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Clinton Camp Charges Obama with 'Plagiarism'

By Matthew Mosk and Jose Antonio Vargas
The tightening battle between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama has literally become a battle of words.

More the point: Whose words?

Top advisers and supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton today accused Sen. Barack Obama of plagiarism for delivering a speech in Wisconsin that included a nearly-identical passage to one delivered two years earlier by then candidate for governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.

(Click here to view video clips of the passages in question. The Clinton campaign must have realized the similarities immediately; Doug Hattaway, a spokesman for Clinton, was a consultant for Patrick.)

"In many respects he is asking the public to judge him on the strength of his rhetoric," said Howard Wolfson, a top Clinton adviser, during a conference call with reporters today. "When we learn he has taken an important section of his speech from another elected official, it raises very fundamental questions about his campaign."

Wolfson, who at one point used the word "plagiarism" to describe the incident, was joined on the call by Democratic Rep. James McGovern (Mass.), a supporter of both Patrick's and Clinton's. McGovern attempted to drive home the point about the two, very similar passages, by calling into question all of the speeches that comprise Obama's body of work from the stump.

"It is striking to me that it is word for word," McGovern said. "I think it says something about the origin of his rhetoric. I'm not sure if the origin of his speeches, if they're his speeches, or if they're someone else's."

Obama's campaign aides have explained the similar language as the result of Obama and Patrick's close friendship. They said the two exchange passages and ideas for speeches frequently.

The campaign also released a list of examples where Clinton "freely borrowed rhetoric" from other politicians, including from Obama. That list even included the line that Obama has made a catch phrase during his presidential bid, "Fired up and ready to go."

"We are fired up and we are ready to go because we know America is ready for change and the process starts right here in Iowa," Clinton said to a crowd while in Davenport, Iowa.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 18, 2008; 1:15 PM ET
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hillary - Plagiarist Writ Large

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"The problem Hillary's got is in certain ways her whole candidacy is an act of ventriloquism from her husband." (Howard Fineman)

Posted by: MiaT | February 19, 2008 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Plagiarism, which means passing another's language and ideas off as one's own. is an academic sin when committed by faculty because faculty are supposed to be producing original scholarship, and it is a sin when committed by students because students are supposed to be producing their own work as part of the learning process. It is rarely a sin when committed by politicians because they are rarely speaking their own words in any event; usually they are speaking words a speechwriter wrote for them. The sin (and it happens) occurs when a politician uses language, their own or that of others, which they do not believe in but state because they think it will get them votes. Here the language Obama used made points he was trying to make. Since he didn't preface them by claiming they were his own unique thoughts, he has done no wrong even if the words were written by Patrick's speech writer and not by one of his own.

Indeed, does anyone really think Obama knew he was quoting Patrick's words? Most likely, the only person who knew these were Patrick's words was Obama's speechwriter who may be criticized if he intended to have Obama think he had produced particularly stirring language and not borrowed from another. (It's also bad speech writing because bringing another in - as Governor Patrick of Massachusetts said - will most likely strengthen a point by showing one is not alone. One might also note that even in the academy using one paragraph that is not original or central in a long paper and forgetting to footnote it properly would not get anyone disciplined. Plagiarims cases grow out of frequent and intentional failures to cite the work of others in a writing one has produced, or paraphrasing large portions of what another has written to hide copying or in the most extrem cases submitting someone else's work as one's own.
So the Clinton campaign, and Clinton if she knew the charge was going to be made -which she probably didn't - are the ones who can be faulted here. What Democrats can fault her with is a willingness to weaken Obama's chances in the general election should he win the nomination by baselessly besmirching his character in order to defeat him. This attitude betrays the interests and desires of most Democrats who began the election thinking they had two outstanding candidates and an embrassment of riches (and according to the polls many Demicrats are still happy with both.) Clinton is not alone in trying to make meanigless political hay through baseless accusations of her opponent. The Obama campaign's willingness to jump on Clinton for making the obviously true statement that it took both MLK and LBJ to realize some of the greatest accomplishments of the civil rights movement was similarly inappropriate behavior by his campaign. One wonders if these charges suggest a retreat from the recent approach of the two campaigns which seem to have been to bury the personality hatchets. (Of course by most standards what each campaign has said about the other's character has been the mildest of attacks - there is nothing approaching swift boating.)

It is hard not to wonder if some of the more vituperative anti-Clinton and anti-Obama messages in the above thread and in similar threads on other issues are in fact written by people who support neither but in fact seek to sow dissension in Democratic ranks and reduce enthusiasm for the nominee on the part of those who support the man (woman) who isn't nominated. Thus, not only is it generally a mistake to tar candidates, both Democrats and decent Republicans like McCain, with the brushes their supporters wield, but it is a particular mistake when anyone can pretend anything in posting to the internet. Sadly "dirty tricks" seem to have become a staple of our presidential campaigns.


Posted by: rlempert | February 19, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The way Obama rants on and on in his speeches about Hillary he is starting to sound like that Penelope character on Saturday Night Live, I do everything better, I did that before you did, I already said that, I invented that before you did. What's next? is Obama going to tell Al Gore he invented the Internet first and so he already did that too and it was better?

Hillary All the Way

Posted by: Hillary08 | February 18, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

what the fck!

Obama plagiarized???

Posted by: samuel19406 | February 18, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"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."

Barack Obama, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, December 21, 2007

Posted by: xango | February 18, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Why do Obamaniacs get so defensive when confronted with the truth? Welcome to the real world, kids!

Let's face facts: Obama is a phony empty suit who plagiarizes speeches. Totally inexperienced and unqualified to be President.

Posted by: niksiz | February 18, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Y'know, I really wish the Clinton camp would cool it with the cheap sleazy accusations. I made a promise to myself last month that every time they go and pull one of these stupid Billary tricks, I'd go and pony up another fifty bucks to the Obama campaign. And now today, another *ka-CHING!* moment. Jeez, at this rate I'm gonna be hurting for the rent!

Please, Hillary, do yourself a big favor and fire Penn and Wolfson--if not for you, then at least for my checkbook!


"I've never heard so many people during this past election campaign tell us how many things we couldn't do, how many things we couldn't compete with, how many things we couldn't dream about, and how many people we couldn't care for. Unbelievable. If there ever was anything that was part of the American Dream it's 'Yes we can' ... care, believe, dream..."
--Harry Chapin, speaking to the audience during one of his last concerts, at The Bottom Line, NYC, 1981

Posted by: whatmeregister | February 18, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Howard Wolfson, the Clinton Campaign representative who actually uttered the charge of "plagiarism" on Hillary's behalf, was unable to guarantee that Hillary hasn't committed the same violation herself (although I doubt it would have been words "borrowed from a close personal friend and colleague who has endorsed her.

One has to wonder exactly what the Clinton Campaign, and what Hillary, herself will say if and when it is revealed that she has stolen words and or phrases from others (besides the many that she has stolen from Senator Obama and the woman who actually wrote the last book that Hillary took all the credit for). What happens on the Eve of the Texas and Ohio Primaries, when the Obama Campaign releases a long laundry list of items Hillary has plagiarized in her own speeches?

