Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet: Barack Obama lifts some lines from Deval Patrick speech. Video comparison. UPDATES


WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama lifts some lines from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick when he defended himself Saturday night about being an inspirational speaker who may have more sizzle than steak. In doing so, he borrowed a riff from Patrick (a native Chicago South Sider) who shares with Obama a key strategist, David Axelrod.

"Don't tell me words don't matter," said Barack Obama at the Wisconsin Democratic Party Founders Day dinner on Saturday in a rebuttal to Hillary Rodham Clinton's assessment that he is about "speeches" and not "solutions." He then goes on to quote some very famous lines. Just about the same thing Patrick said in a speech in 2006, when he was running for governor. Patrick is endorsing Obama.

Jake Tapper of ABC News has a detailed article about the Obama-Patrick swapping back and forth of campaign slogans and lines. LINK

Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times has an extensive piece on the Obama echo LINK

Obama said on Feb. 16, ”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?”

Patrick, referring to his opponent, Kerry Heakey, said on Oct. 15 2006, “but her dismissive point and I hear it a lot from her staff is that all I have to offer is words, just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident,’ just words? Just words? ‘We have nothing to 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?


The Obama campaign is circulating this videoto ....

Obama, asked about this at a press conference in Ohio:

Question: [paraphrase] Regarding Mike Allen’s Politico story on Obama plagiarizing Deval Patrick’s speeches.

Obama: Now hold on a second—I have written two books, wrote most of my speeches, so I think putting aside the question that you just raised in terms of whether my words are my own I think that would be carrying it too far. Deval and I do trade ideas all the time. And, you know, he's, you know, occasionally used lines of mine and I at a JJ dinner in Wisconsin used some words of his. And, you know, I would add that I know that Senator Clinton on occasion has used words of mine as well. And, I don't think that, you know, that's really the kind of stuff that the workers here are concerned about. What they're concerned about whose is actually going to make sure that they got jobs here in the United States that pay a decent wage, who is going to ensure that we are providing opportunities for young people to go to college, and who is going to provide health care to people in need. So, you know, I'm happy to give Deval credit as I give to a lot of people who are spurring all kinds of ideas. But I think that it's fair to say that everything that we've been doing and generating excitement and the interest that people have had in the elections is based on the core belief in me that we need change in America. And that's been heartfelt and that's why I think it's been so effective.

Question: [paraphrase] Why didn’t you credit Gov. Patrick at the time?

Obama: I was on the stump and you know he had suggested that we use these lines, I thought they were good lines, I am sure I should have (background noise—BO inaudible). You know as I said before, I really don't think this is too big of a deal. You know when Senator Clinton says it's time to turn the page in one of her stump speeches or says she's fired up and ready to go, I don't think that anybody sort of suggests that somehow she's not focused on the issues that she's focused on.


Your post is what I would expect from you. Thanks for keeping Hillary straight.

You do not need to be a student of journalism to know the fact that "Comments are free, but fact are sacred". Speeches are a pivot on which Politics revolves.It is a vehicle or channel to communicate to the public. Strong lines by MLK, JFK have become so popular that people use it all the time. At this juncture, Senator Obama using those lines or those by Davel Patrick his friend are only a reminder of the FACT that speeches are not just ordinary cheap words. But contains such strong emotions that can positively re-define a nation and inspire the people. It is quite admirable that at this critical time in history since JFK and Reagan, Americans have come to behold another insprational figure in the person of Senator Obama. It will be a shame to allow cheap political spin machine of the Clinton Campaign to deny us this opportunity to put devisiveness and racial hatred behind us and march forward together into the 21st century. Exploiting racial defernnces and sex, down playing one speeches and words are Hillary's Campaign tactic to win election. But she is forgeting what is going to happen after she wins the election. How will she heal the wounds. I quess through her recent divide and rule style of operations on the senate floor? The truth is that we will end up being more devided that we have ever been. She wants us to see ourselves as "black" "white" "Latinos" in this election in order to exploit the devide. The implication is that in doing so, Senator Clinton and her husband continue to diminish the chance of the Democrats to win this election. "That is the hand writing on the wall"
This country desire a leader who will bring us all together and heal our racial devides. Out diversity should not devide us, but rather unite us. We are a unique nation.
Remember that with eight straight wins by Obama and ahead in polls,the Clintons are fighting like crazy using all negative tactic in their arsenal to pull Senator obama down. He is being watched even when he sneezes or coughs. All progrssive minded americans should remain steadfast in support of their candidate Senator Obama. And together we will change this politics of hatred and devisiveness. Senator HillaryClinton and husband Former President Bill Clinton are fighting like a drowning man that will hold on to anything ( dirty political smear) to survive,But ironically end up drawing both to the ocean floor: giving the Republican an undeserved victory. A word is enough for the wise.

