Yet Another Obama - Deval Patrick Speech Line Swipe

Via Politico:
Here are the You Tube videos:

Deval Patrick 6/3/06

"I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me. I'm asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

Barack Obama 11/2/07

I'm not just asking you to take a chance on me. I'm also asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

Yesterday I didn't think this was such a big deal. Today I do. How can we believe in the genuineness of his message of hope, optimism and change when he cribbed it from another politician?

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    Every politician has speechwriters... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:35:59 PM EST
    We understand that. We don't expect them to write their own speeches.

    We do expect the ideas that go into the speeches to be original, however, and that the speech should reflect that. If the lines are verbatim from a speech written for a run at the Massachusetts governorship, shouldn't we wonder how authentic they are when recycled for someone running for president?

    It may not be a dealbreaker, but can you honestly say you're not even the slightest bit dismayed, even the smallest amount, by this? What if it came out that the whole "Ask now what your country can do for you" line had been delivered the previous year by someone running for governor of Idaho? Wouldn't that take just a bit of the bloom off of the rose?

    Originality (none / 0) (#16)
    by dmk47 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:43:33 PM EST
    Name one truly original theme in any speech in any campaign in your lifetime. For the sake of the children.

    Excellent points (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by standingup on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:56:13 PM EST
    I'd add that this is the reason Obama does not do as well in the debates.  It has been well established he is comfortable and more convincing with his stump speeches when he can repeat the same themes.  He is not a natural in the debate format when he has to venture off the path of the familiar and think on his feet.

    He needs to memorize more (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:21:27 PM EST
    Deval Patrick answers in debates, clearly.

    And to add a side point, how much is Obama paying his speechwriters -- and what for?  If I were an Obama donor, I'd be wondering about that expenditure.


    No idea on the speechwriters (none / 0) (#118)
    by standingup on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:16:28 PM EST
    but I have read that Alexrod is only getting $1 million compared to Penn's $4.5 million.  I think the return on Axelrod is much better at this point.  

    I have been very disappointed with Clinton for not making adjustments in her campaign team.  But I am not any happier with the thought of selecting a candidate based on the image without adequate scrutiny of other information that is important.  


    Authenticity (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by timber on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:06:19 PM EST
    I wonder why it took this long to figure this out.  And with the era of You TUbe---how could the Obama campaign not realize, that one day this will happen.

    I am a Hillary supporter because I bought the experience rationale but I admired  Obama for his oratory skills which is inspiring and one you havent seen since JFK and RFK.  I thought they were original.

    Now I look at Obama at a different light.  Like a good actor memorizing great lines.   It is about authenticity.


    more specifically (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by white n az on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:12:32 PM EST
    the lack thereof

    Offhand... (none / 0) (#41)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:09:48 PM EST
    Almost all candidates have unique aspects to their platforms. Even if they agree on broad policies, their emphases will be different.

    Hillary Clinton is selling her "35 years of experience". She has a universal health care plan and an aggressive plan to soften the housing crisis.

    Bob Dole offered a 15% tax cut and promised to be a bridge to a past where America was allegedly better off. Ronald Reagan asked if you think America is better off now that it was four years ago, and told everyone that government was too big and part of the problem. Jimmy Carter promised he would never lie to you (this was after Watergate).

    I guess the question is, if your platform and your campaign is so similar to someone else's that you can lift entire sentences from their speeches and repeat them verbatim, is it that wrong if people wonder how original you are?


    Deval Patrick for President! (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:44:57 PM EST
    I mean, why not? He has the same uplifting rhetoric, AND he supports universal health care. (Or at least is trying to keep the Massachusetts plan working.)

    Go Deval! (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by dk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:48:24 PM EST
    Exactly.  Unlike Obama, Deval actually advocated for progressive policies in his campaign.  While Deval advocated for universal healthcare (with mandates) and gay marriage; Barack advocates for Harry & Louise, and Donnie McClurkin.  

    And, Deval actually had executive experience.  He was assistant attorney general for civil rights, and general counsel for Coca-Cola, before running for governor.

    Go Deval!


    wow (none / 0) (#115)
    by Josey on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:11:51 PM EST
    didn't realize Patrick is a very accomplished achiever - and Progressive.
    And very different from the Hollywood-created "Obama Brand."

    It's about parity (none / 0) (#63)
    by white n az on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:50:01 PM EST
    When Bill ran for Pres in 1992, he said, you get 2 for the price of one.

    With Obama, you also get Deval...2 for the price of 1 - just an attempt to achieve parity.


    Negative Narrative (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:48:25 PM EST
    It still needs to be tied to a bigger negative narrative to really hurt him, but the more these things are found (Patrick also appears to have been fond of saying "we can disagree without being disagreeable), the more likely it gets attached to a broader negative narrative about Obama.  

    Most likely, one that goes to authenticity.  If this really does look like Obama is just the latest vessel for a smart marketing campaign - that it's not his message, it's Axelrod's - then I think it hurts him.  

    The other way it hurts him is how people will hear his future speeches.  If he wins tonight and gives a stirring victory speech, can he use some of these phrases?  Will people stop hearing the music because they are too focused on the words?

