General Question

peggylou's avatar

Why is the Hillary Clinton campaign so very upset about the supposed "plagiarizing" by Barack Obama in his campaign speeches?

Asked by peggylou (1136points) February 19th, 2008

I don’t understand why the Clinton campaign sees Obama’s use of words or phrases as a detriment to him and his campaign. How many people, both privately and publicly, have used JFK’s words or MLK’s words? I simply don’t understand how Obama’s candidacy could suffer , or why it should suffer, for such an inconsequential reason.

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13 Answers

andrew's avatar

There’s a great post about this in one of my favorite political blogs:

As the blog title sums up: she’s trying to attack one of his major strengths: his authenticity.

sferik's avatar

Obama was accused by the Clinton campaign of using the words of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who quoted JFK and MLK, not of quoting JFK and MLK directly.

This video shows a campaign speech made by Patrick in 2006 followed by a recent speech by Obama that uses a very similar line.

Obama had used this quote in an earlier speech, prefacing it with, “I’m stealing this line from my buddy Deval Patrick…” but in this particular speech on February 16, he did not credit Patrick.

Clearly, Obama knew that he was using Patrick’s words. The fact that he did not cite Patrick in this case was probably just an oversight. In any case, Obama’s speeches are written by his speech writers (as were Deval Patrick’s) so accusations of “plagiarism” by the Clinton campaign seem pretty desperate.

andrew's avatar

@sferik: Not to mention the fact that Deval Patrick has stated that he doesn’t mind that Obama used words from his speech.

segdeha's avatar

HRC will stoop to nothing, including stupid attacks like this one, to win. It disgusts me.

GD_Kimble's avatar

Meanwhile, notice how (smartly) quiet the Republicans have been about this. McCain is playing this one very well.. he’s just sitting back and letting HRC and Obama spend all their $$ tearing at each other until the convention.

segdeha's avatar

McCain’s got his own troubles trying to solidify conservative support.

ezraglenn's avatar

This month Bush’s approval rating dropped to 19%. I imagine the McCain campaign (ooh a rhyme!) is freaking out about conservative support as well.

segdeha's avatar

@ezraglenn, What poll pegged his support at 19%? That’s way lower than any of the ones listed here, here or here. The latest I’d heard, he set a new record at just 30% approval.

sferik's avatar

I believe @ezraglenn was referring to this recent ARG poll.

ezraglenn's avatar

thanks, sferik, I was indeed.

segdeha's avatar

Interesting. I’m firmly in the 81% camp, but I hadn’t heard of this particular poll.

ezraglenn's avatar

Not that this truly needs statement, but it’s actually 77%, it seems 4% are indifferent. Go figure.

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