It does not matter where the lines came from.......they are true!And, I might add, I heard Hillay's speech that same night and her tone was different she was trying her best to be someone she is not. She said things that Barack has always been about not being original. I almost was sick thinking of how she is now trying to sound hopeful without using the word hope. No one is falling for that garbage. I am sure she will probably cry tonight before the primaries tomorrow in's another sweep for Barack and another one bites the dust. Who needs the same old politics...the Clintons in the white house with the same old ....same old....same old....same old....wake up america....we are the ones we are waiting for and the time for change has come....and not just change but change we can truly believe in. I WILL VOTE FOR MCCAIN IF HILLARY IS NOMINATED.

This is stealing. If you were in school you would receive a F. A few years ago a popular Pastor had to resign because he stole a sermon. Is this what we have to look forward to if he is elected. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

Very scary!!I'm from Boston and I can tell you that there is a strong parallel between Patrick and Obama.I supported Deval Patrick as well as my family because he "inspired us" talked about "change" but people tried to warn us saying that he did not have the experience that alot of what Patrick was saying was just "airy rhetoric". We didn't listen and we should have because Deval Patrick has been a nightmare in office here in Massachusetts!! The joke on the hill is that everyone asks "who will be Governor today??"Because Deval Patrick is NEVER there he is out working for Obama all the time and Boston has suffered because of it!! This is one reason why Obama lost big time here in Massachusetts!!we want substance we want Hillary!! she won here in Boston,listen to the people of Massachusetts learn from us DO NOT make the mistake we made!! VOTE HILLARY

Obama is guilty of plagiarism which, by any definition, is lying and cheating. He is supposed to set an example as a Presidential candidate. If high school students plagiarize they are reprimanded and failed, if college students plagiarize they are expelled, if academics or business people plagiarize, they lose all credibility and can be fired and this will mean that their whole life's work is down the tubes. Why should a presidential candidate be allowed to get away with it? What example is this for young people? And his offhand rejection of the criticism suggests that he couldn't care less.

Chris Morton

Much ado about very little. I won't say "nothing" because then I would be quoting shakespheare. There are terrible wars in the middle east and africa, a MediCare crisis, a crisis in the banking industry, global warming and we are worried about who repeated MLK's words "I have a dream" first, second, third?

This is a non story - it makes good filler for the newspaper and radio talk shows but rates just above zero on a scale of 1 to 10

Hillary....we are sounding desparate to attack him on this kind of stuff..whats wrong with your campaign? Do not let them do this kind of stuff...Please. Just like with Florida and Michigan, when we do this kind of desparado politics, we look like sore losers and is only amplifies that we are behind.

Go back and look at his other speeches and see if his inspirational "words" came from other parts of other speakers speeches. I think the speeches that he gives from his teleprompters should be reviewed.

“Sen. Obama and I are long-time friends and allies. We often share ideas about politics, policy and language. The argument in question, on the value of words in the public square, is one about which he and I have spoken frequently before. Given the recent attacks from Sen. Clinton, I applaud him responding in just the way he did.”

-Deval Patrick

This is definitely pulling at straws...story over...

This is not the only time Obama used this same speech-and other similar speeches and phrases used by Deval Patrick- The more important point is that words only matter if they are backed up with experience. I have a dream would have meant nothing if MLK hadn't protested, been beaten, jailed etc. Deval Patrick had great words & speeches as well-Not enough experience to back them up. Obama says they "riffed: off of each -Fine-Whether that was right without attribution or not is another matter. The important thing is that when Patrick took office after wooing Massachusetts residents with his words-he made one rookie mistake after another.
Bright Star of Mass. Tarnished by Lapses
'Don't Give Up on Me,' Gov. Patrick Pleads
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 18, 2007

Words matter when you are an orator. As president, it's an important component but in the final analysis - it's action that matters. Obama is all talk and little action and now we find out that he even steals his "talk" and do not credit the author. Jesus! Are people really this deluded about him? And to his deluded fans, the fact that he plagiarized a speech is Hillary's fault!! It's beginning to look sad, you know.

