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Old 02-19-2008, 09:09 AM   #16
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Slow news day, indeed.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:33 PM   #17
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The New Republic
18.02.2008
Obama's "Plagiarism"

Mike and Noam have already done a great job explaining the ridiculousness of the Clinton campaign's charge that Obama plagiarized from Deval Patrick, but I thought I'd add one more point. Obama's already on record as admitting he borrows lines from Patrick (and vice versa). Stumping in New Hampshire last December, Obama said:

"But you know in the end, don’t vote your fears. I’m stealing this line from my buddy (Massachusetts Gov.) Deval Patrick who stole a whole bunch of lines from me when he ran for the governorship , but it’s the right one, don’t vote your fears, vote your aspirations. Vote what you believe."



18.02.2008
Former Clinton Speechwriter Weighs In On Plagiarism-Gate

We asked former Bill Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet if today's plagiarism accusations against Barack Obama were justified. In his mind, was what Obama did acceptable, or a violation of speechmaking ethics? Here are his thoughts ...

Barack Obama’s greatest strength is the originality of his rhetoric. Sometimes he talks like a regular person, as in his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he introduced himself as “a skinny kid with a funny name.” Sometimes, he sounds like a president from an earlier, more historically literate era, as when he situates his campaign in a tradition that includes the American Revolution, the abolitionists, and the emergence of the labor movement, the civil rights movement, and other social struggles. But only rarely, if ever, does he use the familiar freeze-dried phrases that most current politicians favor. To borrow a phrase from the UAW, the “domestic content” of his speeches is unusually high.

That’s only one of many reasons why it’s so silly to accuse Obama of plagiarism because he used some of the same phrases as his friend and ally, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (who, I should add, was helpful to me when he was assistant attorney general for civil rights at the same time I was a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton). If plagiarism is borrowing rhetoric without permission, Patrick most likely is happy to have Obama sound similar notes, such as hope and inspiration being more than “just words.” Even if Obama and Patrick didn’t know each other, they might use some of the same phrases because similar public figures frequently draw on common streams of public rhetoric. For instance, labor leaders often echo Walter Reuther or A. Philip Randolph; civil rights leaders draw upon the same scriptural passages and historical sources; and conservative Republicans repeatedly invoke Ronald Reagan. Similarly, John Edwards borrowed a rhetorical technique from his campaign manager, fellow populist and former Michigan congressman, David Bonior: His litany would begin “Somewhere in America,” and then he’d describe a social or economic injustice, such as a worker losing his job and his family’s health insurance. While Politico ran a story about this, it is hardly unusual for a candidate to share a rhetorical technique with his leading adviser.


After all, if there is one sentence from Scripture that is literally true, it is this line from Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the Sun.” To be condemned as plagiarism, a political speech needs to be grievously offensive--using lots of distinctive but little-known material from another source without attributing it to that speaker or receiving his or her permission. For instance, in 1987, Joe Biden once used, without attribution, a speech by the British Labor Party Leader Neil Kinnock, in which Kinnock credited social programs with the fact that he was the first in his family to have attended college. By borrowing the speech and inserting his own name, Biden suggested that the men in his family had been coal miners when, in fact, as Maureen Dowd dryly noted, his father had been an auto dealer. (In fairness, Biden had quoted Kinnock when he had given the speech on other occasions.) Does what Obama did come close to what Biden did? Absolutely not. Next scandal, please.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:56 PM   #18
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[Q]"Senator Obama is running on the strength of his rhetoric and the strength of his promises and, as we have seen in the last couple of days, he's breaking his promises and his rhetoric isn't his own," Howard Wolfson, Clinton's communications director, told reporters in a conference call.[/Q]

And that is ultimately what I fear.

Duval Patrick is borderline doing his job in MA. He talked the talk, but he has not walked the walk since his election.

Now we have a presidential candidate, borrowing his lines.....

I liked Obama up until this. It just does not sit well with me.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:15 PM   #19
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Eh. One shouldn't vote for someone on the basis of their being able to give stirring and inspiring speeches anyway, though it's fair to count that as an asset (for example, it could make them more effective in using the office as a bully pulpit for legislation Congress is dragging its feet on). But their voting record, platform, perceived electability and background should definitely also factor in. Unfortunately, no matter whom we elect, there are no guarantees that they'll be able to accomplish most of what we want them to.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:17 PM   #20
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Only because he partly says the same he will also act the same way?
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Eh. One shouldn't vote for someone on the basis of their being able to give stirring and inspiring speeches anyway, though it's fair to count that as an asset (for example, it could make them more effective in using the office as a bully pulpit for legislation Congress is dragging its feet on). But their voting record, platform, perceived electability and background should definitely also factor in. Unfortunately, no matter whom we elect, there are no guarantees that they'll be able to accomplish most of what we want them to.
I guess its the fact that he, in my opinion, was stealing from someone who ran for governor on RHETORIC and it has not shown iteself to be a good thing for the state.

If you are stealing from someone who was big on rhetoric, where does it leave you.

It bothers me. Maybe I will get over it. :O)
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:58 PM   #22
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Originally posted by indra
I don't think "the best we have to offer" get into politics.
ding ding ding!!


Politics is so petty. I honestly don't care who's stealing words from whom. Just talk about the issues and I'll forgive the rest.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:00 PM   #23
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politics is show business for ugly people.

show business is politics for the simple minded.

and i love both.

and hate both.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:19 PM   #24
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I am heading to the Kennedy Library for the day tomorrow. It has been a while since I made my pilgrimage.

I am rather excited because Muhummad Ali has been a hero of mine since childhood. His gloves are on display there.

This will be my ten year olds first trip to the library. I am so excited to be teaching her this history.

Maybe going there will restore my faith in politics again.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:09 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
I am heading to the Kennedy Library for the day tomorrow. It has been a while since I made my pilgrimage.

I am rather excited because Muhummad Ali has been a hero of mine since childhood. His gloves are on display there.

This will be my ten year olds first trip to the library. I am so excited to be teaching her this history.

Maybe going there will restore my faith in politics again.
I can't believe she's 10 already!! I hope you had a great time!
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