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Obama and Clinton: Copycats?

Several news organizations report today that Barack Obama used elements of a 2006 speech by then-gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick (D) in an address to Wisconsin Democrats on Saturday night.

Here's a YouTube example produced by user chrisoh7:

"Sen. Obama is running on the strength of his rhetoric, and the strength of his promises. So I think it's relevant when someone who's running on his rhetoric lifts words from the speeches of another politician," Clinton campaign communications director Howard Wolfson said Monday during a conference call with reporters. When asked why the campaign is highlighting the similarities, Wolfson stated that "Sen. Clinton is not running on the strength of her rhetoric. She's not running to be the Orator in Chief. She's running to be the president."

But the Obama campaign quickly noted that Clinton has "borrowed rhetoric" from Obama as well.

"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 in Iowa in early January:

Expect to see both clips played several times in the coming days on a television near you.

It should be noted that Patrick and Obama are close friends, and that Obama strategist David Axelrod helped run Patrick's 2006 campaign for Massachusetts governor. Patrick tells the New York Times that he shared the language of his 2006 speech with Obama's speechwriters, and did not believe Obama should give him credit for the statement. (Read more on Axelrod's career here, and more on the Patrick-Obama relationship here.)

What do you think? Does this even matter in the long run?

UPDATE 4:21 p.m. ET: Obama responds to the news: "I've written two books. Wrote most of my speeches," Obama said at a planned press conference after touring RTI Titanium. "Deval and I do trade ideas all the time and he's occasionally used lines of mine and I...used some words of his. And, I would add, on occasion Sen. Clinton has used words of mine as well."

-- Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe |  February 18, 2008; 12:33 PM ET Barack Obama , YouTube
Previous: Clinton Says Thank You | Next: Clinton's 'Voice' in Vermont, 'Night Shift" in Tex. and Ohio

Comments

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If you think this is bad! Wait till the Clinton's do in the next two weeks.

Posted by: John | February 18, 2008 12:46 PM

If he has Deval Patrick's permission, it is a nonissue.

Posted by: Robert | February 18, 2008 12:50 PM

I've been noticing for weeks that the Clinton campaign freely pilfers Obama's ideas and phrases, and nobody calls them on it. Now Clinton is calling her campaign "a movement," which cracks me up. We've been treated to "Yes She Can" and "Yes We Will." And of course the big one, "change" (which even the GOP candidates stole). Can't Clinton afford some real writers of her own?

Posted by: ally | February 18, 2008 12:59 PM

i think its a huge deal...bary's stolen from malcolm x, bob the builder, john edwards, patrick... he has ted sorenson, kennedy' speechwriter writing for him... the guy is just an empty suit!

Posted by: divabunny | February 18, 2008 1:03 PM

This was one supporter offering words to another.

Best put: From today's 'Head of State' http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/02/crowley-obama-and-lifted.html:

"Crowley, Obama, and "Lifted"

Candy Crowley, on today's CNN "Ballot Bowl" teased a segment on Obama and the "Just Words" speech by saying that Obama had "lifted" a phrase from someone else.

Crowley is an excellent reporter--she should know better.

As you may be aware, Obama has a segment in his current stump speech where states that powerful statements such as "I have a dream" and "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" were also "just words"--powerful words that mobilized a nation. This was similar to a section of a speech by Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts and a close Obama friend and supporter.

As Crowley would have been aware, if she had read this morning's Times:

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

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

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

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

"Lifted" is a word with powerful psychological resonance. "The pickpocket lifted the wallet from the passenger", say; or " The reporter lifted the phrase from another article."

I am very aware that the day-to-day campaign beat is wearing and difficult. And Crowley is usually a first-rate reporter.

However, to use a word such as "lifted" here--where the information was given from one close friend to another, is not only editorializing, not only improperly influencing the audience, but is simply false. Would Crowley say that a candidate "lifted" phrases from a speechwriter who offered words for the campaign?

Words have power. When Crowley is discussing Obama's, she might also give equal careful consideration to her own."

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/02/crowley-obama-and-lifted.html

Posted by: Robert Hewson | February 18, 2008 1:07 PM

Desperation, thy name is Clinton.

Posted by: John | February 18, 2008 1:22 PM

The issue here is that its not just a few words, its a whole speech. If Hillary Clinton did this, everyone would be down her back for plagerism. Why don't all those sheep out there realize that Mr. Obama is just good a giving speeches and nothing else. Now he's resorted to using other peoples lines to get him elected but "Where's the Beef".

Posted by: steve | February 18, 2008 1:24 PM

Now I know why Obama fears debate.

Posted by: luann | February 18, 2008 1:24 PM

I agree with Robert. Non-issue when the permission is there.

Posted by: DW | February 18, 2008 1:25 PM

Crowley never was that good to begin with, CNN's become a hack factory chasing the FOX gold, and willing to get down on its broadcast knees or bend over to get ratings ratings ratings.

I pity today's public thinking that the corporate drivel spat in its face is actually factual, much less news.

It's profit competition -- as Noam Chomsky points out, the networks are merely selling YOU to its advertisers so both corporations can profit. And whatever shiney glitter crap they wave in your face to get your attention is just the cost of doing business in America. The news is deader than the Constitution Bush wiped his butt with in 2000 and 2004.
This experiment is over.

Posted by: Murrow | February 18, 2008 1:26 PM

It only bothers me a little, especially since Patrick is cool with it. It doesn't bother me nearly as much as Sen. Clinton authorizing Pres. Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: egc52556 | February 18, 2008 1:27 PM

Oh, please . . .

Posted by: secondwynd | February 18, 2008 1:28 PM

Since Deval Patrick was much better at delivering those words, does that mean he should be President instead of Obama?

Posted by: KDS | February 18, 2008 1:30 PM

Gov. Deval Patrick (02/17): "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: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 1:30 PM

Plagiarism. Period.

Posted by: Peter | February 18, 2008 1:30 PM

Hilary has been "lifting" phrases from Obama ever since he gained the upper hand. More dirty tricks from the Clinton campaign, what else is new?

Posted by: Rose | February 18, 2008 1:32 PM

And John Edwards lifted his schtick from JEsse Jackson: TEll, a sob story then specificially say "America that is not right, we are a better nation than that."

Jackson used that line at the DNC in 1988. It's from one of my favorite speeches and I've heard JOhn Edwards use it twice. He simply changed the poverty example, but then ended saying "America that is not right, we are a better nation than that."

Posted by: Synthia Rose | February 18, 2008 1:33 PM

It ain't plagiarism when you have permission... but don't let facts retard your long jump to conclusions.

Posted by: Murrow | February 18, 2008 1:33 PM

FDR and JFK who said those words were experienced and well known leaders when they ran for President. Unlike Obama, they were more than just words.

Posted by: Don | February 18, 2008 1:33 PM

Let the slime begin! What took ya'll so long. ;-(

Posted by: jwsamm | February 18, 2008 1:34 PM

I second the "Oh, please..." borrowed comment from secondwynd.

Posted by: Mike | February 18, 2008 1:34 PM

"What do you think? Does this even matter in the long run?"
It doesn't even matter in the short run. jeesh, find something important to write about willya!

Posted by: thebobbob | February 18, 2008 1:34 PM

You can't give somebody else's speech in public giving the impression that it's your own. It's a matter of honesty to the listening public, not a copyright matter, so Patrick's permission is irrelevant.

Posted by: Trickster | February 18, 2008 1:34 PM

What nonsense. What a wast of time and space. And how typical of herself, the failed health care expert, to bring up so trivial a matter while being guilty of using stuff from her opponent.
This from the wife of the president guilty of low crimes and misdemeanors.

Posted by: Richard McDonough | February 18, 2008 1:35 PM

Each of these attacks by Bill and Hillary only makes THEM look smaller and smaller.

Posted by: fuzzback | February 18, 2008 1:35 PM

This is a serious allegation against O.
The HRC has even copied the body movement and speech style from O, let alone that they immediately adopted the strong word "Change" etc.....


It it so pathetic that these machies try to paint mud on this guy.

Terrible. Is that the type of leadership this country needs?

Trash it for ever so that others will not be tempeted to repeat the cheapest methods possible....

Posted by: Roar | February 18, 2008 1:36 PM

Blather is still Blather when when its plagarized.

Senator Obama has done nothing as a Senator to support his rhetoric.
He really needs a few more year of doing anything befor running for President.
I love the fact that he is a beautiful man of color but he still has to learn by year of effort whats needed in this country and the world. Advisors can't cover for inexperience. We learned this lesson from Bush. Rhetoric and borrowed rhetric is empty without experience and prior thinking.

Posted by: hhkeller | February 18, 2008 1:36 PM

A NONE ISSUE!! When compared to the whole scheme of things. So he missed referencing one from the thousands of words he said on the trail so far. furthermore it's not like he used them without permission.

Posted by: buj | February 18, 2008 1:36 PM

He's still an empty suit from Mayor Daley's Chicago. Vote early, vote often, be sure to get the graveyard vote. I was born in that city and I don't trust one politician from there.

Norm

Posted by: Norm G | February 18, 2008 1:36 PM

Liste up students. According to the Obama cult it's ok to present someone's work as your own as long as you have the author's permission. No need to tell the teacher about it.

Yeah right...

Posted by: John | February 18, 2008 1:37 PM

I am more alarmed by the Clinton's campaigning style than I am by Obama's speechwriting style. Clinton seems more interested in focusing on the mechanics of the campaign than the substance of the campaign. Since her ideas and values haven't been able to sway voters, then she goes negative, complaining not about what's being debated, but how often, complaining not about what's being said, but how it's said. I think it is particularly ironic that Obama is responding to a Clinton smear with this portion of his speech.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 1:38 PM

This bickering over the originality of language is just plain silly. Do you know the place where words are borrowed more frequently than any other? It is the pulpit. I just preached a sermon yesterday using stock phrases and expressions in what I hope was a new way. But these words have been with us forever. How many ways can you say "I'll bring you new ideas?" "I'll bring you hope?" "We're fired up?" The fact of the matter is that we have to pick candidates on how much we believe that they will follow up on the stock phrases. I'm just glad I'm in Pennsylvania and we don't have to chose for a while.