Yes! What a story! It's as if a FAN of Fox 'news' had sued Al Franken for the 'fair and balanced' phrase--because Fox News knew it wasn't copyright or any other violation--but wait--THEY didn't know that, did they? THAT'S WHAT I EXPECT REAL NEWS MEDIA PEOPLE TO KNOW!
Wow-one day after Sen. Obama meets with John Edwards and da honeymoon is OVER? Given that the speech in question was given over two weeks ago--what was that timing decision all about with the boys and girls on the bus and their editors?
On a more serious note--it was nice to see the Senator handle this so well today, on a day when other media outlets are labeling populist any discussion of CEOs making more in 10 minutes than workers do in a year [oops--did I just plagiarize Sen . Obama? Or was it Sen. Edwards? Or was it any bloke in the street with a (wait for it! ) BRAIN!

Words are very powerful, as you no God did not phyically created one single thing. God spoke everything into existence. I know people who have been doing a job for 20 years and still can't do the job correctly the only reason they have the job is because who they know. I know people who have no experience and walk right in take control of the situation, its not the experience you have it's the desire and the power thats lies inside one that make you a leader. Leaders are not made they are born it is a manifestation from birth, because if they were made our country wouldn't be in a mess... Fighting a war that we shouldn't be fighting, housing market the worse it has ever been, who can afford the oil prices? The schools system is still from the 1950's. But one thing is for sure, you will defend wrong because that's how you are made. But I know deep inside you can't deny truth because God lies there. Ask youself what is truth????

Yes there's much ado about nothing, sort of. I have noticed that whenever I hear Obama talk about some idea of his or position of his, Hillary has already said it or done it. I do wish her campaign would point out these things more.

I think Obama is an opportunist. The poster who spoke about Deval Patrick turning out to be all words is how Obama has struck me from the beginning.

I'm sick of the fawning over this guy AND his wife. Whenever Hillary spoke out early in Bill Clinton's campaign in 91, she was vilified for some of the same qualities that are now seen as positive in Mrs. Obama.

Obama talks about turing the page. It sounds like he took a couple of lines out of Deval Patrick's book. This is not honest and if he really is calling for change he should be honest. We have had enough dishonesty in President Bush. He is even stealing Hillary's message of solutions, he stole Edwards message of hope and Two America's. He tries to sound like JFK,MLK,RFK and now this. The media has given him a free pass. Never a cross word. I have never seen anything like it. It is time we look at him more closely. He is trying to be hired for the most important job in the country. We shouldn't get so caught up in emotion but think about who can best solve the problems of this country. Obama when asked what he did in the years he has been Senator could only come up with two things when asked by the moderators of a debate. The lobbyist statements turned out they could approach him while he ate standing up and a bill he co sponsored that was never passed. This is someone who votes present over 100 times. I want someone in the oval office who will make the tough decisions with wisdom, not take the easy way out. We need to be careful what we do or we will wind up with another Bush.

Obama is reminding me of a real phony more and more each day. After listening to so many of his speeches I first thought well, they are really filled with alot of preaching type quotes...maybe he was going to get on with the substance later in the speech..he did not. Then after watching Hillary's speeches and then listening to him again the following day he is repeating exactly word for word what she had said...AFTER he had said he disagreed with her. EX: He made it clear that HE did NOT want universal healthcare but rather healthcare that would be there if people CHOSE to take it. NOW, he is saying universal healthcare that leaves out no one!!! YES it does..atleast the plan he SAID he wanted ..left out 15 million people. Finally, now he is quoting word for word Deval Patrick?? I have to wonder if this guy has ANYTHING to offer that HE himself came up with or actually KNOWS???

audacity of hope


miracle of competency

Obama is just another polician with a good line. How are his promises any different than Bush's "I'm a uniter, not a divider." I'm tired of Government by the well intentioned. We need someone who knows how to get things done. We already know what those things are.

I wish when I gave speeches in College my Professors would allow me to "borrow" my friends messages and it not be considered plagiarism. The Republicans today are attacking HRC because they know how easy Obama will be to beat!

Obama should apologize for his plagerism and as time goes on, hopefully sooner than later, the pattern of deciet will continue to emerge. Obama is a hypocrite but Obamatrons and the media are blinded by emotion.

That a false man of little of any substance like Obama can garner so much mindless support for the democratic presidential nomination is scary.

America has lost its sole and Obama would have governement be the new religion of the masses - Liberation theology.

Hilary Clinton has the substance and experience we need to help Amercians navigate these dangerous and troubling times by creating opportunities and help people to repair and to heal the damage done to the American dream.

I love Democrats and people who say if one or the other Democratic candidate gets nominated, I'm voting for the Republican candidate.

Who said "A house divided cannot stand?" Abe Lincoln?

Who said "We can't keep electing the same people and expect diffewrent results?" Obama did, but Albert Einstein said " The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results" I guess paraphrasing isn't technically plagiarizing...or is it?

