Barack Obama - Deval Patrick Thread II

Agree or disagree, Barack Obama's recycling of words taken from campaign speeches of Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick is a big story today. Here's just one compilation from Mememorandum.

Our original post has more than 200 comments, which means it's time for that thread to close. Since readers have more to say, and the cable news shows are about to start, here's a new one.

Is the media being too harsh on Obama? Not harsh enough? Is his run as media darling about to hit a snag? Or is it all a tempest in a teapot?

A line from a Bob Dylan song keeps running through my head -- I'll change the gender to fit the occasion: "He never stumbles cause he's got no place to fall."

Does Obama have enough of a space carved out to rebound from misses like this?

Update: Comments over 200, now closed.

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  • My prediction is the media will protect him (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by LatinoVoter on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:59:09 PM EST
    by somehow making this about Hillary Clinton.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jim J on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:00:05 PM EST
    as long as HRC is in the picture she is the lightning rod. The game changes after she leaves the scene (which I sadly assume will be the case).

    Media may believe HRC is not in the game (none / 0) (#110)
    by Prabhata on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:21:54 PM EST
    It's time to hit Obama to make room for the maverick.

    CNN is on it pretty hard and also on (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Teresa on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:12:50 PM EST
    Michelle for saying that for the first time in her life she is really proud of her country. That really got Dobb's off. I don't think she meant it the way it sounded. We just have to remember it's "what Michelle meant".

    What Michelle Meant (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:33:49 PM EST
    It really doesn't matter what Michelle meant if Obama becomes the nominee. That is a line that will be played over and over again by the Republicans. It will be another slice off the voter pie.

    Words... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:02:07 PM EST
    don't matter

    Yes, the media is unfair to Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:02:32 PM EST
    ... and treats Obama like a rock star.

    But what saddens me is that because of the above situation, many people take their frustrations out against Obama.  It's the media's fault, not Obama.  Is Obama exploiting it?  Sure -- so should any candidate who gets that free benefit if he/she wants to win.

    (Not only is the media unfair to Hillary, but some of it is just plain sexist, which is doubly damaging to our society).

    But the anger about this, quite justified, should be directed at the media, not at Obama.

    This is about right. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by nowar99 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:09:13 PM EST
    I think that this is about right.  I am a supporter of Hillary (who will definitely vote Obama if he is the nominee).

    I am trying to not blame Obama - things happen, and when you are giving multiple speeches every day, this type of slip up happens - especially when you have a speechwriter.

    My frustration is what would be the reaction if this was Hillary Clinton.  But that's not Obama's fault.  Its the most minor of offenses, and it'll be forgotten (even by the media) with tomorrow's polling results.


    I don't blame Obama (5.00 / 4) (#116)
    by Prabhata on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:24:51 PM EST
    But I've written off DKos, Move On, and most blog sites because instead of sticking to the issues and pressing each candidate to advance the progressive agenda, the blogs have been joining the media.

    Ya there go (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by Kitt on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:59:57 PM EST
    I've not been much on Daily Kos anyway; I have other places since Al invented the internets.  But I stopped sending money to MoveOn.org because of their endorsement. I don't think it's their place to endorse.

    Here in my own state one of the longest running blogs has sucked down the Obama kool-aid and has been pretty hard on those of us who are not Obama fans or still haven't decided. As it's a joint venture, it's been a headache for some of us. What's wrong with having two in the race up to and including the convention?  Nothing as far as I see.


    I understand that Senator Obama, (5.00 / 17) (#5)
    by lilburro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:06:50 PM EST
    periodically, when he's feeling up, recycles Deval Patrick's words as a way of trying to boost his appeal.

    LMAO (none / 0) (#199)
    by auntmo on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:40:31 PM EST
    What a surprise?! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ajain on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:12:27 PM EST
    Nightly news and CBS evening news bent backwards and sideways to make Clinton look bad. CNN however was fairer. But ofcourse nothing like what happened to Joe Biden.

    Something  I found on MyDD.com :

    "It's time to put our cynicism down. Put it down. Stand with me and take that leap of faith. Because I'm not asking you to take a chance on me. I'm asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations. Take a chance on hope."
    Barack Obama, right?


    These are the words of Governor Deval Patrick.

    So I was right? I avoided them because (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by LatinoVoter on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:16:09 PM EST
    I figured that is what they would do.

    Then it's a pattern (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:20:17 PM EST
    CNN was saying that his other speeches should be looked at to see if there's a pattern.  Wonder what they'll say when it pops up?

    CNN asked if Deval Patrick (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by BluestBlue on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:22:22 PM EST
    had used any of Obama's lines in his speeches as Obama claimed... they traded lines back and forth... they said they will look into that.

    what they'll say is (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:26:33 PM EST
    but, Hillary did it, too!  I saw some of the "examples" on NBC and ABC.  The first was using something from the Bible--and something that Bill had said before.  The second was her making a remark about being able to keep up with people who rent tapes at Blockbuster, so why can't we keep up with them at the border?  

    The second one interested me the most, because they showed Edwards saying something similar five months prior.  Now, I put the emphasis on similar because she did not use his exact words.  She certainly did some lifting, but she did not in any way quote him exactly, which it appears that Obama is doing with Deval.

    I'd also like to point out that all the charges that were made about Deval before he took office are very similar to the charges against Obama, and that currently, Deval is universally accepted as close to useless by the people he is supposed to represent.


    will these speach rules (none / 0) (#41)
    by jdj on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:43:08 PM EST
    apply to Hillary? Her campaign suggested they didn't.

    She isn't hyped as the great orator (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:13:58 PM EST
    and the one who inspires with soaring words.  So it will hurt Obama -- as without those soaring words, he is just a fine baritone to most folks.  They haven't looked into what is behind the voice.

    To give him credit, Obama did not blame the 26-year-old kid speechwriter (or Ted Sorenson).  But  Obama tried to dismiss it, and that is not doing well for him.  He will have to address it again.


    Pot, Kettle . . . (none / 0) (#95)
    by Randinho on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:12:09 PM EST

    In a conference call just now the Clinton campaign would not guarantee that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, has never used someone else's rhetoric without crediting them.

    I asked Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson and Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass, if they could assure the public that neither Clinton nor McGovern has ever done what Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, did when he used the rhetoric of Gov. Deval Patrick without footnoting him.

    They would not.

    In fact, Wolfson seemed to say it wouldn't be as big a deal if it were discovered that Clinton had "lifted" such language.

    "Sen. Clinton is not running on the strength of her rhetoric," Wolfson said.

    Hillary's own communications director essentially acknowledges that what's sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.


    Yes (5.00 / 4) (#125)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:32:35 PM EST
    But he's right, Clinton has never claimed any great rhetorical power.   Obama does (ironically in the passage he lifted from Patrick's speech).  Or, as Wolfson also said

    "If you're going to be talking about the value of words, the words ought to be your own."

    So . . . (none / 0) (#135)
    by Randinho on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:38:51 PM EST
    Double standards are okay for Hillary.

    No (4.50 / 2) (#183)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:19:09 PM EST
    It's about judging the candidates by their own standards.  

    It's like finding out Hillary never did any work and spent all her days at the beach, making Deval Patrick hold meetings for her.  She claims to be about WORKING for change.  She's derided speeches as "just talk."  When you do that, it doesn't matter as much about what you say.  

    Obama claims to be about INSPIRING change and has defended the power of speech, thus elevating the importance of what he says.


    Great - Clinton's own rules!!! (none / 0) (#185)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:21:01 PM EST
    Its plagerism - ie. theft, when he does it.

    Its OK when I do it, because I am a lousy speaker.

    My gawd...and this is the candidate you want to go up against the Republicans?


    Tano (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by auntmo on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:44:30 PM EST
    Did you know  that Obama's  post-South Carolina  speech  using   the phrases  "that ole okie-dokie,"    "Don't  be  bamboozled  or  hoodwinked"   came  right out of  Malcolm  X?  