This whole thing really is a non-issue, but because the Clinton Campaign has turned into a contortionist in their efforts to find any way possible to derail Senator Obama's momentum, they should be forced to eat their words and go down in flames when they are once again proven to be guilty of the very charges they work so hard to make stick against an opponent.

Posted by: diksagev | February 18, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

To medical7:

Did you think double-posting your comment would make it more believable?
Deval Patrick WORKS with the Obama campaign. If Gov. Patrick isn't upset about Senator Obama using his words, why should YOU be getting your knickers in a twist?
Despite all the uproar about Obama doing drugs (THIRTY YEARS AGO!), and all the trumped up lies about Obama being a closet Muslim (also probably from a hate-filled GOP source), it's plain the opposition is grasping for straws.
So far the ammunition being fired at Senator Obama does't impress me or the myriads of other voting citizens who support him in his candidacy.

Posted by: luise1 | February 18, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

How long has Hillary Clinton been preaching to us that this campaign is supposed to be all about issues, or substance, or more recently, solutions?

It seems that Clinton once again can't seem to stick to her own script. Suddenly, she is trying to make an issue out of her opponent borrowing some words from a very close friend and colleague of his during a recent stump speech by charging (through one of her subordinates) plagiarism. Apparently, Hillary still hasn't learned the simple concept that people who live in glass houses definitely should NOT throw stones. Is it worse for a candidate to borrow a few well-chosen phrases from a friend (with his full knowledge and blessing) who has endorsed your candidacy than it is for one to steal words, phrases, slogans, rousing cheers used to excite supporters and even the very theme of your election campaign from your opponent?

This argument that has eaten up a vastly greater amount of time and energy today on TV radio, in print and on blogs than it could ever deserve is a real example of what is "IRRELEVANT" in this campaign!

It is not the states of Wisconsin, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania or others that are "IRRELEVANT" as Clinton's campaign suggested. It's not the voters of those states who are "IRRELEVANT", as they would have you believe. It is wasting the time and atention of voters with such non-issues that amount to nothing on the eve of two important primaries tomorrow. Let's call this what it truly is, a lame attempt by Clinton to find yet another way to steal votes on her way to securing an illegitimate nomination.

If the TV News stations want to interview someone for their opionon regarding Presidential candidates and "plagiarism", I sugest someone immediately book the woman who wrote Hillary's latest book for her and was not acknowledged by Hillary Clinton. That is the real definition of plagiarism.

Posted by: diksagev | February 18, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Quick, quick, everyone learn another language. The Clintons have a patent on every english word. You don't want to get caught stealing it, they will unleash their dogs and you know NYC is full of them.

What's exactly her claim to fame? Experience? Experience in what? Let's see:

**** She will withstand any amount of global public humiliation as long as the end of the road leads to the fulfillment of her ambitions.

**** She is ready to sellout our future (Iraq War, future Iran War), as long as her masters are demanding it. After all, where would she be without their money?

**** She is experienced in being the most scandalous first lady, leaving a trail of corruption. Let's see: TravelGate, FileGate, ZipperGate, Pardongate, the list goes on. I say it's time to Fumigate!

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | February 18, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

This disguists me. HRC et al. are pathetic. So Obama plagiarized because he said "just words," and he had permission from a supporter most of America does not know --the rest were already famous words. PLUS Hillary cannot guarantee she hasn't the same thing, because she has, even from Obama! As for him quoting Chavez, MLK, JFK -he never said they were original, he said "yes we can" was a workers' call, for example, but still, in this campaign, he 'thought of it first.' So what?!

Obama has written whole novels, one of which detailed an economic plan (2006's Audacity of Hope) before Hillary. He has ideas, better character and he has outsmarted Hillary. Her campaign has been run so poorly it is ridiculous, and now she just wants to go negative. She is wicked, and so is Bill. I will never vote for them. NEVER.

Posted by: Kai_bleu | February 18, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

In 1970 Les Aspin was running for Congress in the Democratic primary in Wisconsin's First Congressional District against a man named Doug LaFollette.

LaFollette had produced a slick tabloid brochure, chock full of quotes from common people about him and playing to his supposed family ties to Fighting Bob LaFollette.

The Kenosha News broke a story that showed the quotes were liberally copied from the campaign literature of Massachusetts Democrat Michael Harrington.

It also found that LaFollette was a only a shirttail relation of Fighting Bob and his family--progressive icons even in the '60s and '70s.

As I recall it, the headline was "LaFollette Family tree just doesn't dig a Doug."

What was never reported was that the Aspin campaign was behind the "revelations"--Aspin was well connected with the Harrington organization--and in good measure due to this, Les went on to a slender victory.

He later became Bill Clinton's secretary of defense. (And LaFollette later became Wisconsin Secretary of State.)

Jason Linkins, writing in the Huffington Post, is reporting that "Obama, Patrick Collaboration Noted Specifically By Globe Back In April 2007."

Thus the Obama "revelation" seems to have been well cooked in the smarmy ovens of Clinton Oppo-land.

Of course, no one ever lost money betting on the sleeziness of a Clinton campaign.

Let's just hope the country doesn't lose because of it.


Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | February 18, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL????MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING...GOOD POETS borrow great POETS STeal! WHAT other words do you want? I "plagiarized" these comments, so sue me!DID HE say it was original? IS he gone "fail" the class? Do you know how many gret ploiticans have "plagiarized" words and ideas from others? How about JFK, Martin Luther King and yeah maybe even Shakespeare...Get real! This is not a campaign issue just more of the same negative cmpaign crap!

Posted by: afalvo99 | February 18, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

How petty can Hillary get? I have heard her speeches where she said "Fired up and ready to go". She is now chanting "Change" in her speeches. Now I see why she says she will fight because that is what she does. Create petty things to start a fight. Newsflash, Hillary, that is what America is tired of. You are representing "more of the same". You're picking fights and not taking care of your business (managing money, firing key campaign personnel, poor profit returns, etc.) Now she is TRYING to pull Obama down to her level instead of building up her management skills to improve her own campaign. That is 'trailer-trash' behavior. Hell, look like Chelsea is the only Clinton with class. Bless that child. I feel pity for Hillary because she just don't see how low and petty and desperate she is portraying herself.

Hillary nope, you won't kill my Hope.

Posted by: bvrlyjackson | February 18, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

If you want to search sth online, you can google it.
If you want to copy & paste sth, you can obama it.

Thanks for obamaing the above onto internet.

Posted by: hgogo | February 18, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Here, here...
I couldn't be in more agreement. Let's have a character contest shall we? I would love to see the Washington Post, especially, take part in this "character" contest. Everything that is bad about Hillary Clinton, you at the Washington Post know and yet you feel no compunction whatsoever about either failing to inform the voting public about her abject lack of character AND assisting her in attacking Barack Obama's. Oh, for the days of Woodward and Bernstein.

Posted by: rlcampbell | February 18, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

OH LOOK. The little whiny pants is "telling" again...