Obama must have picked up a book of famous quotayions to use for his speeches and just forgot to give his credit where credit is do. I remeber seeing a couple of his speeches when he was running for Illinois state senate and back then he used to quote MLK alot about how "the rainbow bends towards justice" or something to that effect but back then, he gave MLK credit for the lines he was using. Maybe he's too big for that. What made MLK great was that he was humble as well as eloquent. BO is just puffery and smoke and mirrors...

Didn't Hillary Clinton use the chant "Yes We Will" last weekend? Is she a plagiarist? This is a complete non-issue. First of all, Deval Patrick SUGGESTED that Obama use the line. You can't "steal" something that someone else gave you to use. It's just another desperation tactic on the part of a candidate who sees her ship sinking.

OMG! The desperation is so thick you can cut it with a knife. This is the best they can come up with? If this is all the 'dirt' they can come up with on Obama, it's almost over. Stick a fork in HC, she's done.

Plagiarism. Schmagiarism. Hillary's losing ground and grasping at straws. She might want to remember who mentioned "change" first before throwing stones....what a joke.

I wish the National Media, ( Television ) would pick up this article, Obama needs more experience!It wasn't so long ago the media was after the Clintons for something called Whitewater, after years of trying to get them , it was found that they did nothing wrong. Where is that media now, Obama's land purchase from Rezko wreaks of dirty dealing. Thank you Sun Times for trying.

Hi- Note that the bulk of Obama's Selma speech - "Joshua Generation" was cribbed froma Michael Farris book and organization of that name- oddly, based on Karl Rove's "Moses Generation".

The core of Obama's oft touted anti-Iraq speech - the dustbin of history part- is lifted from Leon Trotsky.

This tracking down of Obama liftings is getting to be like fish in a barrel (who said that?). No wonder students love him- it's how they write papers!

This is serious because it only makes you think how much of the rest of his speeches are taken from someone else's playbook. Ever speech is going to be dissected now and suspicion will be an issue. This sounds to me like the Superbowl all over again! The one team kept winning and winning and then when their cheating was exposed they couldn't come through in the end. I was discussing politics with a woman in Wisconsin. Much to my amazement she would not accept the fact that Senator Obama was not actually an Islamic fundamentalist. I told her how ridiculous that way of thinking was and couldn't she see it was propaganda and lies but she said she did her research and she knows it's true. It made me realize that this is going to be a swift boat campaign all over again. They are going to do the same thing to Obama as Kerry and scare the Republicans and Independents into voting against him. To me I never thought anyone would ever buy that story but people are and if he wins - here we go again. Ugh! Hillary Clinton is the only way to go.

The problem is that Obama's campaign is based upon speeches, not accomplishments and the speeches and image of Deval Patrick were created by David Axelrod and David Axelrod is using the same formula with Obama. We are electing a President, not a Candidate.

Americans can't stop talking about Obama--and that's a good thing. But people need to be talking about the crucial topics that matter.
Non sequitur notwithstanding to the topic (there's way too many posts on the other "plagiarism" blog), I wish to address the plagiarism debate.

Similar to President Bill Clinton comparing Obama's win in SC to Jesse Jackson's win there in '84 and '88, the Clinton camp now says that Barack Obama stole an oratory recipe from Massachussetts Gov. Duvall Patrick, Obama friend and supporter. It either suggests that in order for Obama to be the new Pied Piper he has to somehow borrow from another successful politician. Despite the fact that Obama won two previous freshman political campaigns in '96 and '04. If memory serves, Patrick wasn't elected till '06 as Governor... matter-of-factly, the speech in question was from '06 too. It's almost as if the Clinton camp is saying to me "don' t vote Clinton because she's the best candidate; rather, vote against Obama because we've exposed him." Clinton-Wolfson's argument has little merit for several reasons.
In no particular order:

1) Politicians borrow and steal from one another all the time. Politicians also borrow famous coinages from celebs and sports figures-- like the one "we didn't lose... the clock just ran out". Not plagiarism, but Mike Huckabee was asked by a famous musician to stop playing a song the rocker had co-wrote decades ago.
2) Duval Patrick and Barack Obama are amigos and actually support each other in politics. They trade thoughts and ideas over time.
3) Should anti-Obamacists be excited because Patrick and Obama are contemporaries? They both quoted from King, Roosevelt, and Kennedy. Does that make it okay, that these were public domain quotes?
4) Both McCain and Clinton borrowed "Yes We Can" from Obama for effect. Obama borrowed "Yes We Can" and "Si Se Puede" from Cesar Chavez.
5) As a poet and writer (among other things) I borrow from people with my own twist but I exceed the safety standards on originality. Because I am opinionated, I borrow and steal from myself to get "my" point across. I'm gonna copy + paste this comment to another blog because I don't feel I should have to re-type it. Is someone gonna call me out on that?
6) At worst it was a quote inside a quote, a speech inside a speech. Patrick used two or three familiar quotes in his speech.
7) Most importantly, I agree that it was the right thing to say at the time. Both Patrick and Obama faced similar criticism. Who cares from whence it came. "Desperate times might call for desperate measures", I say to Obama critics.