    Heck, his phrase  "We  are  the ones  we've  been waiting  for"  isn't  even original.  

    He  should  write  a  NEW  book titled   "The Audacity  of   Recycling  Words."


    and who said this? (none / 0) (#19)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:27:10 PM EST
    "We have seen thousands and thousands of Iowans over the last week and we are fired up and we are ready to go because we know America is ready for change and the process starts right here in Iowa,"

    Practically... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:49:12 PM EST
    I wonder...did Obama ever work on, say, a publication?  Something like a newspaper or a journal or something?  Because, if he hasn't, then he couldn't really be expected to know the rules about plagiarism, and how lifting someone else's text word-for-word is not an homage, but deceitful.

    huh? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:55:02 PM EST
    "did Obama ever work on, say, a publication"

    Ohh, I dunno, for starters, he wrote two books (without a speechwriter or ghostwriter), and he was president of Harvard Law Review.


    Uh (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:02:54 PM EST
    I believe that is Kathy's point.

    I believe the point being made (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by echinopsia on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:08:08 PM EST
    is that if he has, he knows what plagiarism is, how serious an ethical breach it is, and he should have known better.

    Are you positive there was no ghostwriter??? (none / 0) (#172)
    by Angel on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:10:42 PM EST
    I'm positive that . . . (none / 0) (#202)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:44:03 PM EST
    Obama said that there was no ghostwriter.  That's good enough for me, as it'd be easy to disprove and really blow up in his face

    Wonk (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:50:12 PM EST
    your supposition is based on a false premise.  Ghostwriters sign contracts stating they will not reveal their participation in the writing of the novel for the life of the copyright without suffering severe penalty.

    Please note that I am not in any way saying that Obama did--or did not--have a ghostwriter.  I am saying that if there was one, we would never know.  The financial repercussions of revealing such an arrangement would be devastating to the author and result in blacklisting in the publishing community.


    Attribution for other's words is de rigeur in the (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:56:15 PM EST
    academic world, with which Obama is well familiar. He didn't make an attribution bcz it would lessen some of the magic, would raise the question of just how much of his soaring rhetoric is actually, you know, his.

    It might make his listeners step out of the "moment," take another look at everything he says.

    Plus, they thought no one would notice. Otherwise, in some way, there would have been a hint of attribution as cover.


    was wondering where you were (none / 0) (#65)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:59:18 PM EST
    welcome back...

    had to work (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:07:09 PM EST
    good to be here, though--and such turmoil!

    I wanted to bounce an idea off you for a book I had.  It's called the DaVinci Code.  I've got this friend name Dan Brown, and we share a lot of ideas and stuff, and I'm sure he won't mind.

    What do you think?  Would it make you proud to be an American for the first time in your life if I was able to do something like this?


    yeah....and (none / 0) (#101)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:15:42 PM EST
    I can do the movie...go for it. It's ok. My take, packaging. This is packaging, commodity. I blame all those parsers with all the framing stuff...frame!! that is just dishonest. If you cannot say it honestly and the people go for it, it's propaganda and marketing. That is why it makes our skin crawl.

    we need us some (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:20:11 PM EST
    Rezko to take this stink away.

    I have noticed something funny in news programs lately: they have again and again said that Clinton and Obama are in a "very tight race."  Remember how right before NH results they were being so very, very cautious--the whole tone changed because they had exit polling and knew that this was not the vaunted Obama sweep they had been predicting all week, so they backed off it big time.

     Maybe I am reading into this, but linking it with the Hillaryis44 quote about something "very damaging" coming down the pipleline...
    maybe they know something
    we don't know
    and to make it rhyme
    I will end this with Rezko...


    Packaging a commodity. (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by carolyn13 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:27:03 PM EST
    A friend of mine, 25 and multiracial, said Obama's campaign reminds her of a feminine hygiene commercial. "It's new! It's fresh! It's Obama!"

    But we only know this (none / 0) (#141)
    by lilburro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:44:57 PM EST
    because the Clinton campaign spurred this compare and contrast.  It's not like they were upfront about this to begin with.  I don't really think it's a big deal, but I'd imagine someone who lived in Mass., who attended these Patrick rallies, listening to Obama, would probably feel somewhat eerie.  

    Quoting someone from 40 years ago is one thing.  Quoting someone from 2 years ago is a little different - you can't really say you're quoting a great tradition there.  And what Obama is basically doing now is adding quotation marks after the fact, no?  

    Obama reiterates a section of a previous speech.  For doing this, Hillary would at least be called a robot.


    "attacks" (none / 0) (#186)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:22:23 PM EST
    "Deval Patrick himself suggested to Obama that he use the material after Hillary began her "I offer solutions" attacks."

    Attacks?  Saying that Obama offers speeches and she offers solutions is attacking?  I didn't realize that comparing and contrasting is now considered attacking.


    He had to wait (none / 0) (#198)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:38:04 PM EST
    to come out with his policies because he was waiting for Clinton to come out with hers...

    What else could Patrick Deval say? (none / 0) (#191)
    by felizarte on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:26:45 PM EST
    that would not hurt his friend? And Deval could not possibly copyright those lines that is known to belong to some other people.   If the plagiarism does not legally apply, at the very least, it is COPYING!

    But we quote sources all the time.  Obama should have taken better care by ascribing authorship to JFK, Jefferson, MLK; worked it into his speech and still come out inspiring because he would be reminding the voters of all those great leaders that came before.  He was careless.  As a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, you'd think he would be more sensitized to these things. And Michelle Obama was also careless in saying, "for the first time in my life, I am proud to be an American!"  


    ObamaMama (none / 0) (#205)
    by auntmo on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:48:13 PM EST
    Did  Obama's   listeners  know  that  those  were  the words  of   Duval  Patrick?  

    Why  didn't  he   admit  they  weren't  his own?


    Only journalists know what plagiarism is? (none / 0) (#226)
    by reynwrap582 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 09:15:46 PM EST
    Has he ever gone to college?  Written a paper?  You learn about plagiarism in your first English class if you hadn't already learned it in High School.  It's not something they overlook, it's an extremely serious issue.

    They both plagearized Cesar Chavez (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:51:28 PM EST
    and Delores Huerta with fired up and ready to go. so give it a rest.

    Well, yes.... (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:52:59 PM EST
    but only one 'borrowed' their copywritten slogan "Si se puede" - "Yes We Can!"

    Oh, well...


    They took it from NASCAR (none / 0) (#103)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:16:59 PM EST
    and the Indy 500.  Hardly the same.  Why is it so hard to understand the difference between mouthing cliches vs. appropriating, word for word, others' ideas?

    because then they would have to admit (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:22:39 PM EST
    that Obama did something wrong.

    good thing (5.00 / 0) (#157)
    by white n az on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:54:09 PM EST
    that you haven't made this personal...NOT

    it's "Cream" actually (4.00 / 0) (#190)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:24:57 PM EST
    and she has great standing with me as well as, I am sure, many other posters here.

    She seems to have a very good understanding of plagiarism and has stated very clearly why she believes this is a clear-cut case.

    I happen to agree with her, so you may as well go ahead and attack me as well.  Let me give you something to play with: the act of granting permission is meaningless unless the permission is in the public domain.  By your argument, if I went out and preached the theory of relativity and didn't tell folks that my buddy Albert Einstein said I could use it as my own, then that is not a case of plagiarism.  In other words, what's a little "stealing the credit" between friends?


    I don't understand (none / 0) (#153)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:51:21 PM EST
    If one person talks about hope then anyone else who does is plagiarizing them?

    Exactly. I think you've got it! (none / 0) (#156)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:54:00 PM EST
    And stop it right now.

    Mass. voters saw what Deval Patrick didn't deliver (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by BluestBlue on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:17:12 PM EST
    and didn't fall twice for the same game.

