Copy Cat Accusations Fly Between Candidates
Sources close to Edwards say Obama is parroting one of the former North Carolina senator's best lines -- that America needs a president who's "not afraid to use the word 'union.'" They noticed that last Saturday in Iowa at an AFL-CIO event Obama said, "We need a president...who is not afraid to mention unions."
"Cheater cheater pumpkin eater, that's Edwards' line!" the sources thought.
News reports since April have quoted Edwards using a similar line. In June, speaking to unionized local and state government employees, Edwards said, "Isn't it time to have a president of the United States who's not afraid to say the word 'union' and is proud to stand with you and your cause?"
He was quoted again last month at a United Steelworkers forum saying, "We need a president not afraid to use the word 'union.'"
The way the Edwards camp sees it, Obama stole the phrase.
"If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we are extremely flattered again. And again. And again," Edwards campaign spokesman Eric Schultz says.
Obama responded by shouting, "Liar liar pants on fire" and saying Edwards has the cooties. (Yes, we're joking.)
In fact, the Obama campaign, ever conscious of the maturity issue, sought to avoid a "nah-nah nah-nah boo boo!" style retort. One Obama campaign aide, who requested anonymity, said of the copycat charge, "What a silly thing to point out in so serious a race."
Without responding directly to whether Obama may have lifted Edwards' line, the Obama aide took a swipe at Edwards (and Hillary Rodham Clinton) by alluding to Obama's steadfast opposition to the Iraq war from day one, saying, "I suspect that voters are looking for someone who showed leadership when it came to opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning as opposed to someone who claims leadership on a turn of phrase that many Democrats use."
The Edwards' campaign's sound-bite nabbing accusations against Obama could spiral out of control -- with sources in various campaigns tattle taling on other candidates for allegedly stealing clichÃ©d and pithy one liners hither and yon.
Though none would say so on the record, the little scaredy cats.
The comments to this entry are closed.