BTW I am an Independent voter and will be voting for Obama '08 because I like his resume' and his ideas.


It's not about Obama's lifting of the entire passage anymore...even though the particular lifting is full of irony...trying to express that words do matter, using an entire section of another's speech.( the way, the two politicians had the same campaign manager).

No, now it's about how Obama is handling being discovered... saying they were friends, making weak excuses, accusing others of same, etc. He lifted the exact words and he should have just been honest and said so. Not a good omen.

Plagerizing does matter--it has destroyed campaigns previously. Obama can do wrong. I think he is showing what that he is just a crafty politician who speeches are being to sound like recycled informericals.

Mr. Obama forgot to add some other key "words". For instance, "Read my lips, no new taxes". Or how about, "There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, everyone knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction". The reality is, words do have power, and that power can and does mislead. Anyone can make promises. What did former president Bush find regarding his promise of, "Read my lips, no new taxes"? He found that making the promise was easy. It's always easy to promise people what they want to hear. In order to fulfill those promises, it takes experience, ability, and hard work. And of course the intelligence to promise only things which you can realistically attain. Words without plans are misleading. I beg anyone to look at the promises Mr. Obama made to Louisiana regarding levees, etc. and show me realistic plans he has to fulfill them.

As far as plagarism goes, has anyone noticed that Obama also "borrows" many phrases from Morpheus in the Matrix movies? Especially from the first film in the series.

There is no way for Senator Obama to claim, after-the-fact, that he BORROWED the speech. That is ridiculous. Can you imagine a student of law giving that excuse to a professor? - of course not. Someone running of the Presidency of the United States does not get a pass on plagiarism. This is, unfortunately, inexcusable. I hope the folks in Wisconsin, Hawaii, Texas and Ohio take notice - I know they are here in Pennsylvania.

This is precisely why if Hillary wins the nomination I will vote for McCain. I'm serious about this. When the Clintons left the White House eight years ago I was sad to see them go and hoped one day they would return. I no longer feel this way as I am insulted by their sleazy politics.

As for using other people lines. I think Hillary has used some of her husbands by saying, "What's wrong with American can't be fixed by what's right with America." Her husband used the very same line at his inauguration. I guess this is the stuff their new campaign manager (spin doctor) is coming up with? You are insulting the American people with these elementary school tactics you're trying to pull off.

It's really sad to see and hear.

I am surprised that Hillary is attacking Obama's honesty. The words Clinton and Honesty go together like oil and water. Is she ready to open that door? After all of the emulating of Obama? After all the borrowed content from her ex-President hubby? After having Bill, the most honest name in politics, do the stumping for her? Are you kidding me?

I agree that Obama should cite all references to other speeches. I'd love to sit through 15 minutes of introductions, 15 minutes of speech, and then 35 minutes of citations. He makes no secret - through tonal changes, lead in, and voice hints - when he quotes lines from the public domain.

Public speeches made by public officials are public domain. Hillary - 'Take this country back (Gingrich); I'm tested, I'm ready... (Giuliani), we need change in America (Obama), I'm fired up and ready to go... um... Are we done yet?

Ever since I started watching Obama I've been telling everyone I know that he sounds like MLK when giving his speeches...who would have known he was also stealing speeches as well...maybe that's why they sounded all too familiar. As far as I am concerned this is just the icing on the cake and the media should take notice and stop giving him a free pass. Him and his campaign have gotten away with so much and no one has even paid notice to it. After all wasn't it his wife who said "This is the first time in her adult life that she has been proud of this country." Is this what we want from our first lady??

Or how about when he was asked (on Letterman) whether he would run as HC vice president he said he was not going to be HER vice president, but she could be his. Implying he would never work under a female president.

The only label Obama should come with (and yes I am borrowing this) is "Buyer beware!"

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan. 11, 2008

"Indeed, Mrs. Clinton made some of the same arguments Sunday in New Hampshire when she defended her earnest speaking style by saying, in an indirect reference to Mr. Obama, "you campaign in poetry, you govern in prose."

That particular political maxim was first uttered in a 1985 speech at Yale University-- by [former New York governor Mario] Cuomo.