Posted by: dlwellskc | February 18, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

plagiarism charges coming from the Clinton camp is lunacy. I've followed this campaign since day one and no matter where Obama got his speech material he sure didn't get one word from Hillary Clinton, while every catchy phrase and every slogan of his ends up in Hillary Clinton's mouth and on her campaign signs. Come on people, why else did she change managers in the middle of the stream: because she did not have a message of her own and the world knows that this is true.

Posted by: DoctorMaia | February 18, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, please, "ANYBODY but Hillary in 2008!" and beyond...

Posted by: retroag70 | February 18, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

It's this type of trivial smear that will defeat Hillary.

Posted by: perhamf | February 18, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

It's this type of trivial smear that will defeat Hillary.

Posted by: perhamf | February 18, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Deval Patrick seems not to care that his words were used. Wonder why Billary cares?

Posted by: texascorvette | February 18, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama has borrowed literally from the film in the 1970s regarding the winning of the gold by the U.S. Hockey Team. Check it out. Words such as "Your time is now" have been changed to "Our time is now";"Yes you can" has been changed to "yes we can"; winning was important so "they can believe again" change to so "we can believe again." Taking other people's words and using them as his own has become a hobby with him.

Posted by: wmbrandon | February 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama has borrowed literally from the film in the 1970s regarding the winning of the gold by the U.S. Hockey Team. Check it out. Words such as "Your time is now" have been changed to "Our time is now";"Yes you can" has been changed to "yes we can"; winning was important so "they can believe again" change to so "we can believe again." Taking other people's words and using them as his own has become a hobby with him.

Posted by: wmbrandon | February 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama has borrowed literally from the film in the 1970s regarding the winning of the gold by the U.S. Hockey Team. Check it out. Words such as "Your time is now" have been changed to "Our time is now";"Yes you can" has been changed to "yes we can"; winning was important so "they can believe again" change to so "we can believe again." Taking other people's words and using them as his own has become a hobby with him.

Posted by: wmbrandon | February 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Ha. Clinton's campaign is a joke.

Posted by: maq1 | February 18, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Let's look at what plagairism is in copyright law: Even if Obama did use Patrick's words, Patrick gave him permission to do so, which voids plagairism. However, only a very few of those words were Patrick's -- they were the words of others -- Martin Luther King, etc. It is only Patrick's idea of stringing together those words of others that Obama may or may not have "stolen." According to US copyright law, ideas cannot be copyrighted or plaigerised. And, I believe, even if Patrick's words could be considered "plagairized," they fall under the "Fair Use" provision of copyright law.

This whole brouhaha is just the same old dirty tricks. Hillary has been stealing Obama's words and policies from the beginning of the race. She is also using the language of John Edwards now. Someone in the press should call her on it by questioning her on specific phrases she herself has "plagairized." The Hillary camp's making a fight out of this is incredibly petty -- and pitifully desperate-sounding.

Do we want anyone this petty in the White House? Think about it.

Posted by: fmodderno | February 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Mrs Clinton get this: 2008 will be a watershed moment - from when HONESTY, TRANSPARENCY and AUTHENTICITY begin to prevail in our politics. All your types of
fakes and phonies will whither away. ROMNEY is done and so will you. No amount of spin from you and your surrogates can obfuscate what we voters see in Obama. Your first step is to release your income tax records and shine a light into the financial dealings of your husband since he left office. Obama has released his. You can master the issues as you want and have an encyclopedic knowledge of the details. Without TRANSPARENCY, we don't trust you to implement them.

Posted by: digizenship | February 18, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Will plagiarism hurt Obama?


Posted by: jeffboste | February 18, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Everything that will ever been done, will be said, or will happen....has already happened. It is called history.

Barack Obama, you got caught. Fix it. Move on.

And yes, this is an effective distraction-I am even writing about it.

Anyone who takes any of this personally has no knowledge of what real politics are. There are always effective arguments, and uses of rhetoric; it just so happens that Obama has found the promise land of persuasion (albeit he is not he first) and Clinton is feeling it.

Any good public speaker in general recognizes these things and uses them to their advantage. Take the losses Hillary, Obama beat you to the punch. Get over it, get a better writer, and focus on your own campaign and what it's NOT doing than focusing your time on what his is doing (very EFFECTIVELY) I might add.

Posted by: KGibson89 | February 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If this is the kind of nonsensical, irrelevant, trivial issue upon which we decide our leaders, then we deserve to get more of what we've had the past seven years. To base judgment of a candidate's competency on a few illustrative words extracted from hundreds of substantive speeches, is idiocy. From the very beginning Obama has attempted to run a "high road" campaign. This kind of red herring does nothing more than bring the campaign process down to the kindergarten level. I would like to think that the American people deserve - and demand - more intelligent discourse. Can we not do away with the finger pointing and accusatory catchphrases and get back to the issues that will determine our futures and that of our country?

Posted by: lwaldman2 | February 18, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

BOTH of the campaigns have used some "recycled" themes....for example
Hillary's theme
"ready on day one to be a great president"
is directly copied from Bush 41,
George Herbert Walker Bush
when he was campaigning against MA Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988
don't believe me, look it up in archives

Posted by: jamesbrett2 | February 18, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

hillary clinton has no right to complain about plagarism
many times she's used the line first uttered by Lorena Bobbit:
"if he tries that one more time, I'm gonna cut his dick off!!"

Posted by: shmaryahoopizzaman | February 18, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

And from CNN:
'The controversy is lost on the Massachusetts governor, who endorsed Obama.

Obama's campaign had Patrick call the New York Times over the weekend and issue a statement.

"Senator Obama and I are long-time friends and allies. We often share ideas about politics, policy and language," Patrick said in the statement. "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 Senator Clinton, I applaud him responding in just the way he did." '

Posted by: katharinestavrinou | February 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Give me a Break!!! Patrick Deval is a close friend who is campaigning with and for Senator Obama. Clinton, on the other hand, is not campaigning with or for Senator Obama, yet freely uses the phrase 'Fired up and Ready to Go', which he had obviously been using first. Clinton obviously is really stretching for something to attack.

Posted by: katharinestavrinou | February 18, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

This is so bogus an issue, and so pathetic. I have now lost any respect I ever had for Hillary Clinton. I'd once considered casting my vote for her -- I voted for Bill Clinton twice -- but stupid incidents like this, and the stridency of my female friends who have been telling me it's a betrayal for a woman to vote for a man in this particular election, have made my choice clear.

So, just stop it, stop it now. This low-level, penny-ante nonsense contributes nothing to the dialogue and demeans all who take part in it. How dumb do the Clinton people think we voters are?

Posted by: drmwk | February 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's experience is the same as the pastry chief at the white house and it shows. Yes, I swiped that saying but it is so so true.

Posted by: fc4king | February 18, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

dogsbestfriend, I suggest you take a look at this list of over 250 feminist intellectuals who have signed a letter supporting Hillary Clinton. Many are professors from leading colleges and universities around the country.

Hillary and the "progressive women" who support her are likely better qualified to recognize plagiarism when they see it than you are.