Posted by: Lamar Freed | February 18, 2008 1:38 PM

Obama is a thief! Plagiarism. period.

Posted by: Mike | February 18, 2008 1:38 PM

I've supported Hillary Clinton since 1992, so I find this kind of attack really disappointing.

Borrowing words from Deval Patrick with his permission is not a big deal.

It reeks of desperation that she has stooped to this level.

Not good for her, or Barack, or the Democratic Party.

Posted by: David Arndt | February 18, 2008 1:39 PM

They both have the same strategist: David Axelrod. What if he gave the material to Obama?
More importantly, I really don't care. Am I the only one who is really fed up with these childish stuff the Clinton campaign feeds the media with? I am no Obama supporter and I am sick of this. Pick a damn and let get this thing over with.
Good God it's PRESIDENT'S DAY.
Where is Bloomberg when you need him? Let's get rid of all these clowns. At this rate, I will just go vote for Juan McAmnesty.

Posted by: Alan | February 18, 2008 1:40 PM

Non issue! Clinton is once again trying to make her competition look bad. She is trying to make it seem like Obama "STOLE the speech". There are friends with common views! They cannot say the same thing about a subject?

Posted by: RM | February 18, 2008 1:40 PM

They are all vacuous slogans as far as I'm concerned. Vacuous slogans do nothing. "We have nothing to fear...", "Ask not..", all just pablum for dufuses. It's worth noting that many people found Jefferson's DOI trite and Madison called it "hackneyed", since it was just a paraphrase of John Locke and accepted 18th century political cant. Since most Americans today know nothing at all of its origins, they consider it a marvel of originality. Dufuses all.

Posted by: Chuck Cardiff | February 18, 2008 1:40 PM

this is stupid. it was plagiarism when deval said it. they're quotes. obama and deval both made points that are pretty easy to come up with. he quoted a quote of a quote. it's redundant, but not worth arguing about.

Posted by: Johnny | February 18, 2008 1:41 PM

Even J Mcken has stolen Obama's words' I am fired up and ready to go'

Posted by: lounge | February 18, 2008 1:41 PM

What is wrong with being a sentient and cogent being borrowing from past ideas, oposing part ideas, and great idea ideas. Whats more troubling is when we snatch ideas out of the mouths of those who currently are expressing that idea. In other words Obama got those words first and was Okay'd by the author. Hillary or Billary is stealing the words before the man can even complete the speech. And thats my main problem with her. She is an android. Are you tough? I'm tougher. You like Iraq so do I. That is the problem with Bush. Who is she? I know who Obama is, he has made it clear. The people's choice. He has no problem making the best ideas, speeched and solution our solution for us. Not just rhetoric or negative ads or machismo, crapp!!

Posted by: AnotherCommenter | February 18, 2008 1:42 PM

If this politician were a student in school taking an oratory class and didn't credit the source material (even if the originator, behind the scenes, said it was ok), then this person would be expelled. I hold this man responsible for, basically, cheating. So, if it's okay with you Mr obama, I'll just cheat my way to success - Thanks for being such a role model for black america.

Posted by: Plagarist | February 18, 2008 1:42 PM

Senator Joe Biden was destroyed by the press when he gave a speech without attribution,

Posted by: J M | February 18, 2008 1:42 PM

The Clintons fired their campaign manager and are going dirty now. That's why a day or two later another staffer quit. Now we're starting to see some of the results of their digging around in the muck. Obama's message has strayed only occasionally. Hillary is all over the map trying to find something that works. She is like a cornered animal fighting to stay alive. This is the battle we will face time and time again, Obama against the establishment.

Let us show the establishment we do have a voice. Vote for Obama, donate money, talk to your friends and even strangers, stay positive, promote the video yeswecansong.com, this is our future we're talking about. Let's make our own history for a change.

Posted by: truth is gold | February 18, 2008 1:43 PM

Har Har Har Har
I just want to laugh at Obama and his speechwriter.
Can't they think of something else.

Posted by: May | February 18, 2008 1:43 PM

Senator Obama remained me of communist movement in Russia. He believes that he can change the world. Be realistic, look what's happened in communist country.

Posted by: all | February 18, 2008 1:43 PM

So when Hillary said she would take office with "a blueprint tucked under" her arm, was she referring to Obama's "Blueprint for Change"- a 54 page document that has been on his website for months?

And what about "yes we can"? "fired up and ready to go"? "turn the page", "change we can believe in". The difference is that Obama got his messages from friends and fellow supporters rather than "lifting" them from rival campaigns.

Mud-slinging against fellow Democrats is just ugly, old, slimy e-mail, cruddy politics. And, by the way, who benefits the most from the slimy, lying email that's been virally forwarded about Barack Obama? And when did you last receive a false email about Hillary? Not in this election, you haven't. Because Democrats shouldn't do that to each other.

Posted by: Jennifer | February 18, 2008 1:45 PM

It's not plagiarism, in my book. The more interesting issue is who is making a big deal of it. Candy Crowley and Cokie Roberts can barely conceal their support for Hillary. To be fair I guess Obama's got Chris Matthews in his corner.

So much for the media helping us get to the real issues.

Posted by: Patti | February 18, 2008 1:45 PM

If he had permission, it's not plagiarism. I don't really care if she steals his "ideas" either.. he doesn't hold a patent on change. Though the change he's talking about is different than her change. A change from current Washington politics is just what this country needs. Hillary can't offer that, McCain can't offer that. "Change happens from the bottom up, not from the top down." - Borrowed from Barack Obama.

Posted by: brandon | February 18, 2008 1:46 PM

Whether you have permission or not, but using a speech that has already been used...that's pretty sad.

Posted by: Aeldas | February 18, 2008 1:46 PM

The whole Clinton attack on Obama as nothing but words and rhetoric always struck me as another thinly veiled racial attack, and the fact that Deval Patrick faced the same attack confirms it to me, on top of the Clinton's juxtaposition of LBJ as the doer to MLK as the dreamer. Black people talk a good game, the Clinton's are saying, and that is all they can do - talk, rhyme, snap and pop to the music . . . it is subtle racism 101.

I think the best repply is for Obama to point out that Clinton can't have it both ways: if Obama is nothing but empty rhetoric with no specifics, how is it that there is a specific Obama health insurance plan that the Clintons disagree with? Either there are no details or there are details.

Plainly there are details, and Obama should drive that home by repaetedly bringing up Clintons plan to garnish wages to enforce her planned health insurance mandate. Fact is, that plus Clinton's would-be thin majority in Congress would doom her health plan as it doomed it in 1993: that spells no leadership, no workable solution, no real grasp of politics, and no learning from all that vaunted experience.

Joe

Posted by: joe shmoe | February 18, 2008 1:48 PM

Here me all teary eyed about Obama's speeches - screw that; the GOP is going to nail him.

I guess I am left holding Hillary's bag.

Posted by: Navin | February 18, 2008 1:48 PM

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 1:49 PM

Think about this for a moment. I am the Chief Operations Officer for a Multi-National Corporation that has interest in most parts of the world. I am getting old and need a successor. This is no easy decision to make, as there are hundreds of millions of people on payroll and our income is in the trillions. How do I decide who should succeed me? I have a contest. I select the best four candidates and give them their own department and 100 million each, and come back in a year to see what they have done with their investment. I can see now, just by going by the simple, published, undisputed facts, who exactly is the one I would want running the Corporation. Can you?

Posted by: Realist | February 18, 2008 1:49 PM

These were a few lines from a 50-minute speech, and permission was granted from the original author. The definition of plagarism is using someone's words WITHOUT permission. Hardly anyone who gives a speech has 100% of it that is completely original. Clinton has used so many of Obama's slogans (without permission) that it is impossible to count them all.

Posted by: Gwen | February 18, 2008 1:50 PM

all of the commentors who identify Obamma as a stuff shirt, an empty orator, Please Identify the top 10 accomplishments of Hillary's government service to the citizens of the US. Any groundbreaking legislation, any far reaching reforms, any large impact legislation that was directly from her Desk. Before I quit, Obamma supporters too, where is the beef? Or are both candidates running on chicken?

Posted by: neocon | February 18, 2008 1:50 PM

If Obama needs more experience, then how did Bush get selected for the White House after being a do nothing governor in a state where the legislature only meets every other year? The "experience" argument is as empty as the rationale it doesn't bother to state on it way to a false conclusion.

Oh, and in response to the comments that permission doesn't make it ok -- that's too illogical to bother. That's the kind of logic people use as they light crosses on fire. Cracker logic.

Posted by: Murrow | February 18, 2008 1:50 PM

What is wrong with our media today? Everyone seems so swept up in this Obama 'FAD' and this guy gets a pass at every corner. Deval Patrick is an avid Obama supporter and of course you wouldn't expect him to do anything else but speak in favor of him in this situation. How gullible are people? Do you expect Deval Patrick to come out and say Obama 'stole' his words? Of course not. The truth is this, if Hillary had done this the media will be all over it and calling her every name on God's green earth. Where is the fairness?
Obama is all talk and no substance. NO BEEF. Goes to explain why he refuses to debate. Wake up people, please do but then again Americans be quite STUPID. They voted George Bush for a second term even after it was proven there was no WMD and Saddam wasn't really a threat.

Posted by: Maurice | February 18, 2008 1:51 PM

The Clinton camp is pulling at straws and if things go bad in WI and HI look for Bill and Hill to come out gloves off...its gonna get out of hand really quickly.