"She didn't attribute it to me, although it's in Bartlett's Quotations and they did," the former governor said, laughing."

Hillary, you throw mud, you get dirty.

I just watched Obama on the news where HE said (and I quote), "I make no excuses for talking good." If this rhetoric is his "power" then I guess that doesn't "speak well" for him or his speech writer now does it.

He speaks as well as he has proven to know the Constitution! What an idiot.

I cannot believe journalists say this is a common practice. Yes, I think this is a big deal, because it tells you something about Senator Obama's character. Since he said he borrowed the lines from his good friend Governor Deval Patrick, then he should have given him credit. For instance, "My very good friend, Governor Patrick said that......" Then this would not be an issue. Makes me now wonder where he got that sensational speech from the Democratic Convention. If Senator Obama had been a college student he would have been expelled. It seems if you are President Glen Poshard of SIU or Senator Obama, plagiarism is acceptable. What kind of role models do we have here. A president of a university and a U.S. senator have now made it acceptable to plagiarize. What other types of "changes" are forthcoming?

OBama should be named the "COPYCAT CANDIDATE". Not only copying words from the governor but also copying Hillary's ideas.

Although Obama uses flowery prose, and manages to fire people up I have choosen to take Glenn Beck's advice and look at the substance of the man. What I found is that there is none, his speeches and interviews my sound good but he never answers the questions that are put to him, and he never says anything when he gives his speeches. His plans sound great, but he fails to tell us what those plans will cost. For all those who read this post, do the country a favor before you cast your all important vote look deeper than the speeches, look at the candidate please.

Feminism: The radical notion that women are people. (Hope I didn't just plagiarize that). But I think women concerned about being told to pipe down in the workplace, in the union hall, in the...DEMOCRATIC PARTY? Did anyone else not notice Michelle Obama saying she was going to basically police Hilary Clinton's 'tone' before she decides whether she'll vote for HIlary should she be the candidate? I guess sisterhood isn't that powerful anymore. Say, hope I didn't plagiarize that phrase...


Please listen to other Democrats from Massachusetts who have posted more eloquently than I can. Please take this instance of Barack's "plagiarizing" as a warning that by supporting Obama so unquestioningly, you very well could be opening the door to the same disaster and disillusionment that is the governorship of his buddy, Deval Patrick. The rampant rookie mistakes cited above as well as Patrick's now near invisibility in our state could very well be a scary indicator of what will come with the very inexperienced, sweet talking Obama. I just hope it isn't too late to make other Democrats see that this charge is not sour grapes or desperation, it is a warning to all Democrats to wake up and stop falling for pretty, empty speeches. "Together We Can"[Deval]/"Yes We Can"[Barack] stop this mindless move toward disaster.

Words are one thing action is quite another. Roas Parks took action. Tens of thousands had to take action to hear Dr. King say "I have a dream", these words would not be self evident had not men and women of action laid down their lives in pursuit of an ideal. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind would have been meaningless if Armstrong hadn't stepped off the lunar lander.

Words are what politicians say, action is what men and women of accomplishment take.

Didn't most of the words come from speeches made by others. "I Have a dream" MLK;"we have nothing to fear but fear itself" FDR; wasn't the point that these words were rallying points to move this country forward. Is this all that hilary can come up with, even she uses words from other candidates, John Edwards. She is not all that clean. This is much ado about nothing to paraphrase Shakespeare. Keep up the good words Obamma and beat hillary and her husband at their own game.

I am a professor of Public Administration in Ohio. I insist on students providing the source of all information used in their reports and public speeches. Inexperienced politicians and public speakers are students of public administration and do not know how to craft their own ideas. So I am not surprised to hear OB use other writers or speakers words as if they were his own. However I have been bothered by the way he uses Hillary's ideas, leadership strategies and problem solving techniques as if he was the first to come up with them. It makes me think that someone else will have to do all of his thinking and writing if he becomes President. Presidental leaders must have the ability to think, write and execute ideas independent of external influence. I am not sure Senator OB has demonstrated his ability to do so during this campaign. Excitement, Slogans and empty promises do not create positive change. Concrete actions resulting in effective solutions are required.

I also agree that the media (ABC, CNN and FOX) are slow to pick up of these character indicators.

"Or how about when he was asked (on Letterman) whether he would run as HC vice president he said he was not going to be HER vice president, but she could be his. Implying he would never work under a female president. "

I saw that. He said what every candidate says when they are running. He wouldn't be their VP. That accusation is sexism at it's worst. Nice job.

