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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Together We Can

Let's start with the basic statement that it's always wise to give credit where credit is due.

But the kerfuffle being raised by Camp Clinton's plagiarism allegations is a sign of desperation as she struggles to close the perception gap with Barack Obama. And a sign that the fall campaign will be waged on non-substantiative issues by a GOP nominee who will be running away from the record of the current incumbent.

Let's see now: Obama is an African-American man with Chicago roots who has a campaign adviser named David Axelrod and who gives a mean speech. His campaign theme is "Yes We Can." Deval Patrick is an African-American man with Chicago roots who had a campaign adviser named David Axelrod and who gives a mean speech. His campaign theme was "Together We Can."

Obama's use of Patrick's phrasing about the power of words comes in defense of Clinton's charge that it takes more than words to run a government. Patrick used the phrasing when defending himself against similiar charges by Kerry Healey.

The story is not new
-- as the Globe itself notes. If anything, Obama should have shied away from the sharing because of the undercurrent of concern among Massachusetts liberals that Patrick's words do not match his deeds. But then again, nobody really cared all that much about we thought about John Kerry either.

Patrick sought to downplay the matter:
"There are always candidates out there who will trivialize the ability of Barack Obama to mobilize people and energize people" with language, Patrick told the Globe.
Comparisons to the Joe Biden 1988 episode are also somewhat overblown. In addition to paraphrasing the words of British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock, Biden had also plagiarized a law school paper.

And let's not forget that the revelation -- in the form of an attack video, hurt the attacker -- Mike Dukakis and John Sasso -- as much as Biden.

Hillary Clinton's main line of defense these days is that she's taken the full force of the GOP Fear and Smear Machine and Obama has not. So perhaps she should be thanked for taking one potential non-issue out of the McCain armory.

Or is Hillary plagiarizing Kerry Healey?

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Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

Or is Hillary Clinton plagiarizing Kerry Healey?


This has been another edition of simple answers to easy questions.

February 19, 2008 7:44 PM  

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