    After the Deval Patrick campaign was over, the time came to deliver on Patrick's pretty rhetoric; Mass. voters found that Deval Patrick couldn't deliver.

    They heard the same words from Barack Obama, saw the same inexperience and lack of accomplishments and took a pass. Despite the much vaunted endorsements of both Mass. Senators, Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry, and the daughter of JFK, Carolyn Kennedy.

    You'd hope that this would at least give pause the rest of the country, that the national media would pick up on what the Mass. media has been saying.

    I'm not holding my breath, Mr. Free-Ride-with-the-MSM skates on down his glossy path with nary a bump.

    Link is here if you want to see the story:
    Bay State voters know their limits

    From the 12 February 2008 Boston Globe article:

    In 2006, Deval Patrick ran for governor of Massachusetts on what his consultant, David Axelrod, called "the politics of aspiration." Patrick talked about hope - a lot. And when people said they were just words, he quoted the Declaration of Independence to upbraid those who think words don't matter. He told voters "Yes, we can," and later, more broadly, "Together, we can."

    These words had a lot of power, as it turned out, propelling Patrick to a landslide. They echoed words that had been used by Barack Obama - also advised by Axelrod - in his record-setting Senate race in Illinois in 2004.

    Last week, many voters in Massachusetts heard some of those words again at a massive rally for Obama's presidential campaign, joined by Patrick and the state's two senators, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. But the next day, the people of Massachusetts went out and voted for the candidate of experience.

    ya never know . . . (none / 0) (#17)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:25:31 PM EST
    Obama was trailing Clinton by 30 points before Kennedy and Kerry endorsements.  The fact that the results were closer (15 pts) may have been partially due to their endorsements.

    I hate to cite Drudge, but (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Jim J on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:27:54 PM EST
    is it significant that about half an hour ago he led with the Michelle Obama comment, but has since excised it completely and replaced it with a charge that Hillary is now plagarizing Obama?

    Looks like the commenter above was right -- they found a way to blame all this on Hillary after all.

    So Much for Drudge Being in the Tank for Hillary (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:03:05 PM EST
    Not that I ever believed that.  Drudge rules their world.  So does Obama.

    that not hard to do (none / 0) (#178)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:14:57 PM EST
    first off, a ridiculously over-the-top accusation about Obama being a thief? She is not to blame for that?

    And of course, the self-inflicted wound of the perfect set-up - making a charge like this is just an invitation for everyone to scour your own words for borrowed phrases, and you can be sure they will be found in droves.

    And to top it off, that totally hilarious comment by Wolfson - that it would be okay for Hillary to borrow phrases because, after all, no one considers here a good speaker?

    This whole episode is a total Clinton desparation move, and she most certainly will be, and should be called on it.


    Nonsense, Tano (none / 0) (#216)
    by auntmo on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:54:08 PM EST
    This  whole  episode  shows  us    what  an empty  suit   Obama  is.

    Fainting (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by pedagog on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:37:07 PM EST
    I wonder if some reporter looked back at many of Deval's campaign gatherings, if there wouldn't be a whole string of females fainting in front row seats like we've seen recently at Obama's events???

    it's not plagiarism (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Turkana on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:37:12 PM EST
    but given that axelrod worked for both of them, it tells me that axelrod is good at getting his candidates to stick to effective rhetorical flourishes. i never expected obama to be authentic, and those who think he is won't be dissuaded by this from thinking so.

    Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:54:00 PM EST
    But I wonder if this isn't sending a shiver down the spines of the Super Delegates - one more reason to worry about the free pass that Obama's gotten in press coverage.  

    I don't think Obama is corrupt, by any means, but he's a politician who has risen to the top awfully damned fast, hard to believe he hasn't cut his share of deals along the way.  Which is all fine and good, I just wish I knew what they were now instead of finding out in September and October.  

    Now, if he's the nominee, I'm with BTD in hoping we don't find out until December, but what are the odds of that happening?


    You nailed it (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by standingup on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:26:56 PM EST
    I think if there is anything that people will take away from this it will be the issue of authenticity.  I don't understand why they are even trying to suggest it is plagiarism.  This clearly speaks to whether or not Obama represents a movement and transcends or is he another creation of a very slick political marketing team?  

    I am ashamed to say this (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:42:14 PM EST
    but on the "real" news that more Americans watch (Entertainment Tonight), they had a very, very positive Clinton story against the Obama plagiarism one, plus, they included the 'fainting' episodes at Obama rallies and contrasted the footage with Hillary talking about how the middle class is the backbone of America.  Not a flattering contrast for Obama.

    Then, they showed Obama's camp charging that he "owns" fired up and ready to go and "change" (tm BR), and then they had a Clinton spokesperson respond to this, saying [from my memory], "He stole an entire speech from his friend, with exact phrases.  She used a couple of soundbytes. This is apples and oranges.  There is no way to compare the two."

    I remain your intrepid reporter from the so-called infotainment sphere...

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:04:50 PM EST
    You watch ET so we don't have to!  

    yeah (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:09:18 PM EST
    I am taking one for the team!

    And we thank you! (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:11:51 PM EST
    Better you than me.

    Thank you very much (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:37:16 PM EST
    Since their audience is undoubtedly much larger than the "news", I gotta think they're more important.

    ET - thanks for watching (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Prabhata on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:38:29 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Steve M on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:46:11 PM EST
    I was in a mediation all day today and can't believe I missed this whole super-gigantic controversy!  Btw, my Ohio cab driver today couldn't even remember Obama's name, but knew that his middle name was Hussein, that he won't say the pledge of allegiance, and that he prefers that Muslim whaddyacallit book to the Bible.  Then he said that if it was up to him, he supposes he'd have to make Bill the first lady - in other words, seems he was a Democrat.  What a country.

    Obama's Problem (5.00 / 7) (#45)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:48:34 PM EST
    is that he's based so much of his campaign on his ability to inspire and move through his speeches.   Otherwise, I'd tend to agree it's a misdemeanor political violation.   But he's the candidate that can't really claim that "it's no big deal, they're just speeches" - indeed part of the language he's accused of lifting is why speeches are so very important.  And they say irony is dead!

    That's why it's a good attack (none / 0) (#142)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:46:55 PM EST
    It's Rovian in that it hits right at the strong point of the opponent. This may be the tipping point for a lot of the Democratic voters left to vote in the primary.

    I have read a few Comments in different Blogs (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:58:49 PM EST
    about how Obama is good in speeches but falters on debates and press conferences.  I guess is the Lack of TelePrompTers in the debates and conferences.  Go figure.

    define falters (none / 0) (#102)
    by jdj on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:15:58 PM EST
    it is not like his debates are car crashes. he hold his own with hillary.

    He does pauses a lot more (none / 0) (#113)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:22:25 PM EST
    when he does not have a TelePrompTer and he sounds a bit unsure some times.  Anyway I said that I have heard comments about this not that I necessarily thought that he lost any debates.  

    I think he quite clearly (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:25:37 PM EST
    has lost debates against her.  One-liners and the resulting laughter are not "points," in my opinion.  They are the kind of juvenile posturing that got us stuck with Mr Nice Guy "I Wanna Have a Beer With You."

    We need a president who understands how to communicate his or her ideas simply and accurately to the people.  I do not see this ability in Obama.  He comes across as a college professor, not the presidential material.  I am not saying that he is a horrible creature; I am saying he needs TIME to learn how to be president.  He needs to become a more seasoned politician and he needs to give himself a record where he has taken firm stands on issues.


    Amen (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:51:09 PM EST
    he has a record (none / 0) (#209)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:50:14 PM EST
    ... if you'd care to look at it.

    And his speeches do not sound like a college professor at all!


    this is the worst yet (none / 0) (#222)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:59:07 PM EST
    Absolutely EGREGIOUS thievery.  And from children!