    The Other Potential Problem (none / 0) (#28)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:51:03 PM EST
    Is that this "plagerism" charge gets tied into the other plagerism charges - his speeches are not his speeches and his policies are not his policies (remember Clinton has claimed Obama stole some of her policy ideas as well).  

    For the record, I don't consider this plagerism per se, for my money it goes more to an authenticity problem, not an honesty problem.


    Ugh (none / 0) (#30)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:51:57 PM EST
    If only I could spell plagairism.

    Obama certainly can't accuse Hillary and Edwards (none / 0) (#119)
    by Josey on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:30:13 PM EST
    of copying HIM because he's always the LAST to produce a policy paper.
    Several of Obama's policies contain exact wording as Edwards' - who of course had released his several weeks or months earlier.
    Edwards supporters had a running list of all Obama's papers and slogans copied from Edwards.

    What has Obama initiated?  hope. hopity hope.
    And the media laughs.


    /sigh, this is so depressing... (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by cdo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:36:34 PM EST
    I cannot understand for the life of me how people do not, or will not, understand how this is plagiarism.
    It makes no difference if Deval gave him permission to use the speeches. He was presenting the ideas as his own, when they were not. Period.
    Hiring a speech writer is not the same thing because the person doing the hiring is involved in the process...they outline the requirements of the speech, its message and tone, they read a draft, make corrections, blah, blah, blah. That is a collaboration.
    Quoting well known speeches without giving acknowledgment is also not the same thing, since the speaker is not presenting the idea as their own, they are simply agreeing that we all recognize such phrases as "I have a dream...", "Four score and seven years ago...", "We the people..."
    And sorry but using cliches like "yes we can" or "fired up ready to go" does not need a source since it would be impossible to actually identify one.
    But I really can't decide which bothers me more...the intellectual laziness of the Obama campaign that didn't even try to rework a Deval speech they admired in order to really make it their own, or the voters who think its no big deal. Presenting someones else's work as your own is a big deal. Or at least it used to be. Somewhere. /sigh.

    Marketing strategy (4.33 / 6) (#13)
    by CathyinLa on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:41:20 PM EST
    Jerome Armstrong cited it as a revelation of a marketing strategy.  I credit Jerome Armstrong because he said it first. ;)

    But I agree.  It isn't so much that it's egregiously offensive as being phony enough to steal the words of others, but the Clinton camp has had a very good line about having a candidacy that relies heavily on rhetoric, the words should be his own.

    The repetition of themes, using the exact same words, looks gimmicky.

    If the unity, hope, change vagurey talk is a marketing/election strategy it looks less noble, less authentic.

    If?? (none / 0) (#105)
    by Josey on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:44:33 PM EST
    Obama is a media creation - replete with Hollywood PR and marketing strategists promoting their latest corporate icon.

    I don't understand this logic (none / 0) (#1)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:25:46 PM EST
    Does his message somehow no longer count because he didn't write the speech?  

    Here's a news flash.  He doesn't write most of his speeches.  He tells his speechwriting staff to come up with speeches that convey a message.  They write them.  He reads them and approves them.  He then delivers them.

    People, this is political rhetoric.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  

    A complete non-issue.  And when the media doesn't pick up this story it won't be because of some nefarious plot to help Obama.  It will be because there isn't anything to this.  

    Who's running? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jerry on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:31:37 PM EST
    Deval Patrick or Barack Obama?

    When you tell people you are an agent of change, and an agent of hope, then I'd hope you demonstrate that you are not the usual politician.  That would be a refreshing change.

    We already had an actor and the great american communicator.

    I'd like a breath of hope.


    David Axelrod (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by standingup on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:49:49 PM EST
    I am surprised the Clinton campaign blew this with pushing it as plagiarism.  And the information has been out there for some time now for those interested but the press has so far had zero interest in doing any critical reporting on Obama.  

    Here is a piece from Christopher Hayes last February in The Nation - Obama's Media Maven.

    Given his rhetorical skills, Harvard Law pedigree, up-by-the-bootstraps bio and, well, his race, it is hard not to compare recently elected Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to his friend Barack Obama. Both men entered crowded primaries in which they were definitively not favored. They both inspired a kind of personal pride among supporters that is rare in politics. On the evening of Obama's convincing primary victory, the crowd and the candidate joined in chanting, "Yes We Can!" and if you listen closely to video of Patrick rallies, you'll hear the crowd chanting the very same thing. When Patrick looked into the camera in one ad and said the state's problem wasn't a "deficit of dollars but a deficit of leadership," it was hard not to hear echoes of Obama's oft-used line that the country's biggest problem isn't a budget deficit but an "empathy deficit." And in Patrick's most effective ad, he stands on a stage delivering an impassioned speech to a crescendo of applause as Obama sits on a stool just behind him, nodding approvingly, his head perfectly framed in the shot.

    Which brings us to something else the two men share: David Axelrod, the 51-year-old reporter turned media consultant who was the key media strategist for both men's campaigns. He's the one who wrote those ads, framed that shot and came up with the "Yes We Can" tag line. "I don't bring these messages to candidates," Axelrod says when I point out the similarities. "I look for candidates who exemplify and reflect those messages." In the cases of Obama and Patrick, he says, the work is a collaboration. "They take and improve on what you bring them; they deliver it well because they believe in it. It's like riffing with great musicians."