Posted by: Ariel | February 18, 2008 1:52 PM

Yes, Ed. It DOES matter.
Obama's campaign stated that he and Deval often swap "good lines".

All those speeches: "I have a dream", "Nothing to fear but fear itself", thunder Obama(and Deval), are more than just words!
More than just words!!

Yeah, they're just "good lines".

Posted by: emm | February 18, 2008 1:53 PM

I suppose in one regard one could say that if Patrick gave permission that it's alright. But that would really just be a technicality wouldn't it?

If he is running "on the strength of his rhetoric", shouldn't it be HIS rhetoric?

Posted by: NeverEnding | February 18, 2008 1:53 PM

Of course it matters, a lot! It's plagiarism, nothing less, unless the words used are a cliche 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, taking 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.

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 didn't extend beyond "hope" and "change."

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

Posted by: Graceanne | February 18, 2008 1:53 PM

the real question is will obama be the next jack kennedy or the next jimmy carter....

Posted by: rob m | February 18, 2008 1:53 PM

PLEASE HELP!!!
Who do I need to quote for words I have used here?

I'm sure someone have used these words before I have used them here.

I don't want to get sued by the Clintons. Should I invent my own language if I want to say anything?

PLEASE HELP!!!

Posted by: Dave | February 18, 2008 1:55 PM

I am an Obama Supporter - and permission or not, plagiarism happens when the source isn't cited.

But think about it: he's giving a speech. Sharing ideas. Motivating a body of people. He's not writing a term paper with these words. The truth is, plagiarism only really matters in academia, journalism, and copyright infringement matters.

Politics, however, relies on plagiarism. How many republicans have used the party's "talking points" without citation? I guess that would be plagiarism too. How about all of Rush's "dittoheads"? Right - plagiarism at its finest, unless they admit that their views were shaped by Limbaugh.

And, yes - Hillary's campaign has evolved daily to sound more like Obama's.

I'm a Democrat that will be voting for McCain if Obama isn't the candidate. period.


Posted by: Ken | February 18, 2008 1:55 PM

The Patrick/Obama line is a good one, worth re-using. In retrospect, Obama probably wishes that he (or his speechwriter) had made a few more changes in it from Patrick's original statement so the borrowing would have been less obvious. To me, it looks like the Clinton campaign is throwing whatever it can at Obama on Wisconsin election eve, but that is after all fairly normal behavior in a tight race.

Posted by: Daniel | February 18, 2008 1:55 PM

I am leaning towards the candidate who has a proven track record. Enthusiasm is great, but I will go with experience. Perhaps if BO wanted to be pres, he could come back in 8 years, or be VP, while he is waiting. His arrogance though turns off many McCain would have a much better opportunity to win against BO, then HC. McCain is a very upright and stand up guy, which makes him able to get Democrats votes. Even me as a hardcore liberal, find McCain appealing in contrast to GW, or Huckabee or Romney, or even perhaps Obama. I find sincerity seems to draw me in more than anything. I do not agree with what McCain believes on every subject, but I trust him as a person of morals to make the right decision when it matters. I know what I get with the Clintons. I dont know BO at all, how do I know he is not full of poop as he seems to be. I liked John Edwards beliefs the best, but like Obama, I do not trust him. At least Hillary and McCain give me a candidate in which I know where they stand.

Change is more than a word, more than a cool mantra. Its what is needed to reverse all the injustice the last eight years have brought under EVIL GWB. With all respect to Mr. Obama, come back in 8 years and try again. I really dont want to vote for McCain, but I will if I have to.

As they say, better the Devil you know!!

Posted by: Hillary Rocks | February 18, 2008 1:55 PM

THIS IS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME

Posted by: trevor | February 18, 2008 1:56 PM

Politics are all about message and words. Obama used an apt point from a friend of his, given permission, to combat Hillary's latest nonsensical attack. To call it plagiarism is absolutely absurd. Did Obama explicitly state that Clinton was "plagiarizing" when she took his messages of "change" or his signature of being "fired up and ready to go".

Did he accuse John McCain last week of plagiarism when he also used the "fired up and ready to go", line? No, because he's not a hack

Due to the timing and frequency of these attacks it is clear that the Clinton camp is attempting a last-ditch mud-throwing effort to raise doubt about Obama. It is very clever and calculated: They throw enough attacks out there at the last minute, too many to defend and take apart at once. And if Obama does attempt to take the time, he gets off message and appears to be a back-peddling apologist, explaining away his mistakes like any other politician. Exactly what he says he is not.

It's obviously rubish, but I expect some of it to work. It's just how the media works. If you get important enough people to shout loud enough about something, folks take notice. The "folks" that take notice in particular are newspapers and headline writers at large. The Clinton's know that by peddling this story around enough, it will get picked up by the majors like the LA Times and NYTimes et al. They're banking that it's just enough to squash would-be Obama leaning voters in WI and states to come.

How well will it work? Not sure. In the latest PPP poll and all other polls (disregarding the ARG polling anomoly), Obama has a very wide margin. More importantly, he is winning key Clinton supporters: White's and people who care about the Economy as a primary issue. He defeats her handily among whites, has a slight lead on the economy, and even beats her on Healthcare issues.

As Pat Buchanan has been saying on MSNBC, to paraphrase, "There is no next time for Clinton, she has to get Obama off track now or never".

Personally, I am disappointed at the Clinton's for this type of behavior. I'm not here to say Hillary is the anti-Christ or to pretend this is the only time politics has gotten ugly.

But I will say this: This type of character assassination politics is exactly what drove me away from the Clintons. As a long-time Clinton supporter, Bill and Hillary, I am simply deeply disappointed.

Posted by: Gavin | February 18, 2008 1:57 PM

For all those who claim Obama is just big on words but short on action...I have lived in upstate NY my whole life. The area is an economic basket case. Hillary came up here as a carpet bagger promising to change things...she has CHANGED NOTHING other then to ride NY's large pool of delegate votes at her attempt for glory to get back the White House to try to set the record straight for "Camp Clinton"...this is not about US...its about her and Bill...what has she done? Brought money back after 9/11? That's a joke...anybody could have done that...political profiteering off 9/11 is a disgrace anyway...so...what has Hillary done for NY State other then ride its delegate pool? Lets face it, without her exceptionally strong showing here in the primaries, she would have had to concede the race by now.

Posted by: An Upstate NY'er | February 18, 2008 1:57 PM

If this is plagiarism than every speech given by a candidate written by a speech writer is plagiarism. HE GAVE THE LINES TO OBAMA!!!!!


This is a joke and pretty sad it's the best the Clinton machine can come up with.

Posted by: Kevin | February 18, 2008 1:57 PM

Obama is a terrific speech maker. He is charismatic and likes to get everyone motivated. But the substance necessary to take our country in a better direction is sadly lacking. Charismatic speeches are not going to help our country. The tenuous relations we have globally need someone skillful with diplomacy and action. He shows none of this. He changes his rhetoric to fit the medium. Where was his change when he came into office as a Senator? Why does he wait to voice "change" when he is running for the oval office? I am amazed at the short memories of his supporters.

Obama's own attack methods have been brutal in the past. Hilary is using some of his same methods and big surprise; she is demonized by Obama supporters and the media. Obama can break the rules, do as he wishes, and you hardly hear a peep from those same media outlets and supporters. In fact it is hard not to pick up a newspaper or catch an article on a variety of media outlets that seem to relish their negative comments on Hilary while building up Obama. Apparently there is few if any unbiased reporting. I was amazed, while watching the recent Super Tuesday Media coverage, how much time was devoted to Barack versus the time given to Hilary. It would appear that perhaps the "Old Boys network" still fears that a woman might come into power so much, they would purposefully report on a bias to confuse voters. It would seem that even an African American man is better then any women. It is shameful that so many voters can be led by such tricks.

And let us talk about our presidential hopefuls spouses. Barack's wife can say and do anything she pleases, and that makes folks and the media stand up and cheer. But OH MY, Bill Clinton steps up for his wife and let the media and various groups take up arms. Can you say double standard?

The very saddest thing is that the "herd" mentality is something Barack Obama is counting on. Apparently a call for change is all he feels he needs to provide to have you vote for him. Substance? Experience? Diplomacy? These things are apparently not necessary. But these are the same voters who blindly voted for our current incarnation of the president, and well, enough said.

Posted by: Casey | February 18, 2008 1:59 PM

The Clinton campaign is grasping at straws. I had a lot more respect for her before she started all the dirty tricks.

Clinton should withdraw from the race instead of dragging the party down like this.

Posted by: Non issue | February 18, 2008 1:59 PM

Plagiarism? give me a break! This is really just a desperate gambit by the Clintons. It is this sort of cacophony that clouds out discussions of issues. Mr. Obama has been very specific and articulate about his plans and he has debated 18 times so far with two more planned. All I hear from the other side is noise. If good oratory and sharing good ideas is a sin then this country was built on the devil's back.

Posted by: atticus | February 18, 2008 1:59 PM

It's much interesting that both men used the same lines in response to a rather lame attack that their excellent and inspiring speeches were only words. Hillary and her increasingly desperate advisors opened the door to this response by attacking Obama's speech delivery strength. Exactly what is it about Hillary's past that insures she will be the better chief executive? She's only in the senate a couple more years. That can't be the difference. Eight years as first lady and some public service years as a child advocate? By that logic, Laura Bush would be the better chief executive. No, Hillary needs to smear Obama, try to tear him down. Because he is in the lead, and that is what chasers do...tear down. Is this how she will work with republicans to accomplish her legislative agenda if elected President? She cannot turn off the attack gene. It's all she is good at. Voters should consider this carefully.

Posted by: Checker | February 18, 2008 2:01 PM

At least Bush has the sense to let other people write every word of HIS speeches.
Can you imagine what he would like if HE wrote them?