Obama is not just about words. I love his transparency policies and hope that he, or whoever gets elected, can implement them. I think that is much more important than much of the policy matters the candidates are discussing right now.

I am an Independent likely to vote for Obama, but I also like McCain. Hillary is more of the old school machine that I think needs to go. McCain has been fighting against over the top defense expenditures and for campaign reform. He's also a change agent.

The plagiarism attack by Clinton is patently absurd. She is obviously trying as hard as she can to minimize the impact of his oratory, an attack that lacks substance. Those who claim Obama lacks substance haven't looked at his record very carefully is all I can say. The man is a doer and has been a doer all his adult life. Simply check our his U.S. Senate record.

The reality is that Clinton has already failed achieving health care in this country, and this so with her husband as President. She accepts money from insurance company lobbyists, oil industry lobbyists (Obama does not) and so I just have to wonder where her loyalties actually are. She is largely personally responsible for creation of the HMO system. This is her experience in health care. I don't trust her judgment.

Her judgment in the campaign fails as well. She criticized Obama for his 'present' votes involving pro-choice legislation. If I were a woman interested in free reproductive choice for women, I would be very disappointed because Hillary Clinton possibly derailed the willingness of many politicians to use this tactic in support of choice. She is obvisously more interested in winning an election than supporting the causes she espouses. Again, I don't trust her motives.

If she does manage to steal the nomination through these underhanded and corrupt tactics, I will likely give up on the Democratic party. I think many of conscience will see this nomination process for what it is: A sham. I really hopes she cleans up her campaign but I don't see that happening. At this point, I can only hope Obama wins because this is the only way I can see a united Democratic party and some meansure of hope for the future of our country.

Frank Nelson

This shows how desperate Hillary is! I mean is this the best you can do? Even Mr. Patrick said the "borrowing" (not plagiarism)wasn't a big deal so what's the problem? They're buddies so they share each other's opinions and ideas all the time! This is why I cannot support you Hillary! You have proven to be a low, conniving, vindictive, snake!! You have "plagiarized" your husband's words from his inaugural speech! Oh by the way, who started the whole "change" montra? Barack Obama!! Now, you're jumping on the "change" bandwagon! Just come to grips that you're losing a battle that you thought would be an easy win. It's ok! And here's a tissue for those tears...I know you'll need it, cry baby!

I have really lost faith in Hillary's ability to compete with Obama. Now she has to conjure up
desperate and ridiculous charges. Has she forgotten how to campaign on substance? This is exactly
the kind of politics she said she would avoid. It's amazing to me how her tactics changed as soon as
She realized she wasn't going to win easily. She's grasping at straws and coming up empty handed. I was undecided, but this pathetic maneuver has made up my mind. I will vote for Obama.

As a professor of ethics, I can't help but point out something obvious here:

It seems that Hillary -- and perhaps ALL politicians -- are guilty of the same charge when they read their speeches without crediting their speechwriters.

Further, it could be the case that Mr. Obama believed the language cited to be part of the public domain, i.e., so widely recognized (by at least his audience) that he doesn't need to cite the source. After all, neither he nor Mr. Patrick gave credit to MLK Jr., TJ, and FDR, when they cited "I have a dream", "All men are created equal", and "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself"...plagiarism?...clearly not.

Anyway, the point seems to be moot now that Mr. Patrick has come to Mr. Obama's rescue, apparently giving Mr. Obama retroactive liberty to use similar words that Mr. Patrick (or his writers?) had said.

Finally, against the charge that Mr. Obama is more "style than substance", there's a lot to be said for having style. Diplomacy depends on it and is arguably a more important leadership quality, especially if one is able to surround him/herself with smart advisors to strength the "substance" part (as they should anyway).

Let's move on to a more productive issues.

We all know, that if this situation happened to Hillary she would not be standing any more everyone would attack her and that incl. Obama. And yes, comments are free and facts are stated, but atleast have some decency to quote your good friend for using it a few years back, I mean he is a political figurehead as well. what made him think that the people who heard Deval back then would not have been able to recognize this speech, hey you think Obama would be smart enough to avoid all this drama by saying in the beginning of his speech that he was taking the momentum of this speech and its lines with exact words from his good friend.

And what is wrong with Hillary wanting desperately to be president? Its politics! not a relationship, I would want to vote for someone who WANTS the job, rather than a guy that just shrugs things off. The way I see it, if Clinton does not win, no one is capable of cleaning Bush's dirt. and we can all begin to buy to real estate across seas and keep our passports on check.