    I am tired of being sold a bill of goods and that has been one of my greatest concerns with Obama.  



    Axelrod on Wikipedia (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jerry on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:18:22 PM EST
    Interesting post standingup, here is Axelrod's bio from wikipedia.

    In some horror, I note that Axelrod is the spawn of a psychologist and a journalist, with those genes and interests he is the perfect media guy to create a Manchurian Candidate. (Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.)

    I think Obama certainly has the education and the smarts to be President.  I just get this feeling that most of what we've seen is scripted, acted, and hollow.

    I am told he is very liberal but he can't say so if he wants to win and I should trust him.  But I also hear analysis of his plans that suggest he is not so liberal.  And I see no reason to trust politicians.

    And before these plagiarism charges, he was "accused" of lifting some plans from Clinton.

    I think both of these candidates are terribly flawed and mostly what I see is that both of these candidates, blew the platform they had as Senator when they could have demonstrated their leadership and political skills, and have run a same old same old very conservative political campaign.

    Both candidates are really only distinguished from their peers in, well, their minority status.

    I think that if Obama wins he could be a good or even great President.  I think a 46 year old Constitutional Law Professor has plenty of experience and smarts to do so.

    I just don't buy into the messiah scenario, and especially not the bi-partisan new approach scenario.

    I guess I favor Clinton as she seems to be willing to say upfront it's going to be a fight.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#123)
    by standingup on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 09:06:27 PM EST
    I hadn't read Axelrod's wiki page or known of his parent's backgrounds.  It might be interesting to take a look at the other candidates who hired him to compare their campaigns with how they have have performed in office.    

    I agree that Obama has the potential to be a great president, just not sure that his strengths and experience are the best to take office with what the nation faces in 2009.  Hillary wouldn't be my first choice either but I do think I have a much better sense of what to expect from her.  

    This entire primary has been a let down for me.  I was hoping the netroots would play a greater role.  My vision was for them to hold the candidates accountable and push for the issues that are most important.  So far that has not happened.  The perfect example is what you have been told about  Obama being more liberal but not being able to express it since it plays into his electibility.  How is that any different from Hillary voting for the AUMF with the thought of her upcoming candidacy for commander in chief?  Too much cognitive dissonance for me.      


    He didn't tell his speech writers (none / 0) (#2)
    by tigercourse on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:27:53 PM EST
    anything. Deval's campaign manager told the writers to put this together and then slapped it on Obama. It's apparently a good speech. Maybe every single one of our current and future candidates should just crib it.

    Ok (none / 0) (#5)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:33:27 PM EST
    Fair enough.

    By the way it would seem that Obama let people know that he was borrowing the line....

    Barack Obama told a New Hampshire audience he was borrowing a line from friend Deval Patrick, urging people to "vote your aspirations." He joked that Patrick "stole a whole bunch of lines from me" during his gubernatorial campaign.

    Apparently Deval didn't think much of it a month ago...

    Patrick insists there's no "playbook."

    "We believe similar things. We believe in a robust participatory democracy. We believe in grassroots campaigning and grassroots governing. We believe that people get the government they deserve," he said.

    But now I know why. He is an evil plagiarist as well!!!

    'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' Just words," Patrick said then, firing up the crowd about the power of words and messages. "'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' Just words ... 'I have a dream.' Just words."

    Obama, in an interview with The New Republic published in March, said "words are pretty powerful. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal.' Those are just words. 'I have a dream.' Just words. But they help move things. And I think it was partly that understanding that probably led me to try to do something similar in different arenas."

    Shame on you Mr. Patrick!  Shame!!!


    There seems to be some confusion on this point... (none / 0) (#14)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:41:43 PM EST
    But in South Carolina, Obama delivered that same line without referring to Patrick at all.

    See the update at the bottom of this post:



    And now we are quibbling (none / 0) (#19)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:44:58 PM EST
    over who said what when.

    It seems pretty clear that both campaigns are similar.  Both had Axelrod as a major player.  They are staunch allies.  

    Much ado about nothing that will be forgotten by Friday.


    Umm (none / 0) (#39)
    by ajain on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:05:13 PM EST
    I dont think this should be forgotten. Obama's appeal is that he is a once in a lifetime candidate who has superior vision and what not. But this just proves that not only is he simply a re-hash candidate, his stuff is bascially an Axelrod strategy.

    Also proves (none / 0) (#83)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:20:24 PM EST
    that the  Obama  of   scruples  and  integrity  we  thought  he  was,  is  not  the   real Obama  at  all.

    He  seems  more  like  Dubya  did  in 2000  every  day.


    I postulated (none / 0) (#91)
    by white n az on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:27:22 PM EST
    that by Friday, the effects of this week will be reflected in the polls and also that it won't be a good week for Obama, regardless of what happens in Wisconsin

    It may be too late. (none / 0) (#116)
    by IndependantThinker on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:13:20 PM EST
    Interestingly, I heard on O'Reilly that Michelle's comment that 'for the first time she is proud of this country' is part of a written speech she has made at least twice and not an off the cuff comment which I thought it was.

    You are right (none / 0) (#6)
    by herb the verb on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:35:38 PM EST
    Who cares where he gets his words. Once he says "Write me a speech" that is the end of his responsibility. Who cares if it is nearly word for word what any other recent politician has said? The important thing is that OBAMA says it. Magna Carta? MLK? JFK? Captains Kirk or Piccard? No matter.

