February 19, 2008
Obama Busted for Stolen Rhetoric (Bob Franken)
@ 9:18 am
“Let no one else’s work evade your eyes.
“Remember why the good lord made your eyes.
“So don’t shade your eyes,
“But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize.”
I’d love to pretend those were my words , except I know I’d get caught.
So what the hell was Barack Obama doing presenting a riff from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as his own? Not only was it an identical construct, but it was a defense of rhetoric, his own. He was openly borrowing the inspiring words of national heroes like Martin Luther King and JFK — why did he clumsily try to steal someone else’s in the process?
“What do you tyke me for, a fool?”
–Lerner and Loew–
Does he believe that he has so enraptured the media we will be too enchanted to pay attention? Has this man who presents himself as the candidate of the “Millennials” forgotten about YouTube? Had he been lulled into such overconfidence that he wasn’t aware Hillary Clinton’s campaign was just looking for a chance to burst his balloon?
It was probably time for a reality check. It would have been tempting for Obama to believe that his soaring glibness made him infallible. Now he can say he knows better. In fact, he can claim that he too is wearing the kind of “battle scar” Hillary always brags about.
Is this not, as Obama insists, “too big a deal”? Or does it demonstrate the shallowness of his campaign? Obviously the Clinton campaign is furiously peddling the latter interpretation, hoping that hammering at this chink in Obama’s shining armor will cause voters to think twice about joining his crusade. The people of Wisconsin get the first chance to show whether this was a small misstep or the kind of stumble that seriously slows down a candidate’s momentum.
In any case, perhaps Barack Obama will now include a new phrase in his speeches, one that goes, “… and I quote.”
He can start with the words of one obscure writer who says:
“That was a dumb-ass mistake.”