    Bob the Builder


    Riskier for him (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by xjt on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:59:36 PM EST
    Because as soon as they think he's phony or untrustworthy, his whole house of cards comes down.

    I mean that's one reason I don't support him--because I think it's all about Barack and the material is just there to whip up votes.

    As I read through the comments (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:19:08 PM EST
    I keep getting the impression that the defense of Obama by his followers is that Clinton has done it too, or that he is a politician.  I think that would not be a problem except that since the beginning of the nomination process his campaign and his followers have been telling us that he is special and not just a politician.  I hope his campaign is ready for the Republican machine if he wins the nomination.

    That wouldn't be my defense (none / 0) (#145)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:48:50 PM EST
    A better defense I believe is to remind people of how in fact trivial the story is, and talk about policy specifics contrasting the two candidates in a way that puts Barack in a better light. Saying "Oh she does it too!" is childish and whiny.

    Ahh, but calling it trivial works for Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:27:19 PM EST
    Because, what Obama would be saying is "ignore the best part of mem it's no big deal".  His whole movement, his persona, his whole reason for running is encapsulated in the words he lifted from someone elses speech.  If it were some other part of his speech unrelated to his "agent of change, hope, unity, inspiration and ponies for everyone", then it  would be trivial.  But instead, it looks like Deval sat down with Obama one day and said, "Here, try this line.  It always brought the house down.  Crowd went on for so long, I nearly missed my next appearance.  Oh, and this one too.  Brings tears to the eyes of the ladies."
    His charisma now looks scripted and delivered for maximum emotional impact and no longer sincere.  And yet he can't brush of this part of his identity by calling it trivial without calling attention to the whole facade.  It may take a few days to sink in but I think this is not going to help him.

    No (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by chrisvee on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:22:08 PM EST
    The issue here is not whether this meets the technical definition of plagiarism.  The issue is that a campaign that's built on lifting people up to dedicate themselves to a higher political calling has let us see the man behind the curtain so to speak twice within a very short period of time (e.g. lifting phrases from Patrick and also the 'fainting' scripts).  The more that Senator Obama's approach looks like a technique rather than an art, the more people will start to suspect that maybe they are being manipulated (which they are because politics is sadly about manipulating people to a certain extent and all the campaigns do it) and the more likelihood that folks take a second look at Senator Clinton.

    The media can turn on him at any moment IMHO.  I don't see any Democratic presidential candidate continuing to receive favorable treatment for any substantial period of time.

    Fainting? (none / 0) (#122)
    by echinopsia on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:27:30 PM EST
    At Deval speeches too?

    The difference between (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:33:41 PM EST
    the "fired up and ready to go" stuff and the Obama/Patrick thing is that the "Just words?" was the gimmick to his speech.  It's the difference between design...take for instance logo design as an example.  It's one thing where two different designers use circles in their design, but when one design rips off the basic composition as a whole including its elements from another designer for his design, it's plagiarism.

    Exactly. Use of words or ideas (none / 0) (#146)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:49:04 PM EST
    of others is how plagiarism is defined.  One or the other is sufficient to meet the definition.  Both makes it over the line . . . and as noted, especially appealing to comics for weeks to come with the irony of Obama doing so in a speech saying that his words are more than "just words" and really mean something, defining him -- his ideas.

    Yes, the irony...it burns. (5.00 / 0) (#179)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:15:47 PM EST
    I am especially peeved at this because I am a graphic designer and I deal with plagiarism all the time (hence my example).  I despise plagiarism, truly despise it, so when this came up last night it was the icing on the cake for my dislike of Obama.  

    It's not plagarism really since the (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by tigercourse on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:37:49 PM EST
    same person, the campaign manger, is responisble for both candidates' entire indentities. As others have posted, it's simply a reflection on Obama's "authenticity".

    By the way, Deval hasn't been the most successful of Governors. He's had a hard time delivering on his rhetoric.

    Uh (none / 0) (#181)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:17:24 PM EST
    well then couldn't that be prophetic about the rhetoric, then?  

    See my post above about Deval (none / 0) (#193)
    by BluestBlue on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:30:37 PM EST
    Patrick and what Mass. voters think of him... article from the BOston Globe.

    I have also heard the same thing from numerous MA colleagues. They didn't want Romney's Lt. gov. and Deval sounded good, although light on experience and record (sound familiar?). So they voted for "change".

    Now he hasn't been able to deliver. There was no record because he never accomplished anything and he didn't know how to make the levers of government work.

    We either learn from their mistakes or we relive them on a national basis with Obama.


    or maybe . . . . (5.00 / 0) (#214)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:52:36 PM EST
    maybe Patrick and Obama are different people.  Generalizing from one instance to all others is not particularly sound.  I can think of instances where a wife was elected after a husband and did a poor job.  Should we generalize to this presidential race, too?  I don't think so.

    Allow me to quote Eliza...hum along... (5.00 / 2) (#176)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:14:00 PM EST
    Words! Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!
    I get words all day through;
    First from him, now from you!
    Is that all you blighters can do?
    Don't talk of stars burning above;
    If you're in love, Show me!
    Tell me no dreams filled with desire.
    If you're on fire, Show me!
    Here we are together in the middle of the night!
    Don't talk of spring! Just hold me tight!
    Anyone who's ever been in love'll tell you that
    This is no time for a chat!
    Haven't your lips longed for my touch?
    Don't say how much, Show me! Show me!
    Don't talk of love lasting through time.
    Make me no undying vow. Show me now!
    Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
    Don't waste my time, Show me!
    Don't talk of June, Don't talk of fall!
    Don't talk at all! Show me!
    Never do I ever want to hear another word.
    There isn't one I haven't heard.
    Here we are together in what ought to be a dream;
    Say one more word and I'll scream!
    Haven't your arms hungered for mine?
    Please don't "expl'ine," Show me! Show me!
    Don't wait until wrinkles and lines
    Pop out all over my brow,
    Show me now!

    Should be Hillary's new theme song.

    It's kind of unbelievable... (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by frankly0 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:34:02 PM EST
    Obama does something which by any reasonable account is just wrong, and for which he should be held accountable to whatever degree might be appropriate.

    The Clinton campaign criticizes Obama for his mistake.

    Whose ox gets gored by TPM and much of the MSM? Why Clinton, because of her out of control negative campaigning.

    Man, if you want to know how much of a bias there is at TPM and in MSM, this would be exhibit A.

    Feels like (none / 0) (#212)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:51:54 PM EST
    Bush 2004 all over again, doesn't it?

    swooning (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by pedagog on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 09:14:08 PM EST
    Has anyone checked out film clips of Deval Patrick's 2006 campaign to see if there were a series of swooning incidents by girls sitting in front seats?  

    If so, then there is a pattern of phoniness, and cynical manipulation.  

    The voters in MA bought this "hope" shtick from the Patrick campaign two years ago, but check out his approval ratings now--they're in the toilet.  Perhaps that is why Hillary won handily over Obama in the MA primaries. They saw this flim-flam show once, and they aren't going to be fooled again.

    It was a good campaign move (3.00 / 2) (#9)
    by pontificator on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:13:45 PM EST
    on Hillary's part, and allowed her to win the news cycle for the day.  These types of attacks are precisely what we're going to see in the general from the Republicans (turning little misdemeanors into the biggest scandal evah), so I'm interested to see whether Obama responds effectively.  So far, I think he's done well, getting Deval Patrick's testimony into the public record.  I suppose tomorrow's results will tell the story.  If Obama wins big, this story is dead.  If Hillary surprises, I expect we'll see it repeated as we head to March 4.

    Best Buds (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by pedagog on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:39:50 PM EST
    What do you think Deval would say--gee I'm disappointed that my good friend Barack plagiarized my speeches??