Heh, heh, uhhhhhhhhhh, heh,heh... War is hard! Yeah, that's it, war's real hard.

There was an interesting special on recently that actually interviewed the team that wrote the State of the Union speech for him.

Additionally, I would like to point out to the posters who start with false premises like "If we're votin' on Obama cuz of his rhetoric, then it oughta be his..." that their conclusions should FOLLOW logic, not precede it... and then they will be worth considering. But starting out with a stupid conclusion doesn't get better when you preface it with an illogical assertion.

Posted by: Murrow | February 18, 2008 2:02 PM

Seriously? This is the debate?

If I say to a friend of mine, here, borrow my car to go to the grocery store, would you say that my friend "lifted" my car or "stole" my car? No. I did it.

The definition of plagiarism (apparently for those who don't know it) is to use someone's else's ideas or words without permission and without credit. The person in question freely gave the ideas and words to Obama because he supports Obama. EVERY POLITICIAN gets their words from someone else... speech writers, responses to questions, supporters, and in response to the political environment and issues of the day.

If a politician talks about "universal health care" in their platform, have they stolen it from someone? Or, is it an issue that Americans care about and are asking their elected leaders--and potentially elected leaders--to do something about, to take up the idea and cause and make it their own.

President Bush has sold his government to the highest bidder, and THIS is the issue that people are trying to use to define this campaign? Come on. Are Americans really this stupid? Or, more importantly, are the media really this irresponsible to divert the conversation away from the very real issues that face us everyday??

Haven't we learned from the methods of Karl Rove so that we don't repeat history by falling for it again?

Posted by: SF | February 18, 2008 2:05 PM

"Mommy! Barack stole someone else's words!" Hillary shouted.

"Barack, what's this all about?"

"He's a friend and said I could use them, Mommy."

"So, Hillary, what's the big deal?"

"I want to be president," she sniffed.

"Then stop acting so childish. Nobody likes a tattle-tale."


Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 2:05 PM

Wow...just WOW! I can't believed that some of you would go out of your way to defend something as critical as this issue.

"Saturday night at a gala for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Obama said to frequent applause, "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!" -CNN Josh Levs..

As someone who is a champion on the important of words and speeaches, Obama would be last person who should repeat a similiar speech given by his friend.

Posted by: Aeldas | February 18, 2008 2:08 PM

Apparently, it is ok for Obama to throw mud, but not Hilary. I agree with Casey. They fear a woman might get into office and do a better job!

Posted by: Susan | February 18, 2008 2:08 PM

They were words worth repeating, stock phrases or not. It doesn't hurt to keep looking at all the candidates ... closely. Every little thing adds up, and everything each candidate says -- or doesn't say -- is one aspect of character reference. AND, everyone makes mistakes, whether from fatigue, or momentary lack of awareness. And probably most of us borrow phrases and jokes -- words -- at one point or another, without footnotes. Seems best to give credit where credit is due ... each and every time. A good Harvard graduate ought to know that. Same with a good Wellesley graduate. And we're all human: we make mistakes -- and omissions. Which politician hasn't? Come on, folks, this IS politics; as much as many -- or most -- of us want leadership without corruption, can we really expect it from every politician all the time? The ones who are really without corruption tend not to get elected to the Big White House on the Hill. Let's not be foolish.

We all know that what is said on the campaigning trail does not necessarily translate into actions based on those words. History -- and very recent history -- shows us that again and again.

Words matter, but only insomuch as a person's actions match their words, or their rhetoric. We don't yet know what Obama can do given the opportunity to lead our country. We've seen some of what Hillary can do -- and has not done, in a slightly smaller venue. So, let's all keep looking closely and getting our voices heard whenever possible. Look closely at what kind of democracy we live in -- do our actions match our ideals and our words, as individuals? As a nation? What the hell is freedom, anyway? And do we want it just for ourselves, or are others allowed to enjoy it, even if it doesn't suit our hopes and fears in the U.S.? Keep looking ... and listening to what is ... not just what we want things to be.

Posted by: JinpaG | February 18, 2008 2:09 PM

B.O. stinks like the thing he is. A politician.

He did not invent the "change" concept.
His "hope" concept is also the next cheesiest opiate for the stupid masses who have no power or wealth and greedily lust for "change". Rhetoric is used to dupe people usually, not enlighten. (oh dear, i guess i plaigarize too since i will not attribute my modification to a well known phrase?)

Give me some meaty solutions, not vague promises. And HOPE is BS !!! Reality rules, ye fools. Hope relies on nebulous fantasy trust and feel-good filler material that says great things but never delivers.
never. never. never.

I am a radical liberal = pro legalization, pro abortion, pacifist, massive constitutional reform, but also have some
conservative issues: anti-illegal immigration and the intended destruction of the core family unit.

There are answers to the problems, but neither side wants to really address them because they know that the president is only the leader and any radical changes will NEVER fly before congress anyway.
They shut down the government the last time stubborn politicians decided to stand on their strong "principles".

Get a memory people. If you could remember past yesterday's mass media wipe of your brain, you might begin to realize all the RHETORIC is just that. Our government tries to do as little as possible and OBAMA will not break the mold. As this campaign has gone on, he has continually become more confortable using the same political tricks that everyone else uses. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

The legislation is really done by the congress anyway, so give B.O. all the advisors in the world with the best solutions and they will all be moot if the congress does not support his agenda.

Remember that people. The executive branch executes the laws, not makes them.
unless you count W. and his above the law executive orders and signing statements...

Posted by: allpoliticiansareevil | February 18, 2008 2:12 PM

Hillary is really grasping at those straws here!! Should he cite MLK Jr. and the Declaration of Independence too?

Last I checked there was this thing called "common knowledge". You can't plagiarize common knowledge.

Frankly, I hope Clinton keeps it up...she's only helping Obama here.

Posted by: Elise | February 18, 2008 2:13 PM

This is a waste of news space. Report more on what they do in between events and their daily lives so we can understand them more.

As for Hillary, she talks too much trash. How are we going to have a president who will downgrade an opponent when opposing issues meet?

Posted by: John | February 18, 2008 2:13 PM

Name one thing that Obama has done in office. He is nothing but empty talk, too afraid to debate, and unable to give his own speech. Shame on you Obama.

Posted by: ademocrat | February 18, 2008 2:16 PM

This is utterly ridiculous. Is Obama presenting a book report? No... he's using an effective strategy his friend and supporter used when those attacks were used against him. This isn't plagerism in any sense of the word, what this is, is a waste of everyone's time.

Hillary Who?

Posted by: Charles Kushner | February 18, 2008 2:16 PM

This is a complete nonissue. First, it was 2 or 3 lines, not an entire speech like Joe Biden did. Second, they were quotes of quotes. Third, Sen. Obama had permission. The Gov and the Sen have the same campaign manager for God's sake. Is this what her 35 years of experience has taught her? To say or do anything to get elected? That's why her campaign is sinking.

Posted by: cdonham | February 18, 2008 2:18 PM

The news will not report what matters. That would allow the "Herd" opps I mean voters make better informed decisions.

Posted by: Casey | February 18, 2008 2:18 PM

this is such a small part of a 10m minute speech that it should not matter
it is just a phrase
give me a break
Clinton has just shown the type of person she is again

Posted by: john | February 18, 2008 2:19 PM

Clinton does not have experience
her husband has
she was just his wife like Laura Bush and many other wives of presidents
she was not elected Bill was
lets top the nonsense

Posted by: jim | February 18, 2008 2:21 PM

Who needs conservative hacks anymore when the Clintons willingly lower themselves to play "gothcha" in the scum of the sewers inhabited by the likes of Karl Rove, Dick Chaney, GWB, and Rush?

Posted by: elviseinstein | February 18, 2008 2:22 PM

This whole debate is simply idiotic. We have so many important issues to discuss, and we're debating whether candidates who make speeches day after day after day may have been influenced by other people. Is this really all that politics is about? Maybe it is pointless in this cynical age to be inspired by anything.

Posted by: John C. | February 18, 2008 2:23 PM

Grow up! There is nothing new or original in politics. He is using something from the past that applies to the present.

Happens all the time and Clinton is a hypocrite for saying it doesn't. Shows the level of desperation in her campaign and how low she and her supporters will stoop.

They are starting to realize what the rest of America already knows...

He is the next President.

Vote Obama 11/11/08

Posted by: Brian | February 18, 2008 2:23 PM

Yes, lets vote for Obama! That will allow his advisors to run the country. That way you can have an African American figurehead and the same old people will be in power. The funny thing is, you will think you have empowered yourself. HAHAHA...

Posted by: Stacy | February 18, 2008 2:23 PM

I agree with those who say it's a nonissue for two reasons: With Deval Patrick's permission, Obama is free to use whatever of Patrick's material that he wants. Secondly this cannot be viewed as an issue if it is not brought up that Hillary Clinton routinely uses Barack Obama's material to appeal to his constituency.

Posted by: Alex | February 18, 2008 2:24 PM

i really am sorry for the democratic party. obama & clinton have succeeded in becoming pure enemies. if obama loses, blacks will never vote for clinton. if clinton loses, billary will never work for the democrats like in the past. shame really that things have turned this way.

Posted by: ToNy | February 18, 2008 2:25 PM

Here is some serious grasping:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRQD-MsSpfI

Posted by: Patty | February 18, 2008 2:26 PM

I would vote for Macain before I would vote for Obama. If Obama is elcted, he is going to pull the greatist magic act ever! he will look like something new until he is in the white houe, the "POOF" it will be the same old thing....and our country will suffer even furhter then it already has..Then you Obama supports will shrug and try to get on with life as usual..

Posted by: Tricia | February 18, 2008 2:28 PM

If you look at either resume, neither candidate can be considered an empty suit. You do not attend Harvard Law School and become President of its Law Review or attend Yale Law School unless you are extremely bright.

