Top advisers to Hillary Rodham Clinton accused Democratic rival Barack Obama of plagiarism Monday, the latest effort by her campaign to undermine the Illinois senator’s credibility.
Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson, during a conference call with reporters, pointed to a speech Obama delivered at a Democratic Party dinner in Wisconsin Saturday that lifted lines from an address given last year by his friend, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
I don’t know whether Obama “plagiarized” Patrick’s metaphor. I do know that people often forget how and/or when they get a new idea. Even if Obama first heard Patrick use the metaphor, he may have forgotten this is where the idea came from, and innocently–albeit mistakenly–used it as his own:
“Don’t tell me words don’t matter,” Obama told the Wisconsin audience. “‘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?”
Regardless of the merits of the plagiarism accusation, what the fuck is up with this shit? Politicians have been using these same kinds of hokey metaphors for fucking centuries. A quibble about authorship of one of them implies that Obama lacks “credibility”?
This nonsense doesn’t imply anything about Obama’s “character”, “conviction”, “values”, “credibility” or any of that other indefinable horseshit. What it does do, however, is (like the superdelegate foofaraw) provide live ammunition for right-wing fuckery in the general election.
UPDATE: Apparently, Obama and Patrick have collaborated and shared elements of their speech writing at times, and have been totally up-front about it more than once in the past. This is total fucking speculation, but I have a feeling that some of the campaign “advisors” are getting a little too overzealous on behalf of their candidates, and need to be told by the candidates to cut the bullshit. If the candidates are truly loyal to the Democratic Party, they will place the good of the party above their own personal aggrandizement, and rein in their staffs.