    Obama is inspiring, no matter where what he says comes from. That is what is so perfect about him.

    Wow, is this really how low the bar is for an American President?


    Here's why (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by sas on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:07:15 PM EST
    we care about the origin of his words.

    He professes to have original thought as to how we can solve problems.  That is his appeal - a new way of doing things - change.

    When we find out he is borrowing those thoughts, and merely reciting it with the fervor and cadence of a black preacher, we know he is just acting it out.

    Maybe he is just an empty suit.


    Cadence.... (none / 0) (#82)
    by jerry on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:19:40 PM EST
    It would be interesting to see how Obama's speaking style has developed over the years.

    Has he always spoken this way, or is this a new development?


    Give me a break (none / 0) (#12)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:41:14 PM EST
    He's giving speeches EVERY DAY, as is Hillary.  If you get outraged by this it's only because you want to.

    Whereas if you don't (none / 0) (#26)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:50:19 PM EST
    Your motives are pure and you have utterly no agenda?

    Except maybe you're worried it makes your candidate look like a product rather than an original. Someone who will parrot a winning formula if that's what it takes to win. Someone whose words aren't his own.

    Axelrod is packaging his candidates like products. I'm not buying.


    Nice try (none / 0) (#29)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:51:50 PM EST
    the inverse does not apply.  

    You weren't buying Obama before so I'm not sure what this has done for you.


    Well, it's a nice confirmation (none / 0) (#35)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:55:38 PM EST
    that my instincts were correct. And maybe other people will not be fooled either, now.

    Giving speeches (none / 0) (#122)
    by herb the verb on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 09:05:45 PM EST
    are hard work!

    Well, it hit (none / 0) (#4)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:33:12 PM EST
    the Nightly News

    How is this issue playing in Peoria, (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:42:52 PM EST
    anyhow.  Heart of the nation.

    gallup daily tracker (none / 0) (#21)
    by demschmem on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:46:17 PM EST
    mentions that it possibly accounts for her big rise last night.

    In a couple of hours (none / 0) (#22)
    by AF on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:47:56 PM EST
    we'll see how it played in Wisconsin.

    Hit Too Late (none / 0) (#32)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:53:36 PM EST
    to be much of an effect in Wisconsin, I suspect.  

    I think we'll see how big an issue over the next week in 1) whether it continues to be discussed and 2) whether polls move in future states.


    BDB (none / 0) (#89)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:26:40 PM EST
    May  have  a big  effect in  Texas, OH,  and  PA.

    Even  my  son in Austin--a  previous  Obama  fan---called  to mention  the  story,   expressing  disgust  that  Obama's  lines  were  "programmed."


    Hit 'way too late in Wisconsin (none / 0) (#103)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:42:59 PM EST
    and so did the Other Obama's killer comment -- neither one reported in any Milwaukee media, print or broadcast, that I saw.  Largest paper in the state had a lot of her speech, but not that comment (the paper is conservative and even encouraged, on its front page, crossover vote for Obama).  

    Maybe there was something in midsize dailies around the state, but Milwaukee is a third of the state's population.  So most Milwaukeeans still do not know about it, I bet.  (Early to bed, early to rise to get out and put more salt on the sidewalk, etc.:-)


    Believe this (none / 0) (#65)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:55:08 PM EST
    is the beginning of the fall off the pedistal. Once he became the front runner this was bound to happen.

    It is a good test for him. We need to see how he does when the pressure of the media starts.


    Ehh (none / 0) (#8)
    by rilkefan on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:38:09 PM EST
    I think people will understand a little sloppiness in a long campaign.

    IIRC even MLK lifted a lot of phrases from uncited sources and nobody cares.

    Yes, they do; MLK's reputation (none / 0) (#101)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:39:40 PM EST
    suffered for that, when his plagiarism was revealed.  But he sadly was gone then -- and his actions spoke much louder than his words.

    Obama doesn't have actions yet to match, and that is the difference -- and the problem for him.  "Hope" for what?  More Deval Patrick/Axelrod speeches?


    Um, there's a video of BO using that phrase (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:38:28 PM EST
    months before Deval on 11/1/05 here.

    Kidding of course. But it should have made one think.

    If we are gong to pay this game, are we 100% sure Deval used it first?

    That said, if BO has cribbed phrases from anyone else like the Gov of MA - and was aware of it - and we've started a cycle of unearthing these plagiarisms, and that there will be more and more of them, well, Houston, we got a problem.

    The dates are on the video. (none / 0) (#17)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:44:45 PM EST
    You did read the part where I said (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:53:01 PM EST
    "Kidding, of course." Right?

    The point is, are you 100% sure no one will dig up a video clip of BO using that phrase before or around about the same time as Deval did? Thereby putting into question who actually did come up with the phrase first.

    Not likely, I'm sure, but that's the point of my questioning this game. It could bite back.

    In fact, if someone finds a video of Deval "cribbing" some BO phrases and thus supporting the idea that they're best friends and share night-night stories, I think that might mollify a lot of folks.


    I thought Obama opposed "man-dates" (none / 0) (#111)
    by Josey on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:57:51 PM EST
    Sorry - I tried. But I couldn't resist.