The American people are loosing sight of the two main issues in this political season for Democrats. First, will Obama or Clinton bring the desired change this country really needs. Second, who is best to beat John McCain

Regardless of all this bickering in these posting, the answer to this question will be decided by the American voter and/or the superdelegates.

Neither candidate is perfect. However, either seem better than McCain. Let us have discourse without creating a division. Division will undoubtedly lead to a McCain victory and then we all loose.

Posted by: ssmith | February 18, 2008 2:29 PM

The sad thing for all of us is that the only choices we have are Clinton, Obama, or McCain. So basically we are stuck with terrible choices and no real solutions. It saddens me that we could not get a real candidate who could actually put our house in order and start bringing our country back into the game. If things continue down this path we will rapidly become a second or third rate country. When will we turn our worldview into the hometown view and try to help our country and thereby ourselves? Perhaps we are too far down the path to turn back. Not one of the propsed candidates are really addressing the issues we need corrected to get us back on track.

Posted by: Amy | February 18, 2008 2:34 PM

Clintonites on this page are hilarious - you say Obama's afraid to debate? What about the 20 debates he's agreed to? Clinton only wants to debate Obama because appearing with Obama is the only way for her to get good crowds and attention anymore (since she can't pay for front row seats for her people anymore).

And Steve who said: "Now he's resorted to using other peoples lines to get him elected but 'Where's the Beef'." Are you even the slightest bit aware that you just stole someone's line to insult them for stealing lines?

The only thing clear from this debate is that Clinton still has uneducated people on her side.

Posted by: Jonathan | February 18, 2008 2:35 PM

Honestly ally, you think that the GOP and Clinton pilfered "change" from Obama? Are you serious? "Change" has been the call of every party that didn't have the incumbent for at least the last 40 years....

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use of someone else's written or spoken words. If this is your definition of plagiarism then Obama didn't plagiarize as Deval Patrick gave him permission to use those words. However, plagiarism can also be defined as passing someone else's work off as your own by not citing the original source, and in this sense Obama did plagiarize. He led people to believe those were his words when they were not. As a final point the counter claim by Obama's camp regarding the phrase "fired up and ready to go" is ridonkulous considering the admit they didn't even come up with the phrase, Edith Childs, a woman attending an Obama rally in South Carolina did. Ultimately the whole debate is stupid because politicians all take from each other and popular media sources.....

Posted by: Lauren | February 18, 2008 2:42 PM

Utter rubbish.

So his friend let him use his words. What is the big deal. The BIG deal is that Mrs. Clinton could not run her own campaign and went broke. Now she wants to run the country.

Words count and obviously they hit a sore point. Words do have the power to change the course of history. I think I prefer Mr. Obama any day.

Posted by: Ingrid | February 18, 2008 2:42 PM

And to the "herd" Obama supports..Obama says you need to jump off the cliff...LOL

Posted by: Casey | February 18, 2008 2:43 PM

Who annointed Obama? Why is it that almost No One can challenge his campaign policies, promises, or rhetoric without being intimated by Obama's stock reply of "negative attacks"? When I think of all the negative attacks our various politicians have endured on both sides of the aisle (whether deserved or not) this Obama better wake up and smell the coffee and learn to take the heat or get out of the kitchen!

Posted by: desertresident | February 18, 2008 2:47 PM

both sides will say and do all they can to "knock"the other out of race who care where they get the phrases

Posted by: pauj | February 18, 2008 2:48 PM

You are right on the money desertresident! It is ok for Obama, but no one else!!!

Posted by: Casey | February 18, 2008 2:50 PM

IF YOU THINK IT'S PLAIGARISM, please freaking finish reading the article, then make your judgement. There's more to it than the video.

Posted by: Katharine | February 18, 2008 2:50 PM

Why do all of you fear Hilary so much, that you are willing to embrace Obama no matter what?

Posted by: Charlene | February 18, 2008 2:51 PM

Stealing words doesn't bother me. I'm more concerned that, if Obama is more than "all hat, no cattle", where was his amazing ability to unite Repugnicans, Democrats and Independents to win some progressive legislation in the Senate over the past 3 years? Where was Obama, when Democrats struggled to defund the war? Where was Obama when Democrats fought to overturn parts of the Patriot Act? Where was Obama when Repugnicans were watering down the 2007 Energy Bill with pay-outs to big coal and big oil? YES HE CAN? Well..if he COULD...why DIDN'T he??

We got hope...what we need is HELP!

Posted by: Chrisnyc | February 18, 2008 2:52 PM

Come back with some experience...

McCain and Clinton both are believable, regardless if you agree with them, I believe that they will do what THEY believe is right.


I dont know what I belive about BO. He wants change? He does not want to cover all Americans with healthcare, because 15 million people DONT WANT HEALTHCARE.

Can you find me 5 people that dont want healthcare? Just 5 people who would rather not have a healthcare plan? How stupid of a stance is that? You best belive its the poorest of the poor, that "Don't want healthare"

Not exactly the CHANGE I am looking for?

I am 36 years old, and have watched new familys suffer more than ever under the current administration. Thank GOD, when I was starting out we had a Clinton in the White House.... I can think of no better way to repay my thanks, then supporting another Hillary.

God Bless Hillary!!!

Posted by: Obama Go Away | February 18, 2008 2:54 PM

It's a speech people. The man is a good speaker and Clinton can't stand it. If it wasn't his ability to speak well, then it would be something else that Clinton would be harping on. This is what some call "hating". If this is the worst thing that she and her supporters can come up with, then get ready for her to lose big to Obama.

Posted by: JJ | February 18, 2008 3:01 PM

So it's a valid practice to copy your buddy's homework with his permission and tell your teacher it's yours? Now I understand how this empty brain cheap talker got a pretty good grade in Harvard Law School.
I'm so sad that the pundits and Cult Obama's followers are so blind to the obvious.
By the way, Cult Obama has also copied so much from Hillary's economy policies. Did he get permission from her?

Posted by: Carl | February 18, 2008 3:02 PM

This is desperate and sad. Hillary believed that by now she'd be competing against the Republican Nominee, not still in the Democratic Primary. She even said so directly:


Go here for proof:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0208/Hillarys_miscalculation.html

At the very end of the segment from "This Week" on Dec. 30, Clinton says she's in it for the long run, then adds:

"It's not a very long run. It'll be over by Feb. 5." - Clinton said. She went on to say, "I have a campaign that is poised and ready for the long term. We are competing everywhere through Feb. 5," she said. "We have built organizations in many states. We have staff in many states."

She thought she'd be done by Super Tuesday and she isn't. Now she's behind and reaching.

This is how ALL campaigns turn sour. The loser has to go completely negative, because that's all that is left. All prognostications and calculations have Billary losing unless she can start doing to Barack what he's done to her...beat her 60/40 in 8 straight contests.

So, what does she do now? Make an issue out of a non-issue...and what do we do with it? We debate it, instead of debating merits.

This is sad.

Posted by: Patrick | February 18, 2008 3:19 PM

He didn't use a whole speech, he used a couple of lines from a Deval Patrick speech!

Most political speeches aren't 100% original you know?

Mr Obama has written two exceptional books and they are both original.


He had permission, it's a non issue, get over it already!

Posted by: Tomaso Q | February 18, 2008 3:20 PM

"Borrowing" is common in political oratory. Every major political figure in our history has done so, to some extent. In modern times, most of what we hear is crafted by speech writers, not by the candidates themselves. And the good speech writers often move from candidate to another, reinventing their best work. As for Hillary's focus on "change" -- she's just calling upon the same survey data used by Obama, incorporating the same key words, phrases, and concepts that appeal to voters.
"Plagiarism" is part of our public landscape, as others observe. The next time you sing our national anthem, think about the fact that it's a note-for-note copy of an old British drinking song.

Posted by: Fred Dobbs | February 18, 2008 3:26 PM

The problem with Cindy Crawley is that she is a woman.

I hate to say this but send the Women and Latinos into a corner and our revolution is won today. We wouldn't need to deal with this unnecessary delay.

We don't need Democracy in our country - we need Meritocracy. Only those people who have an affinity/understanding of politics should be allowed to vote in our country. We all know, all said and done, Women don't really care as much about politics. They come at it more from a gender equality point of view than on merit. With Latinos it is all about who can get them sanctuary. They vote on that one single issue.

Posted by: EM | February 18, 2008 3:26 PM

Honesty is very important in this campaign, honesty like the kind we got from Bill (our future co-president not I hope) Clinton:

"I did not have SEX with that WOMAN..."

what a guy! what a pair!

Posted by: jack | February 18, 2008 3:36 PM

I was going to respond to the Latino's and Women in a corner revolution comment, but that would only serve to spew gasoline onto a fire that isn't necessary. I would also encourage others to ignore this as well.

Posted by: Patrick | February 18, 2008 3:36 PM

This is completely non-news! Everybody borrows, to wit: imitation is the ultimate flattery. So very little is new. I have heard the Clintons, Romney, Huckabbe, and all the candidates barrowed from Obama especially his "change" mantra and he never complained. I think he was flattered. I am really begining to believe the Clintons think they will lose the nomination ... they're catching at a straw.

Posted by: Aston | February 18, 2008 3:37 PM

It's true that the politician who bases his career on nothing but "high value" will finally be found out an hypocrite. So many examples: Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Ted Faggard. Now we have a DEM counter part: Cult Obama, the soon-to-be Thief in Chief of the United States of America.

Posted by: Carl | February 18, 2008 3:39 PM

Setting aside Mr. Obama's use of elements of Mr. Deval's speech without giving direct credit will undoubtedly perpetuate this never ending debate that is going no where and continue derail the importance of focusing on the real issues that are faced in an ever changing world landscape and economic climate that is in serious need of attention domestically as well as globally.

