was anything more than a politician is a fool.

by venavena 2008-02-19 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: It's a blunder....

Honestly, I don't think it even brought Obama down a peg.

What I see are you Clinton supporters screaming from atop the rafters and your not taking the time to see whether anyone is listening. I honestly haven't heard ONE SINGLE PERSON, outside of Hillaryland, who thinks this is a big deal.

I honestly think you Clinton supporters are engaged in wishful thinking and mass hysteria.

by obamania 2008-02-19 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: It's a blunder....

"What I see are you Clinton supporters screaming from atop the rafters and your not taking the time to see whether anyone is listening. I honestly haven't heard ONE SINGLE PERSON, outside of Hillaryland, who thinks this is a big deal.

I honestly think you Clinton supporters are engaged in wishful thinking and mass hysteria."
---------------------------------------- ---------
I'm not a Clinton supporter and I never said I thought it was a big deal either.  Speaking of mass hysteria, have you looked in the mirror?  Getting all worked up over nothing.

by venavena 2008-02-19 03:09PM | 0 recs
I'm sure

it causes great gnashing of teeth -- but we might soon have to start talking about "teflon Obama".

For better or worse, the thematics around him have already been built.

I'm reminded of Mondale in 1984 - dumbfounded because so many middle America union members and Democrats were voting against their interests.

It may be incredibly unfair - but thematics matter.  It's a mindset - one that we Democrats would be wise to toss aside as yesterday's losing strategies should be.

For better or worse - Americans vote their heart.

We need to quit pretending that we can change that mindset and back candidates who can get Americans to vote their heart, but for progressive, liberal, Democratic candidates.

by zonk 2008-02-19 02:27PM | 0 recs
Clinton lying....AGAIN

Clinton, in remarks to the ABC affiliate in Honolulu that were reported by the Chicago Tribune, asserted: "Look, it's not us making this charge. It's the media."

But on Monday, the Clinton campaign announced a conference call "to discuss a recent speech delivered by Sen. Obama" and included a YouTube link that showed Obama remarks side by side with similar comments by his friend, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

On the call, Howard Wolfson, the campaign's communications director, said: "When an author plagiarizes from another author there is damage done to two different parties. One is to the person he plagiarized from. The other is to the reader."

PATHETIC. Do we really need someone so detached from the truth as our nominee?

by highgrade 2008-02-19 02:28PM | 0 recs
Tapper raised issue on Sunday 2008/02/obama-echoes-de.html

Conference call was on Monday.

I don't know how or why Tapper made this connection between Deval Patrick's speeches and Obama's, but the Boston Globe did cover these similarities last April.

Yes, April of 2007.

by jawbone 2008-02-19 02:54PM | 0 recs
Boston Globe similarities article es/2007/04/16/Patrick_said_Obama_said/

And why MA voters may not have been as moved as other states' voters--they'd heard it all before. es/2008/02/12/bay_state_voters_know_thei r_limits/

by jawbone 2008-02-19 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Is The "Plagiarism"

How pitiful this is being discussed...All you folks...making judgments...
At any point in time did you not believe the Cheney/Bush lies?

At what point in in time did you choose to force any level of your govt to arrest you for your opposition? If not, why not?

If you truly oppose the madness, at what point in time will you force your govt to arrest you in opposition? If you are not committed enough to do this....after 7 years of Cheney/ there any time you are willing to commit to the front you create?
...ah no...this takes a  degree of courage beyond feeble posting...

My arrests for CD are no greater nor less than anyone...but it does bring about a simple question...What are You prepared to do?

by nogo war 2008-02-19 02:29PM | 0 recs
No not a big deal

This is not a big deal. The thing many Clinton supporters miss is that obama is more than just speeches.

He shared some rhetoric with a close friend. Its just another attempt to bring him down a few pegs.

any one who has read any of his postilion papers or his books understand that this "change" and "hope" is based in returning to a time we follow the constitution on those policies that have moved this country forward for years.

some one mention fdr and the new deal. it did alot to help protect the social policies we need to have the market that allows us to be america. social security was the stepping stone to removing tons of Americans from poverty and protecting the elderly.

its those values as well as plans laid out in that in the world of a new economy based on the globe we need a change to move to that economy. we need spread the wealth as we have done many time including under clinton in the 90's.

he calls for a return to "paygo" to not leverage our children's futures with more debt. Lays out plans to improve education including ideas for how to improve an issue that can't just be fixed with more money yet needs more money all the same.

A foreign policy that has us talking with those who are friends as well as enemies. Reagan ended the cold war with no bullets. Just his words.

Improving infrastructure and using community to improve the inner cities. Look at plans that are doing well to help poverty and workers losing jobs and improve those and fund them fully while cutting programs that aren't working.

and so much more. so if the clinton campaign wants to attack obama's rhetoric let them. it looks foolish. cause behind that rhetoric is a intelligent individual who ha swell though out plans and observations on where this country need to go. His movement is to give him POLITICAL WILL to get those plans done.

and i have left ton of is great ideas out. i suggest reading his books and his papers. It really would show how foolish many are when they say he has no substance. The president of the Harvard law review, teacher of the constitution, and a lawmaker for many years. He is full of substance.

And this is why alot of us vote for him and support him.

by Leftyy2k4 2008-02-19 02:36PM | 0 recs

I'm pretty sick of hearing about this garbage claim.  Voting PRESENT in the Illinois Legislature does not mean the same thing as voting present in the US Congress does.  It's essentially a no vote.