    Jeralyn, you're too smart for this (none / 0) (#10)
    by dmk47 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:40:38 PM EST
    Obama and Patrick have the same campaign managers and work collaboratively to develop their rhetoric. Unlike every politician who cribs broad themes and slogans from generations of previous politicians, Obama, in this case, has Patrick's explicit permission and encouragement to use his rhetoric. And vice versa! After Obama used "Yes we can" as his slogan in 04, Patrick made "Together we can" his slogan in 06.

    And both of them are echoing Ted Sorensen, and to some degree Martin Luther King. Does the fact that King lifted any number of rhetorical tropes in his "I have a dream" speech make you question King's authenticity, or that of his message?

    Besides,  Hillary Clinton doesn't write her speeches either, and she cribs from other politicians relentlessly. Apart from appropriating Obama's "yes we can" and "fired up, ready to go" and Giuliani's "tested, ready, now" business, Hillary Clinton's speeches, with few exceptions, are patchworks of well-worn rhetoric from her husband's administration, the women's movement, and a number of other sources, intermingled with  bulleted (but actually not very detailed) policy laundry lists.

    This is an utter non-story.  

    It may be an utter non-story to those (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:45:51 PM EST
    1%'rs who care to dig into it, but to the unwashed low info masses who make up the majority of our electorate and who may only catch a few snippets about the story from the nightly news?

    It may not be such a non-story to them.


    Everyone understands it (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:36:48 PM EST
    and don't diss the other "creative class" -- they may not write books or paint pictures, but they can be the ones who come up with the quick wins (as they're called in the management field) in their workplaces that make a big difference on an assembly line or the like.

    And they don't like not getting the credit, either.  They understand it just fine.  Watch any kid whose sibling gets credit unfairly, as it happens in families, too.  And pride in one's ideas is almost innate, as is dislike of life's "cheaters."


    Sorry, man, (none / 0) (#129)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:36:51 PM EST
    BO wins WI by, what 17?

    He's the Dem nom. Plagiarist warts and all.


    Maybe right (none / 0) (#55)
    by dmk47 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:40:30 PM EST
    But of course, the fact that the Clinton campaign pumped this nonsense and got the press to run with "OBAMA PLAGIARIZES?" on the front page and "no" on page B17 for a full day is something of a disconfirming datum to the theory that the media are conspiring to destroy Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary borrows phrases too (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by sas on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:13:00 PM EST
    Your argument dmk47, reminds me of what my kids try...."Well all the other kids do it too"

    Please  - That argument doesn't work for them either.


    Not a non-story at all (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:27:58 PM EST
    Well, for what it's worth, (none / 0) (#125)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:12:00 PM EST
    I remember reading a while ago that both Hillary and Bill actually do draft their own speeches and rarely give speeches prepared wholly by someone else.

    I agree -- please! (none / 0) (#127)
    by dc2008 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:32:17 PM EST
    I agree -- please!  Patrick explained this sufficiently -- it's clearly not plagiarism and it's RIDICULOUS to call it plagiarism.

    beating a dead horse (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jgarza on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:40:46 PM EST
    Yesterday I didn't think this was such a big deal. Today I do. How can we believe in the genuineness of his message of hope, optimism and change when he cribbed it from another politician?

    Because you have ever bought his message.  What a joke.

    no of course I didn't (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:06:13 PM EST
    buy it but I did think it -- and he -- were genuine.  Now instead of just thinking he's naive, I'm thinking he is a crafty manipulator.

    this is prolly why Obama didn't win (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by hue on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:32:59 PM EST
    Mass. despite Ted, Carolyn and Kerry's endorsements. The voters there had heard that message before.

    even worse than a person who never bought (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by white n az on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:02:06 PM EST
    his message in the first place...

    buyers remorse...

    fool me once, shame on you...


    Jeralyn I agree totally with you (none / 0) (#23)
    by athyrio on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:47:56 PM EST
    and the American people will too in the end....We have all been taught that plagerism is bad and immoral...It is a tad hard to justify at this point...We also need to believe in his geniuneness and this doesn't help at all...

    I can't believe the dismissive attitude (none / 0) (#27)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:50:36 PM EST
    if the people here in this post.

    Of course this is a huge deal.  And there's probably even more where this came from.

    I don't care if they share speechwriters or not,  Obama is being marketed to people as something fresh, something new, and his stump speeches to the people--his words--are what his entire campaign relies upon to be convincing of the "newness".  How can you accomplish that when your words have already been run by someone else?  This isn't an homage situation, either.

    Gah, I despise plagiarism (I'm a graphic designer and I see it all the time).

    This isn't artistic work (none / 0) (#33)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:53:37 PM EST
    Speeches are political property.  They're speeches.  

    You can't copyright political rhetoric.  


    Were you absent... (none / 0) (#43)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:10:48 PM EST
    ...yesterday when there was talk about the fact that you can copyright a political speech?  It's a literary work. You can't copyright slogans (like "Yes we can!"), but those can be trademarked.  Do you know anything about copyright law?  I have to, as a graphic designer.

    "Speeches are political property.  They're speeches.  
    You can't copyright political rhetoric."

    Sorry, but that's all completely and utterly wrong.


