Teacher, Barack Cheated

Yesterday the news was in bold letters across Drudge with follow up red letter links. Hillary Clinton’s campaign accused Barack Obama of plagiarism. There were side by side shots of Deval Patrick and Barack Obama and Obama’s words were nearly identical to those of the Massachusetts Governor. It was later revealed by Obama that he used Patrick’s words and that he should have attributed them and for his part, Patrick said that he encouraged Obama to use them. Obama is correct, he should have attributed them to the source but he did have permission to use them. There are newer allegations today by the Clinton campaign showing that Obama has used Patrick’s words at other times.

The use of the words of others without attribution is disturbing even though Obama had permission to use them because without attribution he is giving the appearance that he came up with them and they are his thoughts. Joe Biden was forced from the presidential race years ago for using someone’s words without attribution (he did not have permission either). Certainly some words and phrases are so famous they need no attribution because people know the source but for the most part, borrowed words and phrases should be attributed to the source.

While it is disturbing it also appears as an act of desperation on the part of the Clinton camp. These kinds of claims basically tell the world that you are not able to attack the substance of the candidate’s positions so you are going after these types of issues. The major problem is that someone will pour over Clinton’s words and find where she has used something without attribution. Of course, this is not uncommon in politics because many of the buzz words are used by everyone. Change is the theme of a lot of people but until Obama started parading it around the others did not make it central. Once it was working for him Hillary became the candidate of change. Then, they all became change agents of some sort. Catch phrases are just that and none of these candidates has a copyright on them even though Obama played tit for tat by saying Hillary had used his words.

This whole issue looks more like the squabbles of kids on the playground rather than the actions of people who want to have the the most important job in this country. Clinton might have been better off not addressing it (she will wish she had not if they find she did the same thing) and leaving it for the media (she certainly knows how to leak things to them) and Obama would have been better off to just say he should have attributed it and then moved on. As it stands now, they both look like children trying to play an adult’s game.

Each of their supporters will use this episode to spin things in favor of their candidate but in the end they both end up looking like immature school kids playing games where Hillary looks like a whiner (teacher, Barack said so and so) and he looks disingenuous (I am saying this from the bottom of Patrick’s heart).

I guess one cannot blame Hillary because she is dropping like a rock and she needs something to throw him off track. In the end, this will end up being more divisive for the Democrats and since the Clinton campaign is out with new allegations, it looks like this will not blow over any time soon. The only thing Obama has going for him is that words are the only thing put in his mouth unlike what happens with a certain Clinton in office…

I can only hope it puts a big enough dent in his armor to force a brokered convention. That is where the real fun will be.

Big Dog

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