    Now watch how many ways Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:08:12 PM EST
    says, as she has, that she is proud of her country.  The Other Obama's words today are going to be spun and spun -- one of those phrases that no doubt wasn't meant as awful as it sounded, but it's too late to say so.  Picture it on a continuous loop.

    I think that's right (none / 0) (#61)
    by AF on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:57:59 PM EST
    I had been annoyed about the attacks by the Clinton campaign, but they do give Obama a chance to prove he can take a punch.  If he can,  that's a good sign for the GE.  If he can't, better to find out now.  So bring 'em on!

    Not sure "attacks" is the right word (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:15:33 PM EST
    I think we can't imagine exactly what the ReThugs will come up to attack Obama, were he the nominee, but since he is so little known beyond his soaring rhetoric, I think they could have an effect on the public.

    Attacks? By Hillary? C'mon. Compare and contrast is not an "attack."  

    I'm not sure Obama's every been really attacked.


    Well attack then (none / 0) (#123)
    by AF on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:29:11 PM EST
    You can't simultaneously attack and say he hasn't been attacked! Though if accusations of plagiarism and dishonesty aren't attacks, I don't know what are.

    What would be an attack? n/t (none / 0) (#140)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:43:19 PM EST
    you are joking, right? (none / 0) (#173)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:11:01 PM EST
    A charge of plagerism, ie. being a thief and a liar, is not an attack?

    Tano (none / 0) (#213)
    by auntmo on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:52:21 PM EST
    Attacks  are more like  YOU  claiming  Bill  Clinton   is  a  racist,   which  no one   believes  is  true.

    Not when it's true, no. (none / 0) (#224)
    by echinopsia on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 09:04:41 PM EST
    Deval Patrick cannot be an apron string (none / 0) (#126)
    by Prabhata on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:33:00 PM EST
    I don't think Obama has responded in a way that he looks good.  The whole ordeal makes Obama's oratory look phony.  The point is not that he said the words, but that the words cannot be appropriated any more than he can deliver JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you..."  I can't wait until Jon Stewart and Letterman make fun of him.

    I dunno about Letterman (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Nasarius on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:42:36 PM EST
    But if you haven't noticed, The Daily Show has become an Obama love-fest. It's a bit nauseating. Colbert is slightly better, but his audience certainly isn't.

    I've noticed. (none / 0) (#147)
    by lilburro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:49:14 PM EST
    People seem not to know how to make fun of him.  

    Something Tells Me They Will Learn How (none / 0) (#219)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:55:55 PM EST
    right after he becomes the nominee.

    Comments now closing (3.00 / 1) (#221)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:58:46 PM EST
    Over 200 again, thanks everyone.

    As I said in the previous thread... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:02:24 PM EST
    ... this is not meaningless, but it's a misdemeanor political sin. It will, and should, give Obama a demerit, but it's not going to drive his campaign off the rails. The number of voters who will change their votes because of it will be small.

    will Obama pay the price Biden did? (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by irene adler on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:24:38 PM EST
    I doubt it, Obama rules and all. but does anyone see a parallel in what happened to Joe Biden's 1988 Presidential campaign when he was caugIht 'plagiarizing' a Neil Kinnock speech?

    The reason I put plagiarizing in single quotes:

    Though Biden had correctly credited the original author in all speeches but one, the one where he failed to make mention of the originator was caught on video. In the video Biden is filmed repeating a stump speech by Kinnock, with only minor modifications.


    After Biden withdrew from the race it was learned that he had correctly credited Kinnock on all other occasions. He failed to do so, however, in the Iowa speech that was recorded and distributed to reporters (with a parallel video of Kinnock) by aides to Michael Dukakis, the eventual nominee. Dukakis fired John Sasso, his campaign manager and long-time Chief of Staff, but Biden's campaign could not recover.

    Biden credited Kinnock in every speech but one and paid a very high price for it, so this blowing up big is not unprecedented. But unlikely I think.


    link (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by irene adler on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:30:22 PM EST
    It's a pretty widely know story but I forgot to include the link to the above info.

    I AM ME and HE can take a leap (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:57:02 PM EST
    Who am I to question him? (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:05:56 PM EST
    I'm a voter tomorrow.  That's all I need to be.  (Big Brother telling me what to think does not work, but enjoy your Orwellian fantasy of Obamapower.)

    Who am I? (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:06:37 PM EST
    Someone who isn't voting for Deval Patrick.

    Actually the problem lies not (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:07:05 PM EST
    in, if he did something wrong or not.  I don't think he did, but he has been sold to everyone as an inspirational speaker and leader. This is going to be used as evidence that he is no more than any other politician with a speech writing team.  It's a matter of people's expectations vs reality.  How this will play no one knows. Let us hope that if he is the nominee it really is a non-issue.

    Did he also get permission from John Edwards (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by LatinoVoter on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:09:27 PM EST
    when he borrowed talking points and jokes from him?

    "Obama borrows from Edwards"


    Well, check out that wiki entry cited and notice (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by brodie on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:34:34 PM EST
    Biden wasn't just lifting from a Kinnock speech -- he was lifting specific parts of Kinnock's personal story and making them his own (after some Brit to American translations), nearly word for word.  Sorry, I like JB in many ways, but stealing someone else's life story is just bizarre.

    Further, Biden had been caught lifting speech passages from RFK and HHH without attribution (a rival campaign's speechwriter notified the Biden campaign, but the problem continued).  Here though I doubt JB knew others' lines were being recycled.  Blame there, imo, should go to his speechwriter back then ...

     -- none other than Patrick Caddell.  (The Biden camp released a statement saying the unattributed lines had been "subconsciously" added by the campaign's writer.)

    Also, it came out that he'd given a talk carried by C-SPAN where he embellished his academic achievements.  Then the story came out about charges of plagiarism as a student.

    It was all adding up to a definite pattern, and the media was smelling blood.  Time for Joe to go.

    (see book  Shrum, No Excuses)


    plagarism is probably the wrong term (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by white n az on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:49:49 PM EST
    Nothing that you mention actually addresses the real issue at hand - which is that Barack Obama has presented himself as a transcendent figure who doesn't resort to the tactics of politics as the game is normally played and when confronted with the evidence that his speeches, his 'words' have already been through at least one previous election cycle, it becomes evident in under 30 seconds just how disingenuous his posturing has been.

    As Abe Lincoln said (President's Day reference), "You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

    You only need to look at any of the 30 second side by side clips of Deval Patrick and Barack Obama to see that Barack has a very very big problem - main stream media gets this...it's a story that they can tell in 1 minute or less and they have been telling it.

    You need to remove your blinders and see how ugly this whole situation is


    The media's good behavior, which you praise, (5.00 / 0) (#187)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:23:01 PM EST
    will last until approximately one minute after the general starts.

    The plagiarism claim is stupid, but they'll use this incident to contrast Obama's authenticity with McCain's.  Surely no one would accuse McCain of lifting anyone else's ideas for those awful speeches he gives.


    I try hard (5.00 / 0) (#200)
    by white n az on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:42:15 PM EST
    to make discussions impersonal.

    I'm not blowing anything to hyperbolic proportions but I am certain that each and every repetitive defense you have offered to this list demonstrates who is blowing things to hyperbolic proportions.

    It's a simple story...30 seconds of video tells anyone who is interested all they need to know about the originality of Barack Obama's 'words'

    Conclusions are left to the viewer

    If it wasn't such an obvious story, the main stream media wouldn't have run with it so hard - all day long. Thankfully for Obama, tomorrow's story will be about Wisconsin and he might escape with only a single day's news cycle hit.

    The lack of genuine speech is not a fact that will be lost on the media however and every speech he gives from this point forward will be rated on originality which is a lousy place to be.


    Since when? (5.00 / 0) (#211)
    by echinopsia on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:51:22 PM EST
    The reporters and anchors that help shape public perception are not going to be nearly so wanton and reckless in their disregard for the truth.