    Hawk (none / 0) (#95)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:30:49 PM EST
    That  won't  matter  to  the  thousands  of  Americans    who listen  to AM radio.  

    This  will  be  huge  in the  GE.


    The Real Problem (none / 0) (#34)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:55:06 PM EST
    Is that there probably is a lot more of this coming.  They don't seem to have been very careful about this issue.

    A passage here or there probably will be over in a day or two.  One after another after another starts to be a much bigger problem.


    Look at it as a marketing tool--branding (none / 0) (#42)
    by jawbone on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:10:03 PM EST
    Axelrod's candidates get the Hope and Change branding.

    Interchangeable, applicable to any candidate.

    Probably McCain would have run under the Compassionate Conservative brand if BushBoy hadn't messed quite so badly. Gave it a bad name.


    Wow (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:58:40 PM EST
    It's been pointed out before that if Clinton was caught doing this, the Obama clan would be raking her over the coals calling it the most heinous thing in the world.

    The singular hypocrisy of that -- ahem -- "movement" is going to force me out of this Political Party.

    Of course it's a non-issue when Obama does something wrong.  It's not wrong!


    Note that this happened back in November.  Funny how the ace reporters in the main stream media, missed this.

    Boston Globe noted sharing back in April '07 (none / 0) (#45)
    by jawbone on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:14:10 PM EST

    Last April the Boston Globe published this graphic of the sharing of speech wording between Patrick and Obama.

    It was there for any MCM reporter to have pulled up.  I'd love to know why and how Jake Tapper came across it now.

    His own Lexus-Nexus search? Fed by someone? Damn, I'd love to know....


    Rove is whispering in Tapper's ear.... (none / 0) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:32:59 PM EST
    What I think is weird about this (none / 0) (#58)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:41:19 PM EST
    is that Obama has called his campaign a movement, as mentioned above.  There are plenty of stories saying "this is real" here's one:  James Zogby .  Maybe it is real, but I'd respect his campaign more if he situated grassroots politics and his change message in the context of others who have done so and used these techniques.  Does he talk in his speeches about how Massachusetts elected a governor on grassroots hope?  Does he include Deval Patrick in his movement?  Howard Dean?  Would it have been so hard?  It would have been more convincing to me.  And now we put those pieces together for him.

    Don't let this drive you out of the Dem Party! (none / 0) (#49)
    by jawbone on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:20:34 PM EST
    This is between Obama and his campaign manager--the Democratic Party did not set this up. If I understood you correctly.

    The MCM does whatever it can to ensure the success of its corporatist masters' wishes.

    Mainstream Corporate Media. The middle word is extremely important.

    They saw a way to influence elections and public opinioners using "news reporting" and talk shows, and they are making the most of it. They work hand in glove with the Drudges and RNC.

    Bob Somerby at dailyhowler.com has begged lib/progressive voices in the media to take on the MCM about this tilting of the game.  Hasn't happened yet, except for Krugman and things like Media Matters, but with blogs we have a bit more information and a slightly better chance of informing the public.


    I have found (none / 0) (#60)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:47:22 PM EST
    there to be no difference between blogs and the main stream madia.

    At the very least in terms of quality of information.

    You describe the MSM quite well above, they seek to influence, not inform.

    Blogs can't be any different.


    Remember: Obama has been vetted...!? (none / 0) (#38)
    by jerry on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:01:29 PM EST
    There are no surprises in his background....

    Looking back to that comment (none / 0) (#112)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:01:51 PM EST
    Now I see a little sneer that says. "I'm actually going to get away with this."

    Deval told Obama to use his words (none / 0) (#44)
    by Kuni on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:14:10 PM EST
    I guess those trying to distract people from Hillary's rovian tactics, with rovian tactics like this BS, forgot to mention that Deval Patrick has said: "I asked Obama to use my words."

    Permisson (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by CathyinLa on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:17:44 PM EST
    I had permission to be unoriginal!

    No, no, no (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:40:51 PM EST
    Permission is not what's important. Attribution is.

    When you do not attribute, you are fraudulently claiming another's words or ideas as your own.

    We've been over this several times.


    He also failed to (none / 0) (#78)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:15:15 PM EST
    attribute FDR and Martin Luther King.  

    I wonder what sort of grade he's going to get on these speeches?  His entire semester is shot if he doesn't ace them.


    Hawk (none / 0) (#97)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:33:35 PM EST
    He  also   didn't  attribute   the  Malcolm  X  lines   he used.

    It's not genuine, obviously (none / 0) (#47)
    by MarkL on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:20:28 PM EST
    I look at Obama and I see George W. Bush redux---a total media creation. He uses carefully scripted speeches, while hardly talking about policy himself. He uses code words and buzz words. He talks grand themes, but in vague terms.
    He's no more genuine than Britney Spears.

    not true (none / 0) (#66)
    by A DC Wonk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:56:03 PM EST
    To say
    He uses carefully scripted speeches, while hardly talking about policy himself

    is clearly untrue.  He talks plenty about policy, if you'd care to check.


    I have watched and read many of his (none / 0) (#68)
    by MarkL on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:59:13 PM EST
    speeches. I stand by my characterization.

    the real difference (none / 0) (#48)
    by almondwine on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:20:29 PM EST
    yesterday you hadn't gotten the memo from Ballston saying it was a big deal yet.  today you have.  