Additionally, the candidates from both parties have been very good at making a lot of campaign promises under the premise of change, but when everything is said and done we must all remember that change is tricky and no one person can make a promise that may or not be possible to keep.

Finally, the next President of this country needs to be a leader who challenges and questions what he/she is being told by their administration. The individual must also be able to look towards the future keeping in mind that the future is being crafted on a global scale. The next President of this country must also seek to refrain from making idle campaign promises that are simply ploys to attract votes, and instead communicate realistic plans of action that can be sustained or enacted by any administration elected and bring forth true change for the good of everyone.

Posted by: CRMGUY30 | February 18, 2008 3:42 PM

was it a nonissue when joe biden lifted some lines from a british politician several years ago? my guess that patrick's 'permission' came after someone raised the issue. is it important? given the tenor of this campaign and obama's reliance on rhetoric maybe a little. another example of hypocritical treatment by some including the press. if any other candidate did this it would be a major issue. obama's gets a pass--again.

Posted by: Ted | February 18, 2008 3:44 PM

I work in a university and I see students booted out because they plagiarize work from other sources, particularly the Internet. This trivial question of today is not plagiarism at all.

Senator Obama and Gov. Patrick have exchanged words, ideas, opinions and insights for several years. There is no indication that anything wrong transpired.

What is deeply troubling is that the Clinton campaign, bankrupt of inspiration and running low on ideas has seized on this "incident." To borrow another phrase from another campaign, "Where's the beef?" The Clinton campaign is tragically bereft of substance, ideas, or leadership. This latest slimy tactic illustrates how poorly she has run her campaign and hints at how ineptly we can expect her to run the government if elected.
Barack Obama provides an uplifting vision of the way our nation could work, one that is based in his own hard-won experience as well as his expansive hopes for our future. His web site provides plenty of detailed policy points to chew on and his inspiring speeches provide the pathway forward. Voting for Barack Obama gets easier and righter every day.

Posted by: dee5 | February 18, 2008 3:45 PM

For all of the ridiculous 'empty suit' comments and 'oh how he doesn't have enough washington experience because he wasn't the first lady for 8 years'....read his 2002 speech against the Iraq war (nobody to 'lift' from at that time cuz he was the only pol with enough grey matter to figure out how things actually work in the real world):

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 3:49 PM

If that's Plagiarism'
Hillary Clinton using the previously used response "If I knew what I know now then..." is Plagiarism.

If you notice,
That was a response to a charge against an opposing candidate.
Did Clinton commit plagiarism making the same charge.

I've heard the "are these only words?" attached to phrases from famous speeches before.
It was in a place called college.

Posted by: dan | February 18, 2008 3:50 PM

When Hillary clearly uses lines and epithats of John Edwards in her campaign speeches (clearly courting him for his delegates), is that plagiarism?

According to the New York Times (Hillary's hometown paper), while giving her stump speech in Wisconsin today:

"Many of her 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."

This is what they do people. No one is misled into believing that Barack Obama is not a politician. I know that he is. They ALL are.

I base my selection of candidates on this singular question (understanding that it takes a President/Congress/and Supreme Court to truly affect change...

The singular question is do we really want 28 years of Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton in the White House, or do we want something different?

No candidate is perfect, but this started in 1988 (wow --- 1988) and it's time for it to come to an end.

Posted by: Patrick | February 18, 2008 4:02 PM

Quick question: Why are most of the pro-Clinton posts in this discussion signed by people with first names only? Jennifer? Mike? Pete? Ted? Carl? Anything fishy here???

Also, I've heard Hillary mention "Change" more than once...

btw - this should be a non-issue.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 4:03 PM

I forgot to post my name in my previous post (re. fishy first namers).

So, Carl, Jennifer, Ted, Mike, and Roar -- what's up with the first-name only basis? You're not paid to post here, are you?

Posted by: Voice of Reason | February 18, 2008 4:05 PM

This is not a issue. The statements that Obama made are true anyway you look at it.

Posted by: Jazzy | February 18, 2008 4:09 PM

Mock interview:

Interviewer:
"Mrs. Clinton, do you believe that Mr. Obama is dishonest?

Mrs. Clinton:
"Of course he is. He used lines in his campaign speech that were given to him by his friend and supporter. He didn't even say where the lines came from. I mean, that is completely disingenuous to the American people."

Interviewer:
"Mrs. Clinton, you've used themes and lines and phrases from his speeches, and from John Edwards' speeches. Isn't this along the same lines?"

Mrs. Clinton:
"Next question."

Interviewer:
"Mrs. Clinton, in honest disclosure, will you tell us what you will really do to the wages of those who don't sign up for your mandatory healthcare plan?"

Mrs. Clinton:
"Next question."

Interviewer:
"Mrs. Clinton, will you, as Senator Obama has done, release your tax returns and give full disclosure of your finances?"

Mrs. Clinton:
"Next question."

Interviewer:
"Mrs. Clinton, you agreed along with all of the other candidates that you would not campaign in Florida and Michigan, and that you would abide by DNC rules that Florida and Michigan delegates would not be seated, but now you want to change that so that you can recoup their delegates. Would you consider this a flip-flop?"

Mrs. Clinton:
"Next question."


Interviewer:
"Mrs. Clinton, you said last December that this race for the nomination would be over by now, and that you would be the nominee. That hasn't happened, and it appears that not only are you losing, but that you will do anything to get elected. Is this true?"

Mrs. Clinton:
"Just like Senator Obama, I am for change. In this campaign, all I've done is change. I could give a good speech if I wanted to, but I'm more interested in solutions. I'm ready to lead on DAY ONE. Just look at how smoothly my campaign has been run. Just look at the outstanding job I did at getting us universal healthcare when I was First Lady. That's TRUE experience. I'm not running for President of the United States of America, I only want to be President of the big states...California, Ohio, New York, Texas, Missouri...oh sorry, I lost Missouri didn't I?

Anyway, unlike Senator Obama who keeps sticking with a singular theme of Change You Can Believe In, I believe that my many themes are better, so I reiterate: "Big Challenges, Real Solutions," "Working for Change, Working for You," "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead" and "Solutions for America."

Interviewer:
"Mrs. Clinton, thank you for being so candid."

Posted by: Patrick | February 18, 2008 4:35 PM

Plagiarism ? Give me a break. There is no distinguished orator (dead or alive) who has not borrowed (not "lifted" or plagiarised) at one time or another a quote (verbatim or paraphrased) from legendary orators of the past (Churchill, Cicero, Gandhi et al). That is tantamount to paying tribute to these great men/women. It is not as if Obama sold a plagiarised bestseller for ill-gotten gains.

JFK's famous words ("ask not.....) were borrowed from / inspired by others. See:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Derivation+of+Ask+not+what+your+country.htm

And Lincoln's Gettysburg Address contained the telling phrase "all men are created equal" from the Declaration of Independence. Was that "stealing" too?

Please refrain from petty finger-pointing in your unseemly and churlish zeal to bring down Obama and prop up an untenable Hillary. Speeches do not "solve" problems by themselves. For Hillary to highlight this obvious truism is absurd. Hillary has thus admitted that she can't even make speeches. And being the spouse of an ex-President and having experience in choosing curtains and china at the WH does not qualify her to be the next President either. As Chris Rock said recently: his wife of 10 years would not make anyone laugh. Nor would we want to be on a plane being flown by an experienced pilot's wife.

Bill and Hillary represent our past - glorious or not is for the future historians to debate. Obama is the future.


Posted by: Indian-American | February 18, 2008 4:40 PM

Patrick and Obama share the same sentiments expressed at issue--as Patrick has said--and Patrick HIMSELF said "use my words if you want" for expressing these ideas and this vision. That's not plagiarism. It's the use of labels and phrases to express ideas. And those ideas aren't novel to Patrick or Obama. Nor are any of Hillary's ideas about vision 100% original.

If we want to say that using literal phrasing from someone else without attributing the original author of the those phrases is plagiarism, then EVERY POLITICAL SPEECH ever made by a politician not written by that person is plagiarism. Such as: The State of the Union address, virtually everything George W. Bush has said in public are the words of others. Much of what Reagan, JFK, probably FDR--noted for being extraordinary orators--and most other major American politician. Hillary speaks words written by speechwriters at times. Hence, she's a plagiarist, too, no?

How about the Declaration of Independence? Jefferson wrote the literal words, yet many signed it. Does that mean that they were plagiarists for endorsing the ideas in THAT LANGUAGE despite not literally authoring it and not explaining that they didn't write the words?

Posted by: jackstpaul | February 18, 2008 5:06 PM

Team Clinton are really a bunch of losers.
It's over. It was over in IOWA. How many meaningless come backs could liars like the Clintons possibly really have? They have finally run out of luck and time. Now they are grasping for straws. They are like praying: God please anything. God is like : no; it is over. Clinton, Bill that is, has finally met his match: Obama.

For those of you who didn't see, Bill Clinton's first heartbreaking outbast was relayed on the Charlie Rose Show, when he said nominating Obama was a roll of the dice. I had never seen Bill Clinton look so panicked, scared, and visibly shaken. Remember he had a heart bypass surgery. For his own health he needs to chill out and calm down. The truth is it is over for them.

And BTW on copying: Everybody copies.

It is just that some know when and what is best to copy and that many others dont. Great writing is writing like great writers. Similarly, great poetry is imitating great poets.

Even the JKF speech of ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country is traceable to the Greeks. They invented democracy, you know.

Besides presentation is a major part of oratory. Believe me: even if they gave Hillary the same speech her presentation would still be boring and uninspiring.

Speeches are good but presentation or delivery is equally important.

So Team Clinton nice try, but is a nonissue, and waste of time and money.