    I'm a Clinton supporter. What is this unwanton, unreckless, truth-regarding media of which you speak?

    It sounds wonderful. Where can we get some of that?


    Exactly Who Are You To Tell Me Or (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:50:02 PM EST
    anyone else what we can or cannot question.

    totally irrelevant... (5.00 / 0) (#188)
    by frankly0 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:23:27 PM EST
    You completely miss the point, which is that plagiarism isn't just a great wrong because it steals idea and words that rightly belong to another; it also involves the perpetration of a fraud on an audience, who expects that the words they are hearing originate with the speaker.

    Patrick can excuse Obama for his stealing, if he so chooses. But the audience is an entirely different story: they have been deceived by Obama, and they have no need to excuse him just because Deval, his friend, chooses to give him a pass.

    It is the American public who has been defrauded by Obama. They are the ones to whom he owes an apology.


    haha, Stellaaa? (none / 0) (#196)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:35:21 PM EST
    Senator Obama
    reminds me of a guy
    using the same pick-up line
    on the ladies...

    because it worked for his friend.

    "So, then you tell her, 'words are important,' see, and then you look her in the eye and say, 'those aren't just words' and then she'll faint, and you hold her in your arms and say, 'you wanna come back to my place and see my ballot...?"


    Biden... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:30:04 PM EST
    ... would not have had to drop out of the race if he was already 75% of the way to the nomination. If this had come up four months ago, it quite possibly would have knocked Obama out of the hunt.

    FWIW.... (none / 0) (#68)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:00:07 PM EST
    I had always thought that Biden was treated terribly unfairly over the incident

    It was more than a misdemeanor for Joe Biden (5.00 / 3) (#143)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:47:23 PM EST
    when he was shown to have used words from a speech by a British politician.  Now, I don't know if Biden has a photographic memory and actually thought he did author these wonderful phrases that came to him--or he did deliberately plagiarize.

    Point is that for him he was drummed out of the nomination race for mostly that error. And it's still brought up to knock him.

    Have times changed? Is this now just something that happens?

    I don't know, but for me, and I tend to know more about the minutia of this primary than lots of voters, it tells me that this wondrous inspirational rhetoric is part of a packaged deal, perhaps put together by Axelrod. I don't know--just made me view it with a bit more jaudiced eye. For those not so deeply into the tall grass, it may mean little.

    What I really want to know is whether the "a light will shine down on your and you will know you have to vote for Barack Obama" spiel is his own or written for him.

    Because it scares me.


    good one lilburro! (none / 0) (#10)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:14:56 PM EST
    I'm at work and can't watch the shows tonight, but I'm curious if they will protect BO.  One thing I've noticed about the media--they love to build someone up, just to knock them down.  

    I can see him getting a pass if this is an isolated incident.  But if they start looking at the whole packaging of the message, from Camp Obama beyond, this story may have legs...

    Howard Fineman on KO ripped Hillary, (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:59:02 PM EST
    as did KO.

    I'm ready to find something else to do at 8:00pm--until Keith isn't so biased. And he's far from the worst.

    I'm sick and tired of the MCM (mainstream corporate media) picking out candidates and presidents.


    Wolfson (none / 0) (#72)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:01:52 PM EST
    has an apt name, IMO.  He's much more competent than Penn or Axelrod in front of a camera.  If there's damage to be inflicted here, he'll do it.

    The other problem for Obama, IMO, is that he sucks on defense.  Really sucks.


    The South Carolina voters (none / 0) (#92)
    by AF on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:10:26 PM EST
    disagreed with your assessment.

    What a Relief (none / 0) (#121)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:27:06 PM EST
    Since South Carolina democrats didn't care about the lameness of  Obama's defense, I'm sure it will work against McCain and a more hostile press in a general election.

    I guess I'm just part of the reality-based (none / 0) (#133)
    by AF on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:37:49 PM EST
    community.  I try to base my opinions on evidence.  Personally, I think he defends himself very effectively.  But that's just my subjective opinion.

    Michelle really said that--on tape? (none / 0) (#14)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:21:27 PM EST
    I'm sure she didn't mean it the way it sounds, but here we go with W.M.R.M.

    And thanks, now I have that ABBA song in my head :)

    (Take a Chance Me for those non-disco lovin' fans)

    NJDem, you should be kicked off (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:30:13 PM EST
    just for putting that stupid ABBA song in my mind.

    Someone said earlier that Michelle Obama would soon learn what lovely ladies such as MoDo do to other well-educated, intelligent women.  I think MO's remark is going to see some spin over the next few days.

    Folks are, I think, running out of patience for "What they really meant."


    Oh Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:17:28 PM EST
    Michelle Obama seems like a bright, independent, strong-willed woman who likes to speak her mind.  Just you wait, she's going to be labeled a "problem" by the press, just like Teresa Heinz Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton.  The only thing she has going for her is that she isn't using her old last name as her middle name so at least there's no obvious sign that she considers herself to be an independent person.  

    Yes, on tape. I think she meant to put the (none / 0) (#26)
    by Teresa on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:32:15 PM EST
    emphasis on really but she didn't and it sounds kind of bad.

    Not my fault (none / 0) (#28)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:36:39 PM EST
    Kathy, blame ajain :)

    I don't know that the HRC plagiarizing BO thing will stick b/c it seems she used the same expressions as he--that's different.  

    If "fired up" and "ready to go" are copyrighted by BO, then there are tons of sports coaches across the country in big trouble.  And, I saw McCain use it just the other day, but of course the media didn't call him on it.  

    sarcasm (none / 0) (#32)
    by pedagog on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:38:17 PM EST
    Can't you people recognize sarcasm?  She was using it to poke fun at him--you have to quote him to do that.

    He'll Still Win the Primary (none / 0) (#31)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:37:16 PM EST
    And be hobbled out of the gate on the General Election.

    Every word will be scrutinized, going forward.

    Just like every question (even the spontaneous questions) at a Clinton rally became tainted after they showed a question was planted, every speech (even the spontaneous ones) Obama makes going forward will have a taint about it, as well.

    And so (none / 0) (#158)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:54:16 PM EST
    The Clintons will have won.

    What goes up... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Chimster on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:41:49 PM EST
    The fact that many of Obama's followers hang on his every word is reason enough to believe that the "plagiarism" misstep will let some  hot-air out of his overinflated balloon. Hillary likely believes it will too since she jumped on the "gotcha" wagon as well. I don't think this will hurt Clinton as much as Obama because she is held to a different standard than the chosen one. It's not a question of whether Obama's balloon will really burst wide-open, it's just a question of when.

    Chimster (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:47:15 PM EST
    I agree; however, anyone who thinks that Clinton has managed to get the media to take this and run with it is slightly deluded.  No one in the Clinton campaign has been able to direct the press one way or another since...well, since the other Clinton ran for office.

    I think it's been a slow news day and this story just seemed "right."

    There was also something on NBC tonight where they said Obama got a little "testy" with a reporter in answering a question.  I don't know if anyone else saw this, but it didn't seem to me that he got testy.  What happened was he sort of insulted a reporter, which you do NOT do.

    From what I've heard, the Obama campaign has been alienating the press lately because they don't think they really need them anymore.  Not a bright idea.


    Point taken. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Chimster on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:01:03 PM EST
    There are some old habits of human nature that people love to see happen and I'm pretty sure we'll see this occur in the coming months. Fans and the media build heroes up to demigod levels just to have them get torn right back down. I believe Obama is at the top of Demigod Mountain right now. I think he climaxed too soon. He cannot sustain this unquestioned likeability all the way to November. It just doesn't happen like that. They will turn on him. And alienating the press will just expedite the process.

    Worse (none / 0) (#49)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:51:04 PM EST
    Obama doesn't really give the press much access, as I understand it.   Now, that doesn't matter up against Clinton, but McCain is Mr. Access, which is one of the reasons why the press loves him.   Hey, everyone tends to like people who make their jobs easier.  I know I do.