    Seriously? (none / 0) (#50)
    by GV on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:26:50 PM EST
    This is by far, by far, the stupidest "attack" I've seen this election cycle.  By.  Far.  This is like Bill-was-involved-in-Vince-Foster's-death stupid.

    If this is really what Clinton is reduced to, as an Obama supporter, I take this as a great sign.  

    From of all places, HuffPo: why it matters (none / 0) (#53)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:34:56 PM EST
    And this is why it matters that Barack Obama is now furiously trying to suggest that it's "no big deal" that he plagiarized his friend's, Deval Patrick's, speech. He's even claiming that Mr. Patrick told him to use the speech. Perhaps Mr. Patrick did. Perhaps Mr. Patrick told him to use the speech and never told him to say it was written by Mr. Patrick and not by Mr. Obama. It doesn't matter, actually, what Mr. Patrick said or did not say to Mr. Obama. What matters is that Mr. Obama passed this speech off as his own, adding only his by now customary flourishes of tone and inflection. That the man who has presented himself to this country as the man of integrity and change turns out to be a fraud -- and that is what we call people who pretend that someone else's words are their own -- must be a profound disappointment for his supporters, if they can be honest enough with themselves to admit it.

    However, what's even more disheartening and heartbreaking is this: Mr. Obama, in his historic bid for the Presidency, represented an ideal with whom children from broken homes, of mixed racial origins, of no great means, of inner turmoil who seek refuge in drugs, could all look up to and strive to be. In one fell swoop of his unwritten-with pen, he has dashed the hope that here stood a man who pulled himself together and got it together.


    Wow. Ouch. And add to that (none / 0) (#92)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:27:40 PM EST
    the revelations coming out today of how much his life story also has been, well, abridged -- if this is the GOP attack, say hello to President McCain.

    Btw, allow me to commend you for attributing and even linking to your source.  Amazing to me how many here who think Obama's plagiarism was no big deal also clamor for sources for statements made here.


    I'm an editor and former writer (none / 0) (#113)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:04:18 PM EST
    You bet I take attribution seriously.

    Unlike some politicians, my livelihood depends on it.


    Yes, saw that before -- just using you (none / 0) (#120)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:44:45 PM EST
    as my teachers' pet to make a point to others.:-)

    Btw, I was a writer and an editor, too, and Kathy still is in the trade with you, it seems.  So is Miriam, who is here sometimes.  And we have a graphic designer here.  We seem to be the forgotten members of the "creative class" to the media, huh?


    Hillary is not dead yet (none / 0) (#117)
    by hookfan on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:16:25 PM EST
    Remember upcoming is Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. How historically untimely (or timely, depending on one's perspective) for Obama to be hit with this just before the "big " states weigh in. Perhaps the coronation must be put off.

    Welcome to the big time BO. Do you have any clothes or is it all pretend fabric?


    Thanks, I needed that (none / 0) (#121)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:46:08 PM EST
    as I swear we could have done better in Wisconsin without the awful weather for the last week and the near-zero temps today.

    stick a fork in him (none / 0) (#59)
    by white n az on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:46:33 PM EST
    On the bright side, he can always get Deval Patrick to go on the stump for him since Deval already knows the lines.

    On the dark side, everyone in the media has become aware that there is a intensely lack of originality in Obama's words and his words now doom him. What was his strength is now his greatest weakness.

    For all the Obama apologists that want to play the denial game - thanks for playing - the media now has the narrative and the biggest fear is that Obama wins the primary to become crushed in the general because this dishonesty won't be allowed to stand.

    "He's no better than me" (none / 0) (#69)
    by MSS on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:01:36 PM EST
    At mydd.com, Todd Beeson asks Is the Plagerism a Big Deal? and concludes that it is -- not because it's actually terrible plagarism, but because it feeds into a perspective of "he's no better than me."

    (One mydd.com writer suggests that Obama and Patrick share a speechwriter, who got careless about whose words he put into which speech.)

    But, as it says in another article on mydd.com:  just in case you don't think using someone else's words can cost a candidate an election, ask Joe Biden.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#71)
    by BlueMainer on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:02:51 PM EST
    If Patrick and Obama sit down and work through speech ideas, how does anybody know it wasn't Obama who came up with the wording first?

    It would stand to reason that (none / 0) (#74)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:10:24 PM EST
    Patrick's and his speechwriters came up with it first, since each video shows the speech being made long before Obama used it.  Unless Obama was thinking REALLY dumbly with the idea that "Well Patrick can use it now, and then when I use it, Patrick will have used it that long ago, I don't think anyone will notice or care..."  It's just not a line of shrewd thinking.

    Didn't Obama already claim otherwise? (none / 0) (#79)
    by MarkL on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:17:29 PM EST
    It was revealed (none / 0) (#77)
    by robertearl on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:14:05 PM EST
    last night on Larry King, that Deval and Obama have the same speechwriter and campaign manager.

    I don't know if that will satisfy you Obama haters.

    It won't (none / 0) (#80)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:17:36 PM EST
    Ironically many of the Obama-haters are trying to do is pierce the Obama as savior image.  The problem is that this is an image solely in their head.

    you are tone deaf (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by white n az on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:24:47 PM EST
    I don't recall seeing a single Obama hater on this site at all.

