Obama plagiarism scandal redux

posted at 10:50 am on June 4, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Some will recall the similarities between Barack Obama’s “Just Words” speech and almost identical rhetoric from a previous David Axelrod client, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. When YouTube videos juxtaposing both speeches started making the rounds, Patrick leaped to Obama’s defense, saying he had counseled Obama and urged him to use Patrick’s arguments — apparently foregoing any attribution. This morning, Obama had better find Mario Cuomo to jump out front of new criticism after stealing from his 1984 speech:

Can Barack Obama develop an original thought in his head? He borrowed “Just Words” from Patrick. He lifted “Yes We Can” from Cesar Chavez, and in some cases didn’t bother to translate it into English. Now he reaches back to the rhetoric of a disastrous cycle for Democrats to copy an old, tired line of attack.

Once again, Barack Obama gets exposed as an empty suit. Maybe if Barack Obama would do more than just visit the Senate but hold hearings on Afghanistan, pay attention to Iran, and really investigate the upcoming entitlement crisis, he’d be a better candidate for President. At least he might be able to generate an original thought or two rather than regurgitating the Democrats’ Greatest Flops.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

And the YouTube Response?

“Dirty Republican Trick”, “a sad excuse…just like a republican”, and “get over it, fool – he won!!! Accept it.” I won’t even bother asking what our friend thinks Obama has won against Republicans.

amerpundit on June 4, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Duval Patrick

That would be Deval, or as I call him Devil. Misspelling a governor’s name is one of my favorite insults, Ed, but you’re much nicer than I am, so I assume it’s a mistake.

But I hope it wasn’t.

Jaibones on June 4, 2008 at 10:55 AM

“Originality is the art of concealing your sources.”

Steve Jobs (who was quoting Pablo Picasso)

cannonball on June 4, 2008 at 10:55 AM

I dunno Cap’n Ed. Sounds like you’re just being divisive. Come the revolution election, you’ll be required allowed to go to a reeducation camp on vacation.

Do not question or criticize The Obamassiah.

rbj on June 4, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Dunno this is pretty weak. I have seen dozens of politicians use the “maybe if” clause… including McCain and Clinton.

12thman on June 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

This is more about his speech writers than it is about Obama. He’s an outstanding orator, but Obama has no time to research the details of every speech put in front of him.

cannonball on June 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Oh, and I forgot to ask: How does this help Michelle Obama’s kids?

amerpundit on June 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

What a nothing. He’s not even smarter than Cuomo?!

Jaibones on June 4, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Its getting old how he keeps bringing up how he voted against the war..blah blah…but when pinned to detail his withdrawal, he is very uneasy. I honestly dont know his latest position. Ive heard him say withdrawal in 6 months..a year..now I heard his advisor say 2 years. 2 Years?? WTF..McCain might have them home before that.

malkinmania on June 4, 2008 at 10:59 AM

The worst part is not the similarities to the Cuomo speech. The worst part is that this is a lame dodge on Iraq. Oh, and Reagan won in ’84. May Bambi steal all his speeches from then.

NotCoach on June 4, 2008 at 11:01 AM

This is more about his speech writers than it is about Obama. He’s an outstanding orator, but Obama has no time to research the details of every speech put in front of him.

cannonball on June 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Really? And yet you have undoubtedly attributed all sorts of bizarre responsibility to Presidents in the past, who don’t have direct involvement of 99% of the things that go on in this country. Why the free pass?

Jaibones on June 4, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Hell, I still can’t get over this part:

America, this is our moment. This is our time, our time to turn the page on the policies of the past…

(APPLAUSE)

… our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face, our time to offer a new direction for this country that we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge — I face this challenge with profound humility and knowledge of my own limitations, but I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people.

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless

(APPLAUSE)

this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal

(APPLAUSE)

… this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.
(APPLAUSE)

This was the moment, this was the time when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.

Thank you, Minnesota. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Shivas Irons on June 4, 2008 at 11:01 AM

hought or two rather than regurgitating the Democrats’ Greatest Flops.

Obama will be a flop — there’s no way a man like this can survive an election that will inevitably reveal such flaws.

Richard Romano on June 4, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Release the Whitey tape

malkinmania on June 4, 2008 at 11:02 AM

I love the comments. My favorite?

After history is made, and Sen. Obama makes a great speech, the first thing you can think to do is put this, another distraction, on the web?

Ah, the “d” word. Now his supporters are using it.

Slublog on June 4, 2008 at 11:03 AM

CuomObama

EJDolbow on June 4, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Oh