    This is a slow news day -- good point (none / 0) (#108)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:20:34 PM EST
    with government offices and others closed for Presidents' Day.  How did I miss that?  (Those unfamiliar with media practices and studies may not know that 90% of news comes to media, they don't dig it up.  So when government and other offices are closed, media are begging for anything.)

    Has anyone had the stomach (none / 0) (#40)
    by BernieO on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:42:56 PM EST
    to see what Tweety and the gang are saying on Hardball? I just can't bring myself to watch. My blood pressure won't take it.

    I saw the tail end (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Saul on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:56:25 PM EST
    He spent 5 minutes showing how Bill was agrguing with a guy in the crowd who disagreed with Hilary and him.  Plus he look like he was forcing his panel to really look at this clip and tell me what you really think. Asking the panel does he not look like an old man that sort of represents the past.  As if  Ted Kennedy with his white hair does not look old.   Man to take that amount of time on such a stupid subject just goes to show you how much he hates the Clintons.

    Tweets' idea of being gender-balanced (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:22:09 PM EST
    is to discuss men's hairdos, too.  Jeesh.

    A. Mitchell & H. Fineman (5.00 / 7) (#67)
    by nashville on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:59:54 PM EST
    analyzed the "plagiarism" deal with Matthews.  They defintely were not doing their usual Obama cheerleading, but did follow with a clip of Hillary's borrowing some of Bill's phrases and made mention of her use of "yes, we can" and "all fired up."  Suprisingly, A. Mitchell did insist that the 2 were really not the same. Duh?

    The thing that really, really gets me is Obama's insistence that he for a different kind of politics when he is exactly the same.  

    I'm also getting really sick of hearing that Hillary's support comes from non-college educated, lower income, women over 60.  I am a women with a master's degree but many years from 60.  BTW my husband, a lawyer, also voted for Hillary in our unpleasantly red state of Tennessee.

    Sorry for the long reply.  First post and just had to get some pent up frustation off my chest.  Thanks!  :)


    The "support" for Clinton (none / 0) (#160)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:57:30 PM EST
    Is derived from polls, I believe, so I understand it's maddening, but it's not like they're just pulling those numbers out their ass.

    it's on (none / 0) (#59)
    by white n az on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:57:17 PM EST
    but I'm not giving it that much attention. I can't stand Lou Dobbs and KO is on in a few minutes.

    Hardball gave more coverage to Bill's dealings with a heckler but he did cover the plagarism issue several times during the hour


    Plagarism? (none / 0) (#46)
    by OldCoastie on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:49:08 PM EST
    I'm not sure, but using Patrick's speech sure looks cheesy... rubs the polish off Mr. Obama...

    Gimmee a break (none / 0) (#48)
    by 1jane on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:50:41 PM EST
    Wolfson knows that the candidates recycle other politician's speeches all of the time. He also knows speeches are written by a committee of speech writers. Further, this non-issue is viewed by many as desperation on the part of the Clinton Campaign. For certain, researchers will now cross check each candidates utterances. Wolfson put his own candidate and her campaign at great risk by going forward with his claim. Clinton has borrowed many of Obama's lines in her speeches. Obama will continue to take the high road while the Clinton campaign dukes it out with windmills.

    Is that the official Obama position? (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:09:32 PM EST
    Because that's not what I thought the argument was when he and his campaign and so many of his supporters have been claiming that he - and he alone - through the power of his words could bring people together and change Washington.  

    Because your argument sounds an awful lot like "well what do you expect, he's a politician" when I'm pretty sure the primary basis for Obama's campaign is that he's NOT just another politician.

    Which is also why this will never be as damaging to Clinton.  She doesn't claim to be anything other than a politician.  She doesn't claim she's going to make people swoon and woo them with her words.  


    he is only a politician (none / 0) (#93)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:11:32 PM EST
    when there is a political gain (see also: Kerry, pro-war anti-war speech)

    your not stating his position (none / 0) (#98)
    by jdj on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:14:42 PM EST
    just your highly partisan spin of it.

    hahahahaha (none / 0) (#55)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:55:43 PM EST
    ignoring of course (none / 0) (#63)
    by white n az on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:58:51 PM EST
    that main stream media has completely picked up the story and run it all day long - everywhere

    well, we have taken a very sure election win (none / 0) (#60)
    by athyrio on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:57:29 PM EST
    after all these horrid Bush years and turned it into almost sure defeat....Amazing....I am 63 yrs old and this is the most "gamed" election I have ever witnessed particularly by the media...the media are shameless and as soon as Hillary exits stage left, the heat is on Obama and the granades will be launched....and it won't be very pretty...

    Well.. (none / 0) (#79)
    by ajain on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:05:28 PM EST
    I think if people find definate pattern in Obama's past or future speeches then he maybe in a little trouble. Mr. Ethics cant argue that copying and pretending to have come up with ideas is ok. Nor can he argue that words are just that - words. Those two things go against the entire premise of his campaign.

    But who knows?

    Has anyone noticed the (none / 0) (#84)
    by mg7505 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:07:10 PM EST
    second layer of sad irony in all this -- now BO is claiming that Hillary is detracting from the real issues (see bottom of article) when she calls him out on the plagiarism. Sad that BO gets to have it both ways; lift a chunk of someone else's speech and their overall rhetorical strategy, then blame others who call him out. I think the MSM will come to his rescue as usual, and make this about Hillary. What's worse, this is the kind of thing that most voters don't care to grasp in full -- they'll look for whomever got the last word, and in this case that might mean BO criticizing Hillary. Grr.

    Hilary's Campaign admits borrowing lines too. (none / 0) (#87)
    by 1jane on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:08:28 PM EST
    Well now, we have the Clinton campaign admitting all over the blogs that they borrow speech lines too. Frankly, I've never known a speech writer who hasn't borrowed lines. Obama, freely stated he should have given more credit.We're still waiting for Clinton to apologize for voting to go to war. Is this the best Wolfson can come up with? Latest polling shows Obama and Clinton in deadheat in Texas and Obama significantly ahead in Wisconson polls. Wolfson needs to pick battles more carefully if he wants to keep Clinton in the hunt.

    "I have dream" (none / 0) (#97)
    by hvs on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:14:03 PM EST
    speech is also plagiarized, by some folks' standard.

    MLK repeating his own earlier speeches (1.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:25:35 PM EST
    as he did in that one, is not the same.  Not at all.  But if you think so, I don't know where to start.

    Well (none / 0) (#152)
    by hvs on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:51:12 PM EST
    if he was borrowing from his own other speeches, his other speeches borrowed from Rev. Archibald Carey.

    But, Carey was a friend.

    According to a lot of posters on this bog's comments, MLK should be totally dismissed as an "empty suit" if they held him to the same standard of "plagiarism" that they hold Barack.

    I think that since Carey was a friend and a compatriot, and since Deval is on Barack's campaign team, this is called "contributing to a speech," not plagiarism.

    (And no, MLK Jr. did not "cite" Carey.)


    that is so disgusting because Obama has had nothin (none / 0) (#105)
    by athyrio on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:18:11 PM EST
    but very favorable media raving about him from the beginning and she has struggled to get out her message because of it not to mention the "be a democrat for a day" republicans that are voting for him ......The democrats are totally in the majority as voting for her overall....so enjoy your brief sunshine because it will all go away very quickly after Hillary exits the stage...I cannot wait to see you the end of November and hear your excuses then...

    What a tried and true Democrat (none / 0) (#164)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:00:37 PM EST
    Indeed, your spite is really strong today. Sit on a thumbtack or something?

    NO (5.00 / 0) (#197)
    by athyrio on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:36:34 PM EST
    I am instead a woman with cancer in remission that has had her insurance cancelled and I need Hillary to win and give us health coverage...Got a problem with that?? I don't have time for Obama to give away the farm and use GOP talking points against health care....obviously you do...