To read the letter and review the list of signees, go here:

Posted by: ichief | February 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a high school paper where you get a bad grade for plagerism, this is figuring out how to run the country and inspire the people. Do any of us actually believe that anything comming out of the mouths of these candidates is original? I don't care where Obama, Clinton, McCain or any other politician gets their ideas. What I do care about is if those ideas make sense and are good for the country. This kind of reporting, vs. reporting on politicians records and plans, is why Ameiricans often vote against their best interests. If we had gotten an honest accounting of Bush we would have voted for anyone else. If the news people had honestly reported befor the Iraq invasion we wouldn't be stuck in the worst foreign policy mess in our history.

Posted by: bjuhasz | February 18, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

First of all, there's no traction to this story. These allegations will persuade no one. Clinton supporters will see this as just another reason to continue their militant support of her, while Obama supporters will just think this is one more reason to ignore her candidacy.

As for me, I watched the video clip comparison but was surprised that really only two words--yes, two words--were the same: 'just words'. If that constitutes plagiarism, we had better all shut up. As for the rest of the 'lifted' speech, let's be truthful; politicians have been--gasp--plagiarizes those famous presidential words for their own advantage since they were first uttered. There's nothing new there. And, overall, it's pretty innocuous. If the Clinton campaign truly wants to pursue an accusation of plagiarism, they had been cite a whole lot more instances of it than this if they want to make a compelling case. A commenter mentioned that 'whole paragraphs' had been lifted... Well, where are they? Cite them! Why was the plagiarism case made one two words rather than those supposed whole paragraphs. It makes a thoughtful reader wonder if there are such paragraphs.

A final note, I've read numerous comments adjoining articles such as this and am willing to give the Clinton campaign a piece of advise: You're going to have to broaden your appeal a whole lot more if you ever hope to win the nomination--let alone the presidency--because most of the Clinton-supporting comments I end up reading are authored by women. This does not bode well for her candidacy. Women certainly are a formidable and important part of the electorate, but a candidacy cannot be won on their support alone. Clinton consistently wins women 65 and up, but that's all folks... oops, sorry, I just plagiarized Porky the Pig.

Posted by: jay.kvam | February 18, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a side show. He has yet to come up with an original idea on his own. He apparently even has staged actors in the crowd as witnessed here:

Posted by: calebcs | February 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

pk wrote:

Many of her ("Hillary") applause lines reprise the rhetoric employed by former Senator John Edwards,

Not quite the same as someone's exact words, is it?

Posted by: brigittepj | February 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

How does Obama become a "fake" if he used the same words that Deval Patrick used or anybody else for that matter?

One doesn't need original speeches with original applause lines to make a point. It is perfectly alright to quote someone else or share someone else's ideas. How does a genuinely interested person convey an important message to a very large crowd such as the American population and make them sit up and take notice? Why is it wrong to take good ideas from great speakers of the past and convey your core philosophy -- the philosophy that you really believe in to a disillusioned crowd? Obama has said earlier that the division of red and blue states has made it so that it is not okay to even recognize that a good idea came from a Republican camp. A good president need not come up with original ideas and original policies to rectify a broken system. I'd much rather have a president who takes advice on improving the economy from the likes of Greenspan and Burnanke than trying to come up with an "original" idea to jumpstart an economy in recession. A president's job is to take advice from field experts, au'contraraire Bush. We've had plenty of people with great ideas in the past -- why reinvent the wheel? Warren Buffett has said many times in the past that his company is successful not because of him but because of the great managers who run the business for him. It is yet another desperate attempt from the Clinton smearing machine to halt Obama's unstoppable momentum.

Posted by: shank76 | February 18, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

What's that sound? Oh, it's the Clinton Campaign's death-rattle! Hillary I am so sorry that your charisma transplant didn't take. If only you had the character and wisdom to bow out gracefully, and save yourself and the rest of us the pain of embarassment.

Posted by: Dahveed1 | February 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

To what extent the Clintons can stoop will be understood in the days to come.

One thing is for sure Obama camp is not scoring well on negatives, they have better work to do. Here is an article how hillary is stealing from John Edwards and no body talks about it

Many of her ("Hillary") applause lines reprise the rhetoric employed by former Senator John Edwards, who dropped out of the presidential contest late last month after running on an explicitly populist economic message.

Shame on you Hillary!

Posted by: pk_here | February 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

My favorite plagiarism - 'The truth shall set you free."

It hurts doesn't it, Obama Moonies?

Posted by: brigittepj | February 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I thought trying to claim Obama supported Reagan's ideas was the dumbest claim of the campaign. But Hillary has outdone herself with this one.

This is so pathetic!! Junk like this is an insult to voters, and the voters sense it.

How low can you go?

Posted by: ddcegan | February 18, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"The day will come when all of you cult followers will realize that the only thing Mr. Obama has offered are beautiful, inspirational words and nothing more."


"Obama laid out in one 38-minute speech several strands of a policy -- much of it more detailed versions of familiar themes -- that emphasizes the protection and promotion of working-class Americans. He chose for the site of the speech an SUV factory operated by General Motors, which on Tuesday announced record losses.

The series of proposals were on issues from tax reform and private savings to bankruptcy, trade and investment in the nation's infrastructure. He said he could pay for "every single element of this economic agenda" -- primarily by ending the Iraq war and by increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans."

I hear that same "all words and no substance" tripe from Hillary Supporters all the time. 5 seconds of Google searching and a little common sense prove it wrong every time, which raises the question:

Whose supporters are the true "cult?"

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 18, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Get ready for more jabs like this from Hillary's camp. One cannot imagine how she will attack next. She's not able to flat out win so she is at the point where she will do anything to make Obama lose. This is about to get real interesting...

Posted by: d.emmett.mcdonald | February 18, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's a new slogan for Hillary/Bill:

"When the going gets tough, the tough go negative!"

Posted by: thrapp | February 18, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Plagiarism is the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of (or incorporating material from) someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgment. Unlike cases of forgery, in which the authenticity of the writing, document, or some other kind of object itself is in question, plagiarism is concerned with the issue of false attribution.

Posted by: mattwhitcomb | February 18, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Neither CLinton nor Obama have much claim to the word "progrsssive." Still, I find it interesting that the Clinton camp would sling the plagarism word around when all politicans freely borrow ideas and concepts that others have used to succeed. The impression the charges give is one of desperation.

It is time that the candidates look at the issues facing people in the streets and the Nation in the world. It is time for the press to focus on substance. It is time for voters to demand it.

Posted by: tsnell1 | February 18, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

All of you Obama supporters listen up. The day will come when all of you cult followers will realize that the only thing Mr. Obama has offered are beautiful, inspirational words and nothing more. At that point it will be too late. I guess you'll get what you deserve like you did when you elected President Bush. What a great choice that was.

Posted by: fdavine | February 18, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

to dmurphy.dg:

Wrong. I will vote Democrat and I bet you will, too. All of my friends who support Obama (who call themselves Democrats) will too. No one knows how "Independents" will vote, but the numbers clearly favor Obama.

You're just trying to make a case to vote for Senator Clinton. A bad case IMHO.