From what I have heard and read, this Patrick character is a complete failure as Governor of Massachusetts. He was elected because he was a slick talker, and now the people in Massachusetts regret getting fooled by him. Obama is obviously just a clone of Patrick, and if elected President will probably be incompetent just like Patrick.

it's really not fair that my comments were not posted, I believe what I said was appropriate.

The scary thing to me is that David Axelrod is/was the media strategist for both Governor Patrick and Senator Obama. The similarity in the campaigns is unbeleiveable. The above referenced "plagiarism", the "yes we can" slogan and the whole tone is the same. From what I've read [check it out on the web] the rhetoric and slogans may all be coming from David Axelrod. So what do we know about the true persona of these two men?

This is all the Clinton campaign can come up with!!! I am not surprised. Hillary, just let us have a look at those papers that you are hiding in the Clinton Library and your tax returns. I bet we will have a lot to talk about then. How about " It takes a Village"? More Karl Rovian tactics.

Obama didn't just take a few paragraphs of Patrick's campaign in 2006. He took the whole SLANT of it from 2006, emphasizing "hope" and "change" and "bipartisanship," the way someone would bottle a special formula and foist it on the public. He's run a marketing campaign -- that's not remotely his own.

See this YouTube:

Suppose the plagiarism was accidental. Why isn't Obama just apologizing? Instead, he gives us this stuff:

"So, you know, I'm happy to give Deval credit as I give to a lot of people who are spurring all kinds of ideas."
"You know as I said before, I really don't think this is too big of a deal."

And a false analogy:
"You know when Senator Clinton says it's time to turn the page in one of her stump speeches or says she's fired up and ready to go..."
Newsflash to Obamabots: everyone ALREADY KNOWS the source of those lines.

And continuing that quote, a spin:
"...I don't think that anybody sort of suggests that somehow she's not focused on the issues that she's focused on."
Issues? We're talking about WORDS right now, and he said "don't tell me that words don't matter"

But let's start talking issues rather than words, for a change we can believe in...

To Professor of ethics:

Do you teach at an accredited university? Please tell us where, so we'll know to not waste our tuition there.

You say: "it could be the case that Mr. Obama believed the language cited to be part of the public domain, i.e., so widely recognized (by at least his audience) that he doesn't need to cite the source."
I say to you: VERY unlikely. You let your students get away with that kind of 'argument' and give them credit for that work?

You say: "Anyway, the point seems to be moot now that Mr. Patrick has come to Mr. Obama's rescue, apparently giving Mr. Obama retroactive liberty to use similar words that Mr. Patrick (or his writers?) had said."
I say: FALLACIOUS reasoning. After he gets caught, he retroactively seeks permission? It's not even about permission, Professor, it's about integrity! You let your students get away with that kind of argument and give them credit for that work?

You know, I can't really, you know, get behind someone who is subliminally, you know, trying to convince people that his ideas, you know, are good ones and that everyone should accept them, you know, as their own. You know?

Hillary is much more capiable than Obama. Maybe Deval Pactrick should be running instead of Obama. Since Obama uses his speeches. What would Oprah say about steeling speeches?

Wow. This is plagiarism pure and simple. Obama only made it wordse he shrugged it off as "silly season" and "not too big of a deal." It doesn't erase it just because he and his friend routinely present each other's words as their own. The bottomline is that he misrepresented the words and the ideas as his own. He deceived his audience by presenting them as hight own. Stealing is stealing whether you steal a bicycle, money, a spouse or a speech.

I'm a teacher at a respected private school. When one of our students pulls a plagiarism stunt like this, he goes before an academic review board and may even be expelled.

I expect more intellectual integrity that this from someone who wants to be President.

Yes, take the advice of fellow Massachusetts residents like myself: Stop with the hero worship. Pick a candidate with experience and substance! During Deval Patrick's campaign I heard people calling into talk radio claiming that they just liked the way Patrick talked, they didn't care about the issues, they just liked him and wanted "change". Well, change is what we got. People should think long and hard about whether this is an election year that we can AFFORD the kind of "change" an inexperienced, extremely liberal president will offer.

Seems to me that Hillary is doing the same thing

what I don't believe that she would have the (cajones) to do it right after she accused him of it

seeing is believing

How is Deval doing at governing? Why didn't he, along with Teddy and Caroline swing his state of Mass. over to Obama? Are the Mass. voters having 'buyer's remorse' after lovin' the WORDS? Notice that Jessie is not on this endorsement tour; is it Deval or Obama that CALCULATE Jessie would not be an asset?

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Lynn Sweet

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

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 18, 2008 6:12 AM.

Sweet column: How the Obama team ginned up superdelegate controversy. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Obama downplays Clinton team throwing spotlight on lifted rhetoric. is the next entry in this blog.

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