Monday, February 18, 2008
Clinton aide Howard Wolfson has charged Barack Obama with plagiarism, a charge The Politico calls "explosive." The "explosive" charge is that a passage in Barack Obama's stump speech closely tracks a speech given by Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, back in October 2006.
Seriously? Politicians are not allowed to crib arguments from each other? I, for one, had literally no idea that principles of academic integrity applied to political speeches.
I am forced to conclude that Howard Wolfson is an idiot, or thinks that we are idiots. Is there a third possibility I am missing?
If this is the most potent stuff the Clintons have to throw at Obama, they are scraping the wood at the bottom of the barrel.
CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.
I'm not a fan of Obama, but rhetoric doesn't need to be footnoted. Here's some support for that argument:
In 1850, [Theodore]Parker was the first to use the phrase, "of all the people, by all the people, for all the people" which later influenced Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
In words made famous by Martin Luther King, Jr. a century later, Parker predicted the success of the abolitionist cause: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
Well, Obama definately has a pattern going here. Remember the PBS kid's show, "Bob The Builder"? Remember what his catch phrase was? "Yes, We Can!" Seriously, my understanding is that when you give a speech for money or when you quote in print, giving credit is more acceptable than say a political speech. It does speak volumes about Clinton's state of desperation though, eh? Me thinks she does protest too much. Now who said that?!
After comparing the speeches given by Obama and Deval Patrick I do find this very disturbing. Until now Obama had very little except his " feel good" generalities. Now we discover they are just " Stolen Words".
Hmmm... the media usually takes little morsels of indignation and outrage on behalf of others from the Clintons and then exaggerates them into a huge deal when a Republican is the target.
They've got to be sitting around like stunned bunnies in the Clinton camp; with their most powerful weapon now shooting blanks against Obama.
What fails to get mentioned is that they are good friends and often share campaign strategies. Gov. Deval Patrick has this to say about the incident:
In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Patrick said that he and Mr. Obama first talked about the attacks from their respective rivals last summer, when Mrs. Clinton was raising questions about Mr. Obama’s experience, and that they discussed them again last week.
Both men had anticipated that Mr. Obama’s rhetorical strength would provide a point of criticism. Mr. Patrick said he told Mr. Obama that he should respond to the criticism, and he shared language from his campaign with Mr. Obama’s speechwriters.
Mr. Patrick said he did not believe Mr. Obama should give him credit.
"Who knows who I am? The point is more important than whose argument it is," said Mr. Patrick, who telephoned The New York Times at the request of the Obama campaign. "It’s a transcendent argument."
Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan penned an interesting Wall Street Journal piece on the coming smears from the Clinton, and formulated an interesting thesis statement about why. She freely admits that she will support the GOP, yet also says in another universe she'd support Obama, so complete is her disgust with the Clintons.
When I see/hear Obama's "Yes, We Can", I don't think "Bob the Builder" (no kids). I think the "Si, Se Puede" (sp?) from the rallies of illegal immigrants and their supporters... Probably not a good thing for Obama that I make that connection, but then again, I'm not someone he's going to be able to sway to his side, regardless...