    I see a good number of non-believers and it's easy enough to make the nexus that in your view, if we are non-believers, we are haters which is entirely not the issue.

    We know that he is not the messiah, he doesn't represent anything but another politician and his posture that he somehow transcends politics as usual is simply hogwash.


    Obama (none / 0) (#102)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:40:29 PM EST
    is  a  Chicago  pol.  

    As  he  said  himself,  "I know how  to win  elections."

    Now  we  know  what  he meant, eh?


    I don't agree (none / 0) (#104)
    by white n az on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:43:39 PM EST
    He's just a pol that wants to win.

    I don't blame him for stretching his story to make the sale.

    I am just not buying what he's selling


    white (none / 0) (#110)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:57:49 PM EST
    But  you DO agree   that  what  he's  selling  is  nothing  new  or  different,  right?    

    Same ole  same ole.


    ain't no Obama haters (none / 0) (#106)
    by kmblue on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:45:43 PM EST
    Skeptics, yes.  Haters, no.
    And flyhawk, you are working overtime on this particular defense of this particular issue, imho.

    Oh please (none / 0) (#114)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:07:30 PM EST
    We're disgusted with his actions. He's the one who set up the "man of integrity" image. You are the one who was fooled.

    Don't take your disillusionment with him out on people who are pointing out your idol's clay feetsies.


    To me, it's the bigger picture (none / 0) (#84)
    by rghojai on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:20:35 PM EST
    (To use a BTD word, I am a tepid Clinton supporter.)

    If this was all there was to it, no big deal--not even a small deal.

    This strikes me as part of broader concerns, that BO is DP 2.0, that Axelrod had a major hand in something that worked and did it again; the broader themes and the candidates are striking in their similarities. Feels like someone crafting a formula for a successful TV show in England, bringing it to the USA--not unlike American Idol....

    Beyond that, the disclaimer in at least one of BO's books leaves me wondering how much there is there.

    Are you also a tepid Axelrod (none / 0) (#86)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:23:39 PM EST
    supporter then?  Because you and BTD clearly are voting, above all, for Axelrod as president.

    Excellent rejoinder, CC. (none / 0) (#90)
    by MarkL on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:26:53 PM EST
    I find Obama less inspiring than ever. Does he even read his speeches? He sounds to me like he is still reading from the teleprompter.

    Not quite fair, Cream City (none / 0) (#98)
    by AF on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:33:46 PM EST
    Using someone else's lines and being a puppet are completely separate issues.  Bush was a Rove/Cheney puppet but never stole anyone's lines.  Joe Biden stole lines but wasn't a puppet.

    I'm not that much more pleased with the idea that Obama is Axelrod's puppet than I am with the image of Hillary as Bill's ventriloquist dummy.


    Huh? Nope. (none / 0) (#124)
    by rghojai on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:00:27 PM EST
    Voted HC in CA, not with wild enthusiasm, but she struck/strikes me as considerably better than BO.

    If you're wondering (none / 0) (#93)
    by AF on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:27:56 PM EST
    how much there is there, read his autobiography, written by him, not a ghostwriter.  There's plenty of there there.

    That said, this is a real slip-up.  How it plays out will tell us whether Obama can survive a s**tstorm.  If he can, that should quell doubts about the general election.  If can't, better to find out now.


    Obama's books (none / 0) (#107)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:50:23 PM EST
    I've  seen interviews  with  his  family  and  friends  who say  his   so-called  drug  abuse  was  hardly  noticeable.  

    Is  it  possible  he  exaggerated  same  to look  like  he  had  "overcome"   more  than he  had,  and  to   dispel  the  "He's  not  Black  enough"  meme?


    Obama didn't do drugs? (none / 0) (#109)
    by AF on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 07:56:32 PM EST
    Hello President McCain!

    If that's true, (none / 0) (#126)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:25:18 PM EST
    geez, how much more ironic can this election get?

    I can't wait for this primary to be over. (none / 0) (#128)
    by dc2008 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:12:53 PM EST
    I can't wait for this primary to be over, because this blog used to be an intelligent place to visit, but now it's just getting more and more silly the further ahead Obama gets.  There are enough highly intelligent people here, but this is just getting silly.  I can't wait for things to get back to normal.  The people who deserve to be roasted over this are Hillary Clinton and her campaign for making this out to be something it clearly is not.

    The Huffington Post has reported on words and themes Hillary Clinton has borrowed without attribution from Bill Clinton (though not entire quotes), and notes that former Bill Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet has "scoffed" at the notion that there's anything scandalous in this.

    Who's "plagiarizing" whom? (none / 0) (#130)
    by dc2008 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:17:49 AM EST
    Hillary: "Yes We Can," "Fired Up and Ready to Go," "Si se puede."

    At least Obama borrowed/shared words with an ally.  Hillary took them from her opponent!  I therefore think there's a stronger case that Hillary plagiarized Obama than that Obama plagiarized Patrick.  But I'm not sure I would go so far as to call even that plagiarizing.  All the more unreasonable then to accuse Obama of plagiarism.

    P.S. I "plagiarized" Talking Points Memo and Michael Moore.  But the links speak for themselves.