On Magic John he doesn't know a hoot about what he is talking about. He won NBA Championship MVP when he was a rookie and yet here he is extalling the virtues of "experience." He is being either clueless or just disingeneous like the Clintons.

On Experience:
Both Obama and Clinton are junior senators, and McCain though being senior isn't any more experienced. Senators don't run any government to be considered THAT experienced as presidential candidates. They are legislators. And Obama has certainly been more productive in the senate that Hillary Clinton, because despite having been in the Senate for fewer years than Hillary Clinton he has helped enact more pieces of legislation than her.

Obama has got it going on.

Posted by: Bluer Ray | February 18, 2008 5:09 PM

I teach English, and I can say with confidence that Obama plagiarized. He used someone else's words and ideas without giving credit to his source.

But in the business of political speech giving, there is no definite line drawn to indicate when it's okay to use another's words and when it's not. When GWB gives a speech, is he supposed to say, "According to my speech writer, so-and-so, I believe the following...?" Of course not. It's common knowledge that most political speeches are written by speech writers and that the orators in (or running for) office just recite them.

Maybe to avoid all this mess, Obama should have said, "In a speech entitled 'Just Words,' my pal, Deval Patrick, quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by saying 'I have a dream.' Patrick also quoted Thomas Jefferson by saying 'We hold these truths to be self-evident.' He went on to quote Franklin D. Roosevelt's 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself,' and I agree with Patrick when he says that words matter!"

There is a point at which struggling to avoid plagiarism hinders a person's ability to make his point.

It should also be noted that the lines Obama "lifted" are part of the public domain. And Deval Patrick's "idea" that Obama used is just a commonly held opinion: words do matter. Everybody knows that. If everybody thought words didn't matter, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

This argument could go on for hundreds of years. I think we should be looking at these two candidates with scrutiny, but not just at what they say and whether they give credit to their sources. We should be looking at whether their actions support their rhetoric.

Posted by: Meredith | February 18, 2008 5:25 PM

Meredith, this is probably the best articulated statement that I've seen here on this.

Posted by: Patrick | February 18, 2008 5:41 PM

So let's get this right: Hillary plagiarizes an attack comment and Obama repeats the original response to the plagiarized attack, but Obama gets criticized and Hillary gets a free pass.

What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by: Alan Karls | February 18, 2008 5:45 PM

One other thing about those Clinton events yesterday: The woman is not at all bashful about stealing from her rivals. Between the two events, I counted six rhetorical turns I've heard other candidates employ:

She talked about goals "I hope will bring our country together," a la Barack Obama.

In response to a question about excessive partisanship, she talked about how she's not running to be president of the states that voted for Democrats, she's running to be president of the United States. This closely resembles Obama's "I don't want to pit red America against blue America. I want to be the President of the United States of America."

She said she didn't want to be part of the first generation of Americans that didn't leave the country better off than when they inherited it, which recalls John Edwards's line about how we don't want to be the first generation of Americans whose children do worse in life than they did.

She talked about how, if video stores can keep track of their tapes and DVDs, surely we can keep track of people here on visas, many of whom overstay them and become illegal immigrants. I've heard Edwards make the same point, except he explicitly cites Blockbuster.

She argued that our young men and women in Iraq are doing everything we ask of them; it's the Bush administration and the Iraqi government who are letting them down. Edwards has argued that our soldiers have done everything we've asked of them; it's our government that's letting them down.

Finally, she made the point that opposing comprehensive immigration reform is tantamount to supporting amnesty, because it allows the present situation to continue. I've heard John McCain make the same point. (At least I think it was him--it's possible that it was some other non-Hillary candidate.)

Posted by: vega | February 18, 2008 6:09 PM

During a speech in Virginia last week, John McCain told a group of old farts that, " We're fired up and ready to go." There was no attribution to Obama. And no subsequent media bruhaha.

Words do matter as Obama has illustrated during this campaign. He's writing the rules and all the others are following.

Posted by: Seattle | February 18, 2008 6:14 PM

Hillary hopes you have forgotten. Have you????


Hillary Clinton has been telling America that she is the most qualified
candidate for president based on her "record," which she says includes
her eight years in the White House as First Lady - or "co-president" -
and her seven years in the Senate. Here is a reminder of what that
record includes:


1. As First Lady, Hillary assumed authority over healthcare reform, a
process that cost the taxpayers over $13 million. She told both Bill
Bradley and Pat Moynihan, key votes needed to pass her legislation, that
she would "demonize" anyone who opposed it. But it was opposed; she
couldn't even get it to a vote in a Congress controlled by her own
party. (And in the next election, her party lost control of both the
House and Senate.


2. Hillary assumed authority over selecting a female attorney general.
Her first two recommendations (Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood) were forced to
withdraw their names from consideration, and then she chose Janet Reno.
Janet Reno has since been described by Bill himself as "my worst mistake."


3. Hillary recommended Lani Guanier to head the Civil Rights Commission.
When Guanier's radical views became known, she had to withdraw her name.


4. Hillary recommended her former law partners, Web Hubbell, Vince
Foster, and William Kennedy for positions in the Justice Department,
White House staff, and the Treasury, respectively. Hubbell was later
imprisoned; Foster "committed suicide," and Kennedy was forced to resign.


5. Hillary also recommended a close friend of the Clintons, Craig
Livingstone, for the position of director of White House security. When
Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of up to 900 FBI
files of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by
the White House staff, both Hillary and her husband denied knowing him.
(FBI agent Dennis Sculimbrene confirmed in a Senate Judiciary Committee
in 1996 both the drug use and Hillary's involvement in hiring
Livingstone. After that, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office,
after serving seven presidents for over 30 years.)


6. In order to open "slots" in the White House for her friends, the
Harry Thomasons (to whom millions of dollars in travel contracts could
be awarded), Hillary had the entire staff of the White House Travel
Office fired; they were reported to the FBI for "gross mismanagement"
and their reputations ruined. After a 30-month investigation, only one,
Billy Dale, was charged with a crime - mixing personal money with White
House funds when he cashed checks. The jury acquitted him in less than
two hours.


7. Another of Hillary's assumed duties was directing the "bimbo eruption
squad" and scandal defense; urging her husband not to settle the Paula
Jones lawsuit; refusing to release the Whitewater documents, which led
to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor after $80 million
of taxpayer money was spent. Starr's investigation led to Monica
Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.


---- Then they had to settle with Paula Jones after all.


---- And Bill lost his law license for lying to the grand jury.


---- And Bill was impeached by the House.


---- And Hillary almost got herself indicted for perjury and obstruction
of justice (she avoided it mostly because she repeated, "I do not
recall," "I have no recollection," and "I don't know" 56 times under oath).


8. Hillary accepted the traditional First Lady's role of decorator of
the White House at Christmas, but in a unique Hillary way. In 1994, for
example, the First Lady's Tree in the Blue Room (the focal point each
year) was decorated with drug paraphernalia, sex toys, and pornographic
ornaments, all personally approved by Hillary as the invited artists'
depictions of the theme, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."


- Hillary wrote "It Takes a Village," demonstrating her Socialist viewpoint.


- Hillary decided to seek election to the Senate in a state she had
never lived in. Her husband pardoned FALN terrorists in order to get
Latino support and the New Square Hassidim to get Jewish support.
Hillary also had Bill pardon her brother's clients, for a small fee, to
get financial support.


- Then Hillary left the White House, but later had to return $200,000 in
White House furniture, china, and artwork she had stolen.


- In the campaign for the Senate, Hillary played the "woman card" by
portraying her opponent (Lazio) as a bully picking on her.


- Hillary's husband further protected her by asking the National
Archives to withhold from the public until 2012 many records of their
time in the White House, including much of Hillary's correspondence and
her calendars. (There are ongoing lawsuits to force the release of those
records.)


- As the junior Senator from New York, Hillary has passed no major
legislation. She has deferred to the senior Senator (Schumer) to tend to
the needs of New Yorkers, even on the hot issue of medical problems of
workers involved in the cleanup of Ground Zero after 9/11.


- Hillary's one notable vote, supporting the plan to invade Iraq, she
has since disavowed.


Quite a resume, isn't it? Sounds more like an organized crime family.


Make sure America remembers.


Hillary hopes you have forgotten. Have you????

Posted by: Cherrypicker | February 18, 2008 6:51 PM

This story is a waste of time. No one is reporting how Wolfson, who represents the Clinton campaign wouldn't affirm that Clinton has never done the same thing.

Deval Patrick knew about it. Non-issue. Hillary thought she'd be anointed on Super Tuesday. That didn't happen. Now she is panicking.

Posted by: Hillary is desperate | February 18, 2008 7:34 PM

It's an issue because the American public continues to be sold a bill of goods by politicians claiming to really want to make change and make a difference. So many people are following this man (Obama) like he is special, different, and even qualified. He has proven that he, too, will do and say anything to be elected. Everything I hear him say is rhetoric, sounds more like he's a motivational speaker than a man prepared to lead our country, and not one word, one speech, or even one thought is ORIGINAL THOUGHT. He is nothing more than a salesman and I am profoundly disappointed. It's a matter of character, and a matter of greed, and a matter of the lengths he will go to to dupe the American public. Most are falling for it hook, line and sinker, but hey, politics will NEVER change and neither will politicians. They are all the same. The voters cry about how they want change but always jump on the band wagon and follow the trend of whomever it is that the media loves. So, you can say that because he had permission it is fine, but I would NEVER compromise my own character and sell the words of another to the masses and say them with conviction as though I had come up with the "words" myself. Each he and Hilary epitomize what it is to be politicians, but at least Hilary and McCain have a record of accomplishments in which to judge them by. Not a perfect record, none do, but I would never vote for Obama and have felt from the start that he is just the golden Boy that special interest groups are shoving down our throats. Now, I am certain of it.

