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Hillary Ops Accuse Obama Of Plagiarism

From those mixers at the Politico:

Clinton aide accuses Obama of plagiarism

By Mike Allen
Feb 18, 2008

Howard Wolfson, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, today accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) of committing “plagiarism” in a speech in Milwaukee on Saturday night.

Wolfson made the explosive charge in an interview with Politico after suggesting as much in a conference call with reporters.

On the call, Wolfson said: “Sen. Obama is running on the strength of his rhetoric and the strength of his promises and, as we have seen in the last couple of days, he’s breaking his promises and his rhetoric isn’t his own.”

“When an author plagiarizes from another author there is damage done to two different parties. One is to the person he plagiarized from. The other is to the reader,” said Wolfson.

Obama closely echoed a passage from a speech that Deval Patrick, now the Massachusetts governor, used at a campaign rally when he was running for that office in 2006.

The Clinton campaign circulated a pair of YouTube links of the two speeches on Sunday…

An Obama official said: “They’re friends who share similar views and talk and trade good lines all the time.”

Obama apparently ad-libbed the remark, which was not in his text.

The Massachusetts governor said in a statement: “Sen. Obama and I are longtime friends and allies. We often share ideas about politics, policy and language. 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 Sen. Clinton, I applaud him [for] responding in just the way he did.”

The Obama campaign immediately struck back with a document headlined: “Here are a couple of places Clinton freely borrowed rhetoric from Obama.”

Among the examples are Clinton’s use of Obama’s signature chant “fired up and ready to go” in Davenport, Iowa, and later her echoing of his rally cry, “Yes, we can!”

The plagiarism wars are the nastiest turn yet in the Democratic presidential nomination race as the campaigns gird for clashes in debates in Texas and Ohio, to be followed by primaries in those states on March 4.

I actually thought the Obama “plagiarism” was not all that newsworthy. After all, this is a pretty obvious route to take. And surely even Mr. Patrick wasn’t the first to use this rhetorical gambit.

Moreover, both Mr. Patrick and Mr. Obama share the same “advisor (speech-writer), Mr. David Axelrod.

(Though this must come as quite a blow to most Obama followers to learn that their hero employs a speech writer.)

But it is clear that the Hillary camp think this is something they can use against Mr. Obama.

Which only shows how truly desperate the Clintons have become.

Next they will be going after him for lifting Bob The Builder’s catch phrase.

(Though some say Mr. Obama borrowed that line from Mr. Patrick’s “together we can” campaign sloganeering as well.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 18th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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