I realize it's a heated campaign and all, but c'mon, really?

by CranesAreFlying 2008-02-19 02:46PM | 0 recs
It's almost painful...

...watching you grasp for straws.

This is SO not an issue with ANY sort of staying power. It's just not that interesting. Beyond that, it doesn't even rise to the level of "character-revealing anecdote." It's a small side-note that tells us, just maybe, a bit about politics. Ever read about the process of presidential speechwriting? To make the following claim:

"It really pulls back the curtain on the Obama candidacy and raises the question of whether Obama really is the savior from "politics as usual" that his campaign has so effectively offered him up to be."

is just the worst sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy I've, regretfully, seen mydd devolve into over the past 2 months. To the degree that this shows us how "entrenched" Obama is in "politics as usual," it really is a relief. I mean, if his version of politics as usual is speechwriting as usual, then, shit, I'll take that any day of the week.

Let's see......if we try to figure out the degree to which Clinton is politics as usual (Hillary now, not Bill....oh ya, I guess there's a small issue there, since we've had them for 16 years. But let's table that) and compare it to this supposed "revelation" about Obama, indeed, he begins to look vastly different. Your word, used to tap into the frame that is all over the wingnut blogs, is "savior" from such politics. I'd prefer "change." Wait....didn't Hillary vote for the war.....hmmm. Maybe change is a good thing sometimes.

by james c 2008-02-19 02:55PM | 0 recs
For starters, read his book and then reconsider

Anyone that has read The Audacity of Hope would dismiss the current plagairism charge as pure nonsense. Look at earlier writings and you can see the genesis of these ideas over even longer periods of time.  Anyone with a familairty with hs body of work would certainly appreciate Obama's explanation and admission to being an ideological kindred spirit with Patrick. For those with this familiarity, of which I would expect at least someone from MyDD to be included, the attacks by the Clinton camp are even more disingenuous.  The "idealized image" is in no way tarnished by this charge when contrasted with the larger body of work.

Tonight's margin of victory can be viewed, at least in part, as evidence that the public rejects the plagairism argument and the Clinton tactics.

by mchughusa 2008-02-19 02:55PM | 0 recs

This one is even more obvious. Jg

I think the speechwriter needs to be fired.

by wasabi 2008-02-19 03:02PM | 0 recs

Two rock star African-American politicians who are friends, who face the same types of questions about their ability to govern, who represent profound political change, who share the same campaign manager, also share some of the same talking points and actual language.

I don't see why there should be a problem with it. If Obama was lifting whole sections of MLK's speeches -- or something like that -- then he would seem damn inauthentic. This is nothing like that, nothing near like that.

by Dmitri in San Diego 2008-02-19 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Is The "Plagiarism" Thing

The best part of this whole thing is how ALL of the "words" referenced in that bit involved rampant "plagiarism."

" is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for the country in return?"
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1884 Memorial Day speech

"That's exactly what we mean -- from every mountain side, let freedom ring. Not only from the Green Mountains and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire; not only from the Catskills of New York; but from the Ozarks in Arkansas, from the Stone Mountain in Georgia, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia -- let it ring not only for the minorities of the United States, but for the disinherited of all the earth -- may the Republican Party, under God, from every mountainside, LET FREEDOM RING!"
-Rev. Archibald Carey Jr., 1952 Republican National Convention

"That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."
-George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights, 6/12/1776.

Raymond Moley and Louis Howe wrote the "fear itself" speech, Howe the actual "fear" line.  FDR only got involved when he hand-copied the final draft, complete with fake corrections, and then leaked a story to the media about how he'd written the whole thing by himself in one night.  Admittedly that one might have been a little bit unethical.

by HEAP 2008-02-19 03:12PM | 0 recs
It won't work

The problem for Hillary is that Obama has successfully framed this whole debate as authenticity v. "will say/do anything to win." I have to admit that it's a bit unfair, because she is who she is also, and he's obviously out to win as well. But the fact is that over the past several months, the campaign dynamics have continued to reinforce this narrative. He says/does what he thinks, and comes off as authentic, while we really haven't seen him or his campaign saying a whole lot about her personally, yes, her positions on various topics, but not her personal character, competence, etc. On the other hand, she seems to have a new message every week, and much of what we've heard from her and her campaign has been negative stuff about him personally -- he's not been vetted, he's all talk and no action, Rezco, Jesse Jackson, he's not a manager, etc.

This latest spat will come off as more of the same. He cribbed a few words from a close political ally and friend, and she goes all out trying to attack him for it. Again, he's the real guy who made a very minor real guy mistake (who hasn't copied someone's notes after class before?), while she's seen as trying to expoit every little thing to "bring him down a few notches," with nothing new to say about herself. Just fits the narrative, the same as every other attack so far.

Soon enough, we'll Patrick and Obama on the campaign trail together joking about stealing lines from each other.

by dmc2 2008-02-19 03:19PM | 0 recs
Karaoke Candidate = Obama

Obama is not doing the framing here - the MSM is.  I think they are waking up to this stuff, and the Republicans will hit him hard with his karaoke.  BO doesn't have legs on the national stage - this kind of stuff will kill him once the MSM banks right again in the general election.

by Molee 2008-02-19 03:31PM | 0 recs


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