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Obama Speech Aftermath February 19, 2008

Posted by uberhim in Uncategorized.

There has been quite a stir in the news today over the sublime speech that Obama delivered in Milwaukee on Saturday. (If you haven’t seen it already, watch the video embedded in the “Obama on Muslims” post below). Apparently, the Clinton campaign called a conference call with reporters on Monday to elaborate upon the charge that Obama plagiarized the content of that speech.

The Clinton campaign pointed to the resemblance between Obama’s “Just Words?” refrain and those of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick during his 2006 gubernatorial campaign. An article from the New York Times, however, features the most compelling evidence that the speech was anything but plagiarized:

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.”

Nonetheless, what is really striking is that the Wall Street Journal’s “Washington Wire” blog makes no mention of any of this. (Neither does this piece from Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib.) The “Washington Wire” only cites an Obama spokesman’s response that the Clinton campaign was in no position to stress such matters, given how much it has taken from the Obama camp. The New York Times’ own political blog, “The Caucus”, mentions some of these instances:

…Two of Mr. Obama’s standard lines – “It’s time to turn the page,” and “Fired up and ready to go,” – have made their way into Mrs. Clinton’s campaign appearances during their contentious fight for the Democratic presidential nomination. In recent days, echoes of his “Yes we can,” chant has surfaced in Mrs. Clinton’s speeches as “Yes we will.”

But the Wall Street Journal’s omission of the more compelling evidence is rather disturbing. In fact, the article actually ends on this ominous note:

It’s unclear how much, if any, damage this could do to Sen. Obama the day before the Wisconsin primary. Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden ended up withdrawing from the 1988 presidential race after he was accused of borrowing words from a British politician.

That’s what you call Murdoch’s money in action.



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