Posted by: Tina | February 18, 2008 7:51 PM

Give me a break! I voted for Bill Clinton twice, and I'd always defended Hillary against the nastier attacks I heard thrown at her -- but what she's shown over the last few weeks is icky politics, plain and simple; lies, distortions, baiting of all our worst divisive instincts, non-issues blown up for political points. Patrick and Obama work together, and they share those ideas -- and besides, who appropriates more political language than Hillary, who just based a whole ad in Wisconsin on Obama's lines? Obama is not an empty suit -- all you have to do is look at his record in Illinois and in the senate, or read his position papers, to see that, and his point that the deepest problem we face is one of embedded divisions that get in the way of political progress is a deeply considered one. But no matter what you think of his ideas, at least he's not trying to get ahead by throwing slime on everyone that threatens him. How on earth can we expect a Clinton to govern a whole country when this is her default political tactic? Blech!


Posted by: michelle | February 18, 2008 8:08 PM

OK. People, STOP! How petty have we become? You know it's absurd when the Fourth Republic begins to dwell on "Who first used words!" Words such as "All men are created equal," "I have a dream" Now, we should all know by now that these phrases did not originate from Duvall or Obama, or anybody alive today!

So please STOP and concentrate on the issues affecting America right now. STOP these nonesense!

Posted by: Liz | February 18, 2008 8:22 PM

Here we go again! More last minute Rove-ian tactics to discredit Senator Obama. Truly this is a waste of print space but like all things Billary, sooner or later it will turn around and bite them in the butt. Actually it already has as the media is finally noticing that she lifted phrases from Senator Obama.

Posted by: woody2 | February 18, 2008 8:28 PM

Posted by: anon | February 18, 2008 9:48 PM

While everyone seems to be getting worked up over accusations of plagiarism, shouldn't someone check to make sure that Bill is not engaged again in some secretive "mentoring"?

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | February 18, 2008 10:00 PM

"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, Dec 21, 2007

Posted by: xango | February 18, 2008 10:17 PM

It's a good line, and one that Patrick suggested to Obama and approved of him using. Obama should have cited Patrick as he did on a previous occasion when using one of Patrick's lines. Oh well. Clinton has stolen more themes and phrases from Obama than anyone else in the campaign. It's all about trying to generate a negative story the day before a vote, so that last minute undecideds don't do any fact checking. If it works in WI we will see it again Mar. 3.

Posted by: Nissl | February 18, 2008 10:35 PM

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 10:39 PM

Well, Duh. I'm 53 years old. If you asked me to come up with inspirational words from the past, I'd hit the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln's two inaugurals, the Gettysburg address, the preamble to the Constitution, FDR's first inaugural, and JFK's inaugural. Mere words per the Clinton camp, vital words per the Obama camp. The Clinton camp would accuse me of plagiarism, too. Duh. Some things are just inspiring. The reason that the Clinton campaign is trying so hard to make this an issue is that they have absolutely no vision to sell.

Posted by: Karl Shipps | February 18, 2008 10:44 PM

Electile Dysfunction:
the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for president put forth by either party in the 2008 election year.

Posted by: Darrel | February 18, 2008 11:00 PM

35 years of experience did not result in the right judgement call for the war; 35 years of experience did not result in appointing the right person to be her campaign manager, rather, placing a total loyalist in that crucial position; 35 years of experience did not result in unifying the party, rather, more division among democrats; 35 years of experience did result in an all-over-the-map campaign, and finally a nasty one, because that is ultimately familiar and she is completely experienced about.

I am a woman, a passionate democrat, and have two daughters. I point it out to them that Mrs. Clinton is precisely the one they should never look up to as a female role model. She is a cheap politician who breathes politics and kills souls.

Obama 08

Posted by: gobeyond2008 | February 18, 2008 11:41 PM

If Hillary Clinton gets the nomination I have to say the Republicans will have a field day with her. If you think they called John Kerry a flip flopper; just let them get their hands on Hillary.

1. Flip Flopped with Elliot Spitzer on giving drivers licenses to Non citizens.

2. Was for the authorization of force against Iraq before she was against it in an election year.

3. Was against MI and FL delegates counting until Obama gained momentum now she wants the delegates to count.

Now since her campaign is running into serious competition she is resorting to cheap shots and distortions. I suggest that Hillary supporters take a look at the amount of businesses leaving NYS because of taxes and broken promises to help lower taxes. I cannot continue to support Hillary Clinton and I cannot continue to condone her rhetoric.

Posted by: Rochester NY | February 19, 2008 12:01 AM

I dont think this election is about plagiarism.We are not going to elect a president based on the fact that he/she does not plagiarise.Is there any thing new under the sun?
This is the last kick of a dying horse.
GOOOOOOOOBAMA 2008
Hillary should be more serious if she wants to ever win any election again in life.

Posted by: claude Bo. | February 19, 2008 12:10 AM

"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right about America," Mrs Clinton, in a speech to a Hispanic group this week.

"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America,", Bill Clinton - 20 January 1993.

Posted by: JayKay2 | February 19, 2008 5:16 AM

If this is the way that Hillary runs her campaign, God help us if she becomes President! The outright personal attacks, the distortions, the outright lies. She has proven time and time again that she will do and say anything to win the nomination. Obama represents such a stark contrast. He has tried to run a dignified campaign and Hillary insists on pulling every last dirty trick out of her bag. It will truly be a sad day for America if she wins the nomination. She is obviously NOT presidential material and would embarrass the U.S. on the world stage.

Posted by: Chris K | February 19, 2008 10:12 AM

Presidents with the biggest and most impressive resumes have PROVEN to be the WORST Presidents. So let's get off this experience lacking speculation!
Again, Can the Clinton's possibly fight fair? With time being spent analysing speaches, borrowing words and phrases from Obama, I wonder what WORK will be done in the White House if she were to get in. I had respect for the Clintons, but that faded and is now gone once the first attack came. Yeah, HE CAN SPEAK! Good, NOW LET HIM SHOW US HE CAN RUN THIS COUNTRY WITH RESPECT, not holding a knife behind his back waiting to strike like them!

Posted by: UnReal | February 19, 2008 1:24 PM

Help Help please.....Mesiah Obama, Come by here when you find some time to talk about the change you will bring to America.

Posted by: Erika | February 19, 2008 5:44 PM

The Cult of Her Own Personality

To my fellow Democratic Party American's; we have a dark specter crossing the landscape of our Party. Divisive primary politics aside, we have a radical element among our membership. This element is becoming more evident with each and every loss that they rack up, in that they are pulling apart of our Party. This element is showing that the pulling apart, and possible fracturing of our great Party, for what seems to be nothing more then feelings of self-entitlement toward the nomination, is a justifiable cost for their goals and aspirations.

"Senator Obama's words are contradicted by deeds. He said he would -- he pledged to take public financing as now Senator McCain has pledged. He has just reversed that pledge.
--Hillary Clinton surrogate Lanny Davis, CNN Late Edition, Feb. 17. 2008.

Again, I feel it necessary that we examine the true benefit of tying the hands of a possible Republican challenger, in this case Sen. Obama, when it comes to financing a general presidential campaign. Is it a responsible move for a Party member to actively fight against another possible presidential candidate in such a way?

Is it wise for the Party to allow ourselves to enter into a most important election with one arm tied behind our backs? Of course it is not a smart political move, yet this dangerous element in our Party feels it is fair game to attack a fellow Party member on such a matter. And, in a sense, help the opposition's presidential candidate's campaign.

By rejecting public funds, which no major party candidate has done for a general election since public funding for elections was instituted in the 1970's, Sen. Obama will be putting himself at an obvious disadvantage. Not just because Sen. Obama would have to return more money then McCain. Sen. Obama has raised $6.1 million toward the general campaign, compared to the $2.2 million that McCain has raised, but his grassroots fundraising machine is massive and not nearly close to being tapped out. This would be not just poor politics on the part of Sen. Obama, but it would be irresponsible to the Party to do such a thing.

The Democratic Party has a wonderful advantage against the Republican nomination this election year cycle when it comes to funding. A tool, which if not utilized, would be a politically reckless action on the part of a presidential Party candidate.

What we are facing with this dangerous Party element, is a high ranking member of the Party that is willing, and desirous, that we concede such an advantage for what? Is it for a possible underlying feeling of presidential self-entitlement? Is it a campaign's last ditch effort to win? A do or die burn fest? Whatever the reasoning behind such a destructive move on the part of Sen. Clinton, it is nonetheless, a very dangerous ploy for such little possible gain.

Is this the kind of politics that we need in the party, let alone in America? The idea which seems to resonate with the American populace is that we need to move away from the typical day to day operations of our political leaders. We need to have a Party, and a Country, that is truly for the people by the people. Not a country controlled by the minority of its citizenry, or by its far right leaning religious minority, nor even by the money-throwing special interest groups, all of which attempt to circumvent the will and betterment of the majority of Americans. No, this is not the type of Party that we should be. This is not what the Democratic Party is all about.

What we are facing is a path that can take us either into a future, which is based on the belief, and yes hope, that we can do truly wonderful things if we pull together, or a future that concedes we have reached the pinnacle of American greatness, and we must go back to the way it was before these disastrous last 7 years. The idea and belief that America should be governed from the bottom up, and not the top down, is a crossroads sign post which we must use to choose our great nations future.

I, personally, will give the benefit of the doubt, and look to what great things we can hope to do with this belief and faith. The past was good, and we were served well by its purveyors, but it was just that, the past. To whatever future we find ourselves living in is yet to be seen, yet the leader of our Party is clear. The time is now to realize the fact that we have our leader for the campaign to reclaim the Presidency of the United States, and we must show unity and support behind Sen. Obama if we are to succeed. The alternative will be more of the same support for the status quo, which is both detrimental, and unacceptable to the American way of life.

-Matthew McGovern

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