"Plagiarism? No, just words" (to borrow from a Globe headline, which borrowed from a phrase)


The Clinton campaign either delivered a low blow or just now decided to capitalize on Barack Obama and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s uncanny familiarity with the same language of hope. Earlier this week, Hillary’s camp accused Obama of plagiarizing phrases from a speech Patrick delivered when he was on the campaign trail two years ago. “They both quoted Martin Luther King Jr., the Declaration of Independence, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt to argue that words can influence history.” [Boston Globe]

Appearing characteristically dapper and upbeat, Patrick, who publicly endorsed Obama last fall, told Diane Sawyer that “we fully expected, I certainly expected, that we would sustain a charge at some point to try to belittle his ability to motivate people with language.”

“…Would you be so sanguine about all this if Hillary Clinton had taken your words and used them?” Sawyer asked.

“Sure,” Patrick said with a grin. “They’re good words. It’s a great argument.”


Latest posts by aprilleticia (see all)

  • LH

    “…Would you be so sanguine about all this if Hillary Clinton had taken your words and used them?” Sawyer asked.

    Sawyer’s question doesn’t make any sense because Clinton and Patrick don’t share the same relationship as Obama and Patrick.

    Someone needs to work on her poker face.

    As for Clinton’s assertion that Obama’s campaign is about words, it is. So is hers. Their respective campaigns are about branding and tonality, not substance. Clinton is giving herself a pass because she’s using different words and taking a different tack, but her campaign is no more substantive than Obama’s.

    She’s serving at love-30, four games to five and down two sets.

  • aprilleticia

    I think that was the point of Sawyer’s question — that Obama and Patrick don’t share the same relationship, so what would it have meant for Clinton to use his words instead? I picked out this part of the video because Patrick’s answer seemed disingenuous. If it had been in the reverse, would the Obama campaign really have kept quiet? I think we would have seen similar accusations coming from his camp.

    Just some background — Patrick, as he said in the video, has known Obama for 15 years. Obama came out to Boston to stump for Patrick when he was running for governor in 2006, and Patrick has since returned the favor. Patrick was also assistant attorney general for civil rights under the Clinton Administration.