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It seems someone, unidentified from which campaign (snark), has posted a youtube video which implies Barack Obama committed plagiarism. And today, the New York Times runs with a story claiming that parts of Obama's speeches, in which he fights back against Clinton's contention that he offers lots of inspiring words but no solutions, are similar to remarks given by Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts during his 2006 campaign and references this video.

Will this have legs?

And did Hillary commit plagiarism?

I'm having difficulty embedding the Youtube video but here it is:

It starts off with the caption "Whose words?", then "Barack Obama, February 16, 2008" and has clips of Barack stating in part:

Don't tell me words don't matter, 'I have a dream'—just words? 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal'—just words? 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself'—just words? Just speeches?

Then the caption "Deval Patrick, October 15, 2006"  with Patrick stating in part:

'We have nothing to fear but fear itself'—just words? 'Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.' Just words? 'I have a dream'—just words?

And it then flips back and forth showing both speakers with similar words.

The NY Times called Patrick, at the request of Obama's campaign:

In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Patrick said that he and Mr. Obama first talked about the attacks from their respective rivals last summer, when Mrs. Clinton was raising questions about Mr. Obama’s experience, and that they discussed them again last week.

Both men had anticipated that Mr. Obama’s rhetorical strength would provide a point of criticism. Mr. Patrick said he told Mr. Obama that he should respond to the criticism, and he shared language from his campaign with Mr. Obama’s speechwriters.

Mr. Patrick said he did not believe Mr. Obama should give him credit.

"Who knows who I am? The point is more important than whose argument it is," said Mr. Patrick, who telephoned The New York Times at the request of the Obama campaign. "It’s a transcendent argument."

Is it plagiarism when the author of the words gives permission for the speaker to use them? Is it plagiarism when a politician uses a speechwriter and does not credit the speechwriter? Did JFK commit plagiarism when he used the words Ted Sorenson wrote "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country".

Jon Favreau is Obama's speechwriter. How many people have heard of him outside of reading this article
Is it plagiarism that Obama does not credit him with phrases in his speeches?

Of course not. This is BS. And it's another attempt by a certain campaign to smear Obama.  Just like the Kindergarten paper trash attempt. This is nothing more.

But what I would like to see is whether Hillary and her cohorts are plagiarizing Kerry Healy? Here's Patrick's words just prior to that clip:

At a candidates forum last week, the moderator asked each of us to say something nice about the other candidates.  Kerry Healey rather grudgingly said, "Well, he can give a good speech." She would know this not because she has ever attended a speech of mine but because she has them filmed by this fine fellow here.  But her dismissive point, and I hear it from her staff, is that all I have to offer is words.  Just words.

So did Hillary steal from Healy the charge of "just words" and "just speeches"? Does anyone have a clip from that forum or quotes from her exact charges? She clearly didn't credit her. Did she have her permission as Obama had Patrick's?

Edit: teyigdhk below brings up a good point from the Times article which I left out:

The similarities from a passage of Mr. Obama’s speech on Saturday and in remarks that Mr. Patrick delivered on Oct. 15, 2006, were highlighted by a rival campaign that did not want to be identified.

There is no level too low to which they will not stoop.

Edit II:

The Clintonistas are claiming that while her campaign may have highlighted the Youtube video to the press, there is no proof she was behind the video itself.  But is she not as guilty as the youtube poster if she uses it?

It's about like Bush claiming in the famous 16 words: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" then claiming he didn't say Saddam sought the uranium, he was only saying the British Government said it.

Originally posted to Bidabunch on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:29 AM PST.


So which is true?

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