Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet Austin debate 3: Clinton tells Obama on lifted speech lines. "It's change you can Xerox.”


AUSTIN, TEXAS—Sen. Barack Obama is asked about the speech passages he lifted from friend Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Obama said, “There are two lines in speeches that I've been giving over the last couple of weeks,” which is not quite right. At issue is more than two lines and goes further back than just two weeks.

Obama makes the point that it is hard to steal from a friend who gave something to you.

“I've been campaigning now for the last two years. Deval is a national co-chairman of my campaign, and suggested an argument that I
share, that words are important. Words matter. And the implication that they don't I think diminishes how important it is to speak to the American people directly about making America as good as its promise.Barbara Jordan understood this as well as anybody. And the notion that I had plagiarized from somebody who was one of my national co-chairs who gave me the line and suggested that I use it, I think, is silly, and you know, this is where we start getting into silly season, in politics”

Clinton drew boos when she said, “Well, I think that if your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words. That's, I think, a very simple proposition. And you know -- you know, lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in; it's change you can Xerox.”

Replied Obama, “that's not what happened there.”

Clinton went back at it: “Barack, it is, because if you know, if you look if you look
-- if you look -- if you look at the YouTube of these videos, it does raise questions. "


Obama has a thin skin. HRC can take a punch. She's a pro. He's a very lucky amateur.

3 cheers for Hillary. Her closing statement was magnificent.
She won bigtime.

Obviously her worst moment in the debate.

Thin skin? The guy has a cold! He hasn't had the on camera--review the tape experience Hilary has, or he wouldn't have closed his eyes while waiting for his turn to speak, but c'mon. I do think HRC can take a punch better, but is that the criteria we're judging people on now? Maybe it should be, but it seems kind of trivial. Why didn't the moderators keep the debate on issues instead of 'let's go to YouTube" comments? Does anyone really 'win' one of these things? Why not have everybody sit down and have extended interviews (separately) with real journalists?

Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video ... ...

The web designer for this YouTube video added the following ...

- Note: Please keep the comments civil and try to keep the conversation to issues. No personal attacks or pejoratives.

- Most importantly, no matter who your preferred candidate is, get out and vote!

Mrs. Clinton is more of a comeback kid than Mr. Clinton. I guess she doesn't remember lifting the lines "Stand By Your Man" during her greatest trials. Wasn't that Xeroxing at its best?

It's those kinds of comments that make me realize she's not representative of a mature person. She sinks low to deliver blows. I guess Bill brought all of that out in her.

Education doesn't always equate to couth. She may well be able to be president but she is lacking in humility. Yes she's a fighter but aren't we all? John McCain seems relatively sedated at this point. If that holds true throughout then any other debates should be cordial.

One of the best lines of the night. Hard hitting because it is so true. It isn't just about the lines he stole, the whole campaign is a xerox of Patrick's.

EVERYBODY HAS A SHORT MEMORY LOST When Mr.Bush Use these lines his 1999-2000 Ruuning for the white house.OBAMA is an copy Machine. Mr.Bush use the LINE CHANGE IS GOOD! OBAMA Use word Change! If people want to vote a person into the white office because he smiles nice and is Charming. Well then they can't complaint when Obama will do the same type of Job as MR.BUSH. I guest the american people will not know an good leader into they get hit in the head with a baseball bat. Its like there not listing to what he's is saying.or maybe they'r afraid because they do not want a lady leader in the white house. IT'S a Shame very people watch the life of Time of Mrs. FDR 1st Lady 2-hours special. She kept this country going during 1941-45 period. They say if it was not for her leadership we might had lost 1 of the she gotten vets better health care program pass back then. all I do know is europe wants to know why we do not have a lady leader all ready. England had 1 for 8 years. Germany has lady leader now.They think we are backward country. wake up american.Because mrs.clinton will not run again as stated in 60 min.'s. tv show going back to run state of New york.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 21, 2008 8:11 PM.

Sweet: Obama does/does not want preconditions before talking to new Cuban leader. Austin Democratic debate report 2. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: Clinton mostly hit her marks. But emotional end may not change the trend. Austin Dem debate 4 UPDATED is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.