    Obama would give you even better (none / 0) (#215)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:53:28 PM EST
    health insurance. Unless you choose not to buy in.
    And that lack of mandate will make it more likely to actually pass.

    Lanny Davis a supporter of (none / 0) (#109)
    by Saul on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:21:05 PM EST
    Hilary has a good question to ask Obama at the Austin debate.  If you put the Clintons as a product of the old political machinery along with McCain, what is it exactly about the Clinton's 8 years in office  that was so bad as compared to the both of the  Bush administrations that came before and after.   I think old timers voters feel insulted when they hear the theme of Obama that says something like  "Until I get elected nothing great has really happen so  just watch my smoke." Whats so wrong with the old ways a lot of good things were accomplished using the old ways.  Obama took the endorsement of Caroline Kennedy whose father who by Obama standards of the Clintons is one of these old timers of the old political machinery and was in office 14 years before he ran for the presidency.  JFK was not concern how he got into power he just wanted to get elected using the old political machinery.   He even picked one of the biggest crooks in politics LBJ who had extreme power for his VP who without him  would have never won.  He took the endorsement of Ted Kennedy, who been there for ever.  Also what about  the people he accepts as endorsers who have always been taking money from registered lobbyist does that not smack of hypocrisy from his campaign rhetoric.  Just like you return tainted campign money like both side have you also do not accept endorsements that contradict your campaign rhetoric and principles.  If you believe in something so strong you don't make exceptions so as not to look like a hypocrite.    I want to be fair and if Hilary did any like this too the same criticism goes to her. The point being is that if you put the self righteousness bar so high you are going to be scrutinized to the nth degree and it will take very little investigating to see if you are living up to your rehetoric and beliefs.

    I don't understand how (none / 0) (#114)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:22:26 PM EST
    common expressions and jokes are the same as large portions of a speech?  I have to believe most people understand this.

    The irony that this whole issue goes back to his response about the importance of words it just too funny.

    Don't worry (none / 0) (#128)
    by robertearl on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:34:21 PM EST
    Hillary supporters, she cut him and he's bleeding buckets.  His campaign is now SUNK! She will win the nom. IMO

    Btw, all of you Hillary supports are echoing the GOP talking points on Obama.

    No the Obama followers are the ones (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:58:50 PM EST
    who are using the Republican talking points against the Clintons and the ones from the 90's at that.  The Republican smear machine has not even begun talking about Obama in earnest.  They are too busy still attacking Hillary.

    We've been saying these things (none / 0) (#136)
    by tigercourse on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:39:03 PM EST
    about Obama for a long time now. We aren't ripping off anybody.

    Hey, the GOP talking points will be a lot worse (none / 0) (#137)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:42:36 PM EST
    than this stuff.  That's true for either candidate by the way.

    Wrong (none / 0) (#139)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:42:48 PM EST
    The GOP is echoing Clinton's talking points about Obama because the one's they come with sucked.

    Today that may be true (none / 0) (#166)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:02:37 PM EST
    but the RNC had a meeting in LA this weekend with a pretty good sized Rovian powerpoint show about beating Obama.  I read on the net, no link can't remember where, that 10 points of attack were laid out and just ready to be filled in.  Between the convention and November is going to be ugly.

    Well Barack Wrote the Book (none / 0) (#175)
    by xjt on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:13:36 PM EST
    on using GOP talking points, didn't he? What's the matter? Your candidate can't take criticism? This is why I'm depressed. Because if he gets the nomination he will lose. He has skated by on media adulation, sexism, nondemocratic caucuses, and Republican talking points for a long time now. It's not going to work in the general. If he's the nominee I predict he wins D.C. and Illinois. McCain wins every other state.

    funny Carolyn (none / 0) (#149)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:50:01 PM EST
    it actually reminded me of what Biden said about Obama (minus the articulate part).

    Weren't undecideds at around 10% in WI?  It will be interesting to see how this will play out tomorrow.

    And I think no matter what happens, this was a blow to the idea that BO is authentic and a one-of-a-kind candidate that couldn't wait for the end of his first term as senator to run for president.

    I'll tell my friend you liked it. (none / 0) (#201)
    by carolyn13 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:42:26 PM EST
    She said that a few weeks ago and I've been sitting on it. She's quite a character. I don't think I'll dare to share what she'll have to say about this but it will be along the lines of, "I told you so" to a whole lot of her peer group. This is big trouble for Obama.

    So (none / 0) (#154)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 07:52:11 PM EST
    Bob Marley plagiarized Abe Lincoln!?!

    So when Obama says, (none / 0) (#165)
    by Teresa on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:02:12 PM EST
    "Well I do give a good speech, what can I say", should he really say "we do give a good speech"? I think this is kind of silly but it makes him look less special.

    Surprised at the bomb-lobbing (none / 0) (#167)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:03:44 PM EST
    These discussions are getting intensely partisan and anti-Obama, not even pro-Clinton or even-handed. Are we all really ready to throw bombs at each other and hope we can come out okay for the general election?

    Your Comment Is Rather Ironic (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:19:39 PM EST
    since up thread you told someone here to sit on a tack. I guess "Obama Rules" also apply to Obama supporters.

    Did the Clinton campaign find this similarity (none / 0) (#168)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:04:37 PM EST
    btwn Obama and Patrick's words--or did Jake Tapper dig it up?

    Why is this being laid at the Hillary campaign's doorstep? Bcz they followed up on the story?

    Serious question.

    Jake was the first person I saw who had the story (none / 0) (#170)
    by LatinoVoter on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:08:46 PM EST
    yesterday. The media is laying it at Clinton's doorstep because that's what they do best. Notice the title of Tapper's piece if something like "Obama borrows from Deval, again." So he'd previously either reported on it or had noticed it himself.

    a good link from Boston media (none / 0) (#169)
    by athyrio on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:05:21 PM EST
    Perhaps Not Just the One Speech (none / 0) (#171)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:08:48 PM EST
    Here is Deval Patrick's victory speech, definitely echos of Obama (or vice versa):

    This was not a victory just for me. This was not a victory just for Democrats. This was a victory for hope.

    And we won it the old-fashioned way - we earned it. Nearly two years ago, we started on this journey, and by coming to you, where you live and work, by listening to you, by showing that we could disagree with each other without being disagreeable, by asking you to put your cynicism down, by refusing to build myself up by tearing anybody else down, by challenging you to see your stake in your neighbor's dreams and struggles as well as your own, we built what history will record is the broadest and best-organized grassroots organization this Commonwealth has ever seen.

    And I had totally forgotten (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:12:39 PM EST
    That Elizabeth Edwards claimed David Axelrod stole most of Obama's (and Patrick's) message from Edwards' 2004 campaign.  

    You listen to the language of what people say, particularly Obama, who seems to be using a lot of John's 2004 language, which is maybe not surprising since one of his speechwriters was one of our speechwriters, his media guy was our media guy.

    That's 3 of these so far. I completely (5.00 / 4) (#177)
    by RalphB on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:14:12 PM EST
    agree with those who say this isn't about plagiarism so much as Obama's authenticity.

    Since Patrick and Obama are managed by the same team, it looks like they're just packaged candidates being sold like a brand of soap.  I didn't think the plagiarism bit would stick, but "packaged goods" would make a wonderful attack.  We'll see it from someone before November.


    Remember that speech Michael Douglas gave? (none / 0) (#210)
    by gaitor on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 08:50:32 PM EST
    In that movie where he was a president running for his second term? That really moved me. But guess what? He didn't write that speech--he just gave it. Obama's speeches, whether written by one of his three speech writers [screen writers] or lifted from the speech's of others, are not his own. This seemingly small issue is big for Obama because that "authenticity" was all he had.