I think Senator Clinton is bad candidate and would make a bad president (for too many reasons to enumerate here). I'm assuming you think the same about Obama. Why not give us facts, instead of smears?

Posted by: mrhamham | February 18, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. by the way people... Governor Deval Patrick ENDORSED Obama and has made appearances on behalf of Obama since this speech was offered so I guess he wasn't too pissed now eh? lol

I feel truly badly for Hillary. She is so confused. You do realize that she doesn't even understand why this stuff doesn't work and why she's not winning.

Posted by: julieh | February 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is finally showing herself...a bitter old bag that is losing. It just amazes me that she thinks she is above it all even after all the scams that her and slick willy have accomplished. If she were winning, she'd still be notoriously dishonest, disloyal, and most certainly evil. If you want terrorrism to walk into the U.S. and take for the likes of Hillary. She's probably already sleeping with the enemy.

Posted by: rkirchoff | February 18, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama quoted Lincoln when he started his campaign, he quoted Regan, along the way he quoted FDR, JFK and MLK. Recently he quoted one of his earliest endorsers and good friend Govenor Patrick of Massachusetts. Who is Hillery quoting? I forgot she doesn't quote anyone because she has all the solutions for 35 years now. It just has now taken her 35 years to run for president to implement them, now that we are ready to understand them! With all due respect she is showing herself to be a "whack job" each day.

Posted by: dmscontractor | February 18, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

One thing we can surely count on...all the Obama supporters will take their ball and go home if Hillary wins the nomination....they won't show up on election day and vote!!(including Obama's wife who has to think about it as she said on TV)

see folks, Obama and his supporters just want to talk the talk...but when it truly means handing the white house to the democrats they'll be sitting home whining how they we victims.

Posted by: dmurphy.hg | February 18, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Same old Clinton Politics....

Posted by: john.v.compton | February 18, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Is this what Hillary is experienced in? False accusations and finger-pointing? Everyspeach Obama gives, she turns around and says the exact darn thing. Heck even in their debates, she always let's Obama speak, then she repeats like a bird - WHAT A JOKE ! the Democratic Party should find qualified people to run this country and not jokes like the clinton's who are nothing but scam artists and a bunch of liers "I never had sex with that women" remember?

Posted by: mo_fu_broke | February 18, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing. I can attest to that better than many, for I have seen men's hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience... To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude... I do not seek the presidency on the presumption that I am blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need. I seek the presidency with the humility of a man who cannot forget that my country saved me." - John McCain

Posted by: mattwhitcomb | February 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we need an 'originality check' on some of the posts from the Clinton troops...

Instead of flooding comment boards with spam and cut and paste attacks, maybe they ought to be out going door to door like Obama supporters.

Posted by: dogmo | February 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It would appear that Senator Obama's supporters are not aware of what constitutes plagiarism. Words are very powerful, as Governor Patrick pointed out in his original speech, and when a politician uses the words of another, he is obligated to attribute them to the writer. In Senator Obama's case, this is particularly important as words are what he's running on.

Senator Biden dropped out of the race in 1988 for exactly this reason; he was found to have used the words of a British politician in one of his speeches without attribution.

"It doesn't matter," is what Oprah said of James Frey's book. Of course, after a huge controversy, she backed down, as she should have. Some of us make our living as writers and we view the taking of our words, without attribution, as stealing (and some times with attribution).

And from an ethical view, Governor Patrick does not have the right to say it's not plagiarism because he didn't mind or even concurred. I stopped teaching writing years ago because I got tired of using my free time to track students' papers down on the internet. I'm far too along in years I guess to understand why so many people love Obama for his words and when they find they're not actually his, continue to be enthralled.

In France and Italy, and other countries, they have a president who gives fine speeches and a prime minister who does the work. Perhaps we need this here: Obama as president of fine words, and Hillary as prime minister of works. Or if we want to use U.S. designations: Hillary as president and Obama as vice president. He can go to weddings and funerals and make fine speeches and Hillary can get us universal health care.

Posted by: gracebrophy | February 18, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Are political platform bullet points protected by copyright law? I mean is that what we're arguing here? I don't care where Obama got his ideas, as long as they're good.

Sheesh. What a non-issue. This nomination process has gone on too long. Obama's ready to take on McCain. So am I. Can we get on with the General Election campaign already? Please?!

Posted by: mrhamham | February 18, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

These are good thoughts, that words have power, and good examples of it, from our common history of King, Kennedy, and the writers of our founding documents. I hope Obama finds more good words like these, and says them. Following a friend's lead is not plagiarism, and they are not used "word for word" as one of the Clinton operatives says. I would not like to see every speech footnoted for every line that might have come from somewhere else. This is a simple attempt at distraction, started up by the right, and echoed, unfortunately, by Clinton's campaign. I think they've made a mistake in that.

Posted by: hardin | February 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Be serious folks. Do you really think every thing Hillary says is original for that matter honest. The governor and Obama and friends are friends and they express ideals as well as ideas to the public. It really is no big deal.

Posted by: ermon_harrisjr | February 18, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Why does this actually surprise people? Ever notice the intense difference between "Debating Obama" and "Reciting Prepared Speeches Obama?"

In Debate, Obama never takes real positions, he won't give the same intensity and passion he delivers in his speeches, in the debate with Clinton and Edwards and Bill Richardson a few weeks ago, he barely spoke at all, and he has to say "um" and take a painfully long pause between every few words. Maybe all politicians DO use speech writers, but they can usually back up those speeches with original thought when it is required. I have yet to see Obama do so in any situation that puts him on the spot. Call Hillary Clinton what you'd like, but to watch them debate, you cannot deny that she is the better politician.

Furthermore, those of you who cannot see past the messiah-like image that he's achieved through borrowing MLK's cadence and apparently exact phrases from many others, those of you who claim Hillary Clinton has copied HIS platform, should seriously sit down and think a moment. Hillary was on the scene way before Mr.Obama was. A lot of her platform is a continuation of what she has been working on for YEARS. Hillary Clinton was fighting for some of her issues when Obama was still getting high in school. But since you have convinced yourselves that experience doesn't matter, open both of their websites and go to "Issues." Sit down and READ the plans. Not the little pull out quotes scattered around Obama's page. Read the paragraphs. Clinton's plans actually exist, Obama has broad "goals" that frequently lack any clear means of achieving them. Impressive language, but severely lacking in substance.

Talk is cheap, experience isn't. You have more to throw at Clinton because she's been around longer, but look past that and see how much she's accomplished. Look at SCHIP, and the 6 million children that have health care because of her.

It sincerely frightens me that Obama may be our next president. One day a situation may arise that Martin Luther King and Deval Patrick haven't given him a cute and catchy phrase for, and everyone will realize just a little too late that they allowed themselves to be fooled by a power-hungry individual that is merely an echo of far greater men before him.

Posted by: fufu4life | February 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This guy is all fake. Ex drug users often have a hard time thinking for themselves so they just memorize other peoples speaches. Opromises shine is wearing off now, he has been holding on for a few months, but with more attention drawn to him, everyone is now starting to see he is all fake, no experience, and just a good copycat. NO Opromise for me.

Posted by: medical7 | February 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This guy is all fake. Ex drug users often have a hard time thinking for themselves so they just memorize other peoples speaches. Opromises shine is wearing off now, he has been holding on for a few months, but with more attention drawn to him, everyone is now starting to see he is all fake, no experience, and just a good copycat. NO Opromise for me.

Posted by: medical7 | February 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This just proves the point that Obama, inexeperienced as a leader, is an outstanding actor.

The big question is what the second act might look or sound like.

We all love a great show. However, it seems that the great show of the past seven years should have everyone ready for a little reality. It doesn't seem that this is Obama's strong suit.

Posted by: loudermilk | February 18, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious that Obama doesn't have an original thought or policy stance.
Why is it again that we should vote for him? Because he's cute? Hmmmm......

Posted by: brigittepj | February 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons must be in MAJOR trouble if they are going to go this far ! Plagiarism ? R U Kidding Me ?

Why should she care ? I thought " Words are Cheap " Hillary ? LOL

Posted by: soflindie | February 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Re: "This slogan does not come from United Farm Workers."

Yes it does and they own the copyright.

Sí se puede is usually translated in English, colloquially, as "yes, we can." The more literal translation that the United Farm Workers uses is "Yes, It can be done!"[7] [8]

Senator Barack Obama adopted the English version "Yes, we can!" early in his presidential campaign, and notably revived use of the chant after his second place finish in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. [9] Following the speech Obama was endorsed by the Culinary Workers Union in the Nevada Democratic Caucus [10], though it is important to note that news of the endorsement had already been circulating prior to this speech.[11]The phrase was also used in the song "Yes We Can", which was performed by numerous celebrities in support of Obama.[12]

Posted by: sunnyday1 | February 18, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Each time another accusation comes out of the Clinton Camp, Hillary distances herself further and further from respectability. Her desperation is palpable. Personally, I think Hillary thinks she's entitled to this job (by virtue of what)? She cannot tolerate the thought of losing and is shameless in her behavior.

Posted by: rewolcott | February 18, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: vbalfour: "This is pathetic. Her poll numbers in Wisconsin must look really bad."

Latest Wisconsin Primary poll - February 16, 2008.

Clinton 49%
Obama 43%

American Research Group

Posted by: newspix | February 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

this what so called woman has lots of nerves by accusing Obama of plagiarism, she has been stealing every word from Obama since the beginning,this woman cannot become president she is too divisive and will destroy the democratic party

Posted by: capskip | February 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

hhkeller: I CERTAINLY hope you are joking. It floors me to even think of a possibility that someone could choose the leader of the nation we live in based on his good looks. These must be the same people who adamantly support Hilary "just because she is a woman". As a strong, educated woman who once classified herself as a moderate Republican, I have found myself avidly supporting Obama and vehemently opposing Hilary because I do not want someone like her to set the example of our nation or our gender. This notion that he has done something wrong by using a similar idea or phrase from a speech of someone who is active in his campaign is absurd. Any idea, any notion that any politician could ever "come up with" is taken from somewhere in history. There is no such thing as totally new concepts in these matters. Her campaign is spiraling downwards and she is trying to drag her opponent down with her, rather than looking out for the best interest of the party she represents and the American public she supposedly has the best interest of in mind. When it becomes apparent that her chance has passed, I hope she makes one respectable decision in her campaign and steps down gracefully as John Edwards did.

Posted by: AUBREYEHARRIS | February 18, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

My pastor used to say when better sermons were printed he would preach them. Good grief! Whereever the ideas originated, they are powerful, and the first honest political remarks I have heard since 1960. George

Posted by: georgenbc | February 18, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Weak-desperate- not even using the right terms....Attribution is for the written word and rarely used when quoting from the public domain..I have many times shared thoughts from my friends and they from me, in speeches.

Addtionally, hclinton has stolen Obama's slogans many times in the last 18 message changes ...Ickes, Wolfson, Penn are all hacks in the sinking ship. Notice Carville has stayed out of this so far...

Posted by: jetlone | February 18, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What Obama should have said: "I was raised to believe it is a mark of character to admit one's mistakes. And I admit not giving credit to Patrick was a mistake. The question is: When will Hillary Clinton admit her Iraq War vote was a mistake?"

Posted by: mhonley | February 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Reply to "sunnyday1"

"Even his slogan "Yes We Can" comes from Dolores Huerta co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers. They coined that slogan back in 1973 and copyrighted it."

This slogan does not come from United Farm Workers - haven't you ever heard of Bob the Builder -"Yes We Can!" Now Obama is plagarizing my child's cartoon heroes! What next? Maybe he'll start using the phrase - "Who ya gonna call? Obama!"

Seriously, tho - get over it - everyone uses speech writers, quotes from everyone under the sun, and has been doing it for years. I just think it's all very amusing. I'm not even a democrat! I'm voting - unhappily - for the republican nominee, which is probably going to be McCain. Would have voted for Romney, but oh well. At least McCain stands for something!

Posted by: kvadair | February 18, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

It isn't the words that are beating the Clintons. It is the man speaking the words.

I expect Deval Patrick is full of pride that Obama chose to speak his words (or the words Patrick's speech writer penned).

Plagiarism hints at deceit which Clintons know so well. I guess Hillary is implying that Obama thought he would put one over on one of his most vocal supporters who has listened to him speak hundreds of times. What a bone-headed premise.

Posted by: nanci | February 18, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse


A little preview:
""He came into office thinking he had a mandate from the public but what he didn't realize was that he wasn't the only one who got elected in November of 2006,"

I don't think it's desperation, I think its an attempt to turn attention to the style of governing Mr. Obama's buddy has had in MA as governor. NOT VERY SUCCESSFUL. The issue that he borrowed a few thoughts from his close friend is the least important. The issue is the effectiveness of governing. These two men share styles and approaches and the results are already being seen for Mr. Deval who has been in office for a little over a year. Actually I think the Clinton campaign was very clever. Of course the press will not bother to look into Deval's short's work.
But I believe that one of the reasons Senator Clinton won so overwhelmingly in MA might have been because of how unhappy Deval's constituency is with its Governor.
All talk and very little action and not a great capacity of uniting...

Posted by: poh123 | February 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

First off, I have no horse in the Obama-Clinton race.

This story would get much more play if the source had not been the Clinton campaign. I think most of us who pay even a little attention to politics expect this type of tactic from the Clinton campaign. They would have been better off leaking this through a media source.

I don't have any problem with him borrowing ideas from other campaigns. He is talking generally about hope and a promise of a better future and these ideas are not subject to copyright or other legal restrictions as far as I know. Perhaps a little substance would throw the Clinton's off his trail.

Posted by: floucka | February 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Like a fighter losing in the 12th round, she throws wild punches, hoping something will land.

Enough about the speeches. If Hillary (or anyone else) had such oratory skills, she'd be "finding her voice" all over the place. Obama is so good in that area that Hillary has no choice but to convince the public that good speeches are a sign of shallowness. Good luck with that.

Also, Hillary's latest claim that Obama avoids specifics in favor of rhetoric is itself a vague and generalized slur. What has he been unspecific about? What do we need to hear more of? Energy policy, economics, foreign affairs, health care? If she named an area, people could say, "I remember him talking about that, what does she mean?" With this line of attack she also unwittingly insults more than half of democratic voters so far as gullible dupes who have fallen for his act. The experience issue is a fine one for her to highlight, but this "all hat no cattle" ruse is silly.

The experience I'm worried about is my own, that is, not having to reexperience the Clintons' antics for the next four years.

Posted by: MShaughn | February 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Is it too much to ask that a presidential candidate have his own ideas? His own words? We deserve at least that much!

Go back to the Senate Obama.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | February 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"[I]f we're going to lead, we have to become the change that we seek." - Jane Fonda

Posted by: brigittepj | February 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

With Hillary's many ethical lapses, she is on thin ice accusing Obama of plagarizing his colleague's work.

Posted by: kevin | February 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse




Seriously. this guy lifted off from Bill Clinton, JFK, MLK, RFK, Reagan, and even John Edwards... and no one noticed?

I guess copying lowly Gov Deval Patrick is just too much to endure?

Posted by: fjstratford | February 18, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton & Co. will DO ANYTHING, SAY ANYTHING no matter how TRIVAL, no matter how BASELESS.

Posted by: gman5541 | February 18, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The Declaration of Independence talks about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." John Locke talked about "life, liberty and property" a hundred years before.

Should we call Thomas Jefferson a plaigarist, too?

Posted by: tony.magrogan | February 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Who cares!! Clinton or Obama? Do you think dear readers that they care about us?
Our best option is Jesus Christ!! Lets pray for our Nation, may Jesus be the guide for us!
With love in Him,
Nelson Choto
Iglesia Bautista de Petaluma, CA

Posted by: noslen | February 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

HillBilly and her cronies sound pathetic and desperate, nearly a laugh but really a cry!

Posted by: SonicBlu | February 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

You're right... this is 'borrowed' from a first term governer. Another progressive politician who happens to be a close friend of Obama's. Do you truly think that ideas and concepts and wording were never discussed or compared by Adams, Jefferson and Franklin and yet, we remember that Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Have you ever heard someone express something effectively and used it to get the idea across? May I point out that the governor himself.. the one this is 'borrowed' from has been quoted as saying ... Barack's been so helpful that my speeches are as much his as my own. Too bad Clinton didn't bother to check with him first. You do notice that she is the one leveling the foul call... not the writer that was 'plagiarized' in the first place? Please folks... use your heads. Complaints that Obama supporters are part of a cult show that the ones leveling the claims are not thinking! There is PLENTY of evidence on the front page of your newspaper that Obama is the REAL DEAL! All sorts of people who've spent their lives assessing political and social questions are endorsing him. Who has endorsed Hillary lately? Please ask more and jump to conclusions less!

Posted by: julieh | February 18, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Next time I say, "I DID NOT," i'll be sure to quote Bill Clinton.

Posted by: anderspe | February 18, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

How bout a Obama / Romney ticket.

Posted by: hhkeller | February 18, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It's very interesting to me how people are looking for ways to bring this man down!
Since when is it wrong to use lines from another speech combined w/ your own?
every single canidate has done so but Obama is being attacked...I really don't get it. Is is because we finally have a respectable African American w/ a legitamate chance of becoming the next president? Or is it because he has such a positive message that in this day & age nobody really believes is such a message anymore? This really needs to stop! Let both of them (Clinton & Obama) go out and try to bring it home w/o the smear maching ruining yet another election! look what happened to Kerry & then look at what happened next....another Bush term and more problems for the country!
We have such a great country but I swear I get sick of watching grown men & women act so childish instead of finding a true way to work together and make our world safer & better & just something we can all be a part of!
& yes I am voting Obama "08"

Posted by: aver78y | February 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

This is pathetic. Her poll numbers in Wisconsin must look really bad.

Posted by: vbalfour | February 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama should be elected because he's cute.
His words are borrowed but he's still cute.

Posted by: hhkeller | February 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

So this is it huh?!!!! I was wondering when "The Swift Boat Campaign" when the "Howard Dean is a Nutjob Campaign" when the major smear issue was going to hit Obama...and hear it is.

People We Have to Grow Up. Orators, public officials, politicians borrow words from each other all time. Obama has never hid the fact the he has taken elements of Dr. King, John F. Kennedy and others into his campaign as it applies to what he is trying to do and stand for....just as Dr. King never hid that he borrowed his "non violence" tactic from Ghandi. This is what people do and there is nothing wrong with it. You evoke word and ideas of those before you because you are mimicking their movement or ideals...This is no conspiracy!

But what am I saying..the only people who see this as "plagarism" are Hillary supporters anyway!

Posted by: daviorr | February 18, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Of course it matters, a lot! It's plagiarism, nothing less, unless the words used are a cliché in the public domain, in which case nobody should be using them. Senator Biden withdrew from his campaign years ago for doing the same thing, stealing words from the speech of another.

I taught English composition for some years at the City University, and if a student used the words of another without attribution, it wasn't ok, with me or the administration. Isn't that what students do when they buy papers off the internet! Shades of James Frey!

Sunday, on the McLaughlin Group, John McLaughlin asked Clarance Page, an unabashed supporter of Obama's, if Obama's taking from Clinton's economic plan, using the exact words, was a problem, and he said "not at all." Believe me, if Clinton took from Obama's plan, it would be a problem.

And I agree, if Obama is running, and winning on his rhetoric, then it would help if it were his own. Apparently, we should be voting for a 26-year old graduate of Holy Cross (the person who writes Obama's speeches). Too bad the vocabulary at Holy Cross doesn't extend beyond "hope" and "change" to "universal health care."

I say let's banish clichés from speeches altogether. The campaign trail would be wonderfully quiet!

Posted by: gracebrophy | February 18, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Jesus this the best you and your team can come up with?
You'd be much better off crying in public least that garnered a little sympathy.

Posted by: ndeavour | February 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to plagiarism Hillary is the more experienced. She is the designated heir to the thrown who was for NAFTA and the Iraq war and now promotes herself as the change candidate against everything she once promoted. She plagiarized her whole campaign to be more like Obama. As for "fired up and ready to go," even McCain stole that from Obama.

Posted by: info4 | February 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I am so tired of the Clinotns and their politics of accusation. The Clintons can hardly stand the light of day themselves, yet they accuse their bethern night and day. And as we can see with the old attack dog, Bill, himself, their attacks need have no actual basis in fact. I'm a Republican, and I'm going to vote Republican, but I pity Barak Obama because he has to deal with the Godforsaken Clintons.

I saw a great bumpersticker that said, "Anybody but Hillary in 2008." I'm for that. I don't care who it is that finally rids us of those people.


Posted by: puffcat | February 18, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama is inexperienced and perpetually borrowing from a first term governor or from his opponents cant fix that fact.

Obama hasnt done one year in the Sneate befor running. I think thats lame. It might be fun to elect a cute guy but there are too many problems on the table right now. Do you really want a backroom full of advisors with no accountability running the White House again.

Posted by: hhkeller | February 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Classic Hillary. Get behind and get nasty. An unfortunate turn.

Posted by: bwallinger | February 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing makes Hillary look politically small. She keeps railing about substance and experience. Her experience is of question and here rhetoric and empty charges tired.
Can we move on?

Posted by: michael.schmitz | February 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Please! Is this the best the Clinton supporters can do? The answer is yes. This sort of desperation is not surprising. And, it just tells me that there must not be anything REALLY remarkably bad to say about Obama. Thank you for bringing this to light.

Posted by: ray | February 18, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This is pathetic....I smell desperation in all four corners of the Clinton's campaign. They are getting more pathetic as their loosing streak widens. I have just about lost every ounce of respect for the Clintons. Maybe its because as a Democrate, i am on the other side and am feeling the pain of their filty, low political games. They are showing themselves to more and more like the Republicans and this is definitely what I am not anticipating dealing with for the next four years. So what if Obama is using some of the rhetoric from his campaign supporter and backer. Duval has agreed that he has authorized obama to use his message, he has also stated that they both he an dObam think alike, have the same message, and agree on basically everything. So what's the beef? Get a life....This is not how you win a nomination, Hillary.....

Posted by: YesweCan1 | February 18, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

This coming from a woman currently telling the American public one thing and the press corps another?

"On her campaign plane, Clinton started coming back to the press section for off-the-record chats, usually harmless but sometimes including comments that contradicted what she was saying publicly, according to participants."

Posted by: staxnet | February 18, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: matjarvis00 | February 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Deval Patrick told Obama not to take credit for his words - he is a supporter, friend, and adviser, and together they anticipated that Clinton would attack Obama using the rhetoric-vs-substance angle. Patrick set the record straight in an interview with the NY Times over the weekend (see linked story, above).
So in fact, HRC's campaign is repeating charges of plagarism over and against the protestations of the so-called "victim." She is willing to say anything - or better yet, have her surrogates say anything - to tear down Obama. This is just the latest example. She. Has. No. Shame.

Posted by: lf85 | February 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama's response on Hillary's copy was the phrase: "Fired up and ready to go"

"Fired up and ready to Go", I thought this phrase came from Obama's cousin Dick Chenney when he was ready to shoot his hunting partner. Ha Ha ...

Posted by: vs_sv | February 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Have the Blogs been taken over by the Clinton machine. It the main goal to make Obama look bad?

Posted by: coatesmoe | February 18, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's mindless distractions are an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Next she'll try to convince us that Obama just stole his ideas from Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. Sorry, Mrs. Clinton. These are American ideas. They're not for sale. They belong to all of us.

Clinton's campaign is a joke. I hope the Democratic party doesn't fall for it.

Posted by: maq1 | February 18, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

If all you have is rhetoric it should at least be authentic.
How are you going to run the white house without original thought.
I know he's a cute guy but he needs more time in the Senate. PERIOD

Posted by: hhkeller | February 18, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Many lines in Obama's speeches come from other people: JFK, MLK, and even Deval Patrick.

Even his slogan "Yes We Can" comes from Dolores Huerta co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers. They coined that slogan back in 1973 and copyrighted it.

Obama has also taken ideas from Hillary such as Green Collar jobs and portions of her economic plan. Pretty soon he will pretend that he invented universal healthcare.

Obama is trying to "get over." He hasn't done the work necessary to prepare for the presidency.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | February 18, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It is Obama who is an embarassment -- where are his "progressive" ideas. What evidence do you have that he's a "progressive?" He has been using Republican talking points to attack Clinton. His policy ideas are widely known to have been stolen by Clinton. He has no record of progressive ideas in Congress -- whereas Clinton does.

Obama IS NOT A PROGRESSIVE. When are you going to wake up?

Posted by: eeave | February 18, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Why is the press "falling for this distraction?" - This is not a distraction. This is deadly serious. The country should not vote for an individual who steals whole themes, words, and even policies from other individuals because he is so empty of his own ideas. He is running for the presidency of the United States and we need to know that the person in that job knows how to make decisions because they have a base of knowledge, deep understanding. They are not an empty suit.

Posted by: eeave | February 18, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Plagiarism? This is an accusation coming from a woman who has been stealing everything he says?

Hillary is an embarrassment to progressive women everywhere.

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | February 18, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

YES HE CAN.... THIS SALES MAN IS PHONY...The rookie sales man is doing plagiarism. This is shame for copying somebody's speech! The sales man is following HRC footstep when it comes to economy.
What happened between this rookie sales man and REZKO? Is the rookie will return the house and lot that he bought from this scum? YES HE CAN.... but I don't think so because they are both scum....Blood sticker than water, YES HE CAN!

Posted by: graysce101 | February 18, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama has lifted the entire campaign of Duvel Patrick who ran in 2006. It is not one simple passage from their speeches -- it's whole themes, and sometimes whole paragraphs.

See this YouTube of Patrick in 2006 talking about change and hope:

And to equate "charged up and ready to go," to stealing an entire campaign motif as well as words, is absurd. As usual, the media is NOT doing its job vetting this guy who is running for the most important job in the country.

Posted by: eeave | February 18, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Why is the press even falling for this Clinton distraction? Deval is on the Obama team, he's almost a speech writer. Did you know that most candidates and Presidents don't actually write their own speeches? Gasp! They use speech writers!! They're all frauds! OMG! Tell the American people!!

Posted by: thebobbob | February 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

When the WaPo and others were gushing over Obama's speeches, it turns out they weren't listening to Obama at all, just his speechwriters and now Deval Patrick. It'd be pretty funny to see how he'd handle getting into an argument over his policies with someone who's an expert in those policies.

That said, it'd be nice if the WaPo would spend less time on trivial-but-salient issues like this and more time on Obama's actual policies and the flaws therein:

And, for balance, here's a Hillary issue:

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 18, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he's all fake, check this out:

"...One of the best street organizers I ever met was Lisa Sullivan. Lisa was a young African American woman from Washington DC, a smart kid from a working class family who went to Yale and earned a PhD. But Lisa felt called back to the streets and the forgotten children of color who had won her heart. With unusual intelligence and entrepreneurial skills she was in the process of creating a new network and infrastructure of support for the best youth organizing projects up and down the East Coast. But at the age of 40, Lisa died suddenly of a rare heart ailment.

Lisa's legacy is continuing though countless young people who she inspired, challenged, and mentored. But there is one thing she often said to them and to all of us that has stayed with me ever since Lisa died. When people would complain, as they often do, that we don't have any leaders today, or ask where are the Martin Luther Kings now? - Lisa would get angry. And she would declare these words: "We are the ones we have been waiting for!"

Posted by: brigittepj | February 18, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

No more wondering what the next distraction would be. The last thing Camp Hillary wants on the eve of a vote is an honest comparison of candidates. She just cannot compete honestly, and it shows. It's over. Clinton's smear machine will not prevail.

Posted by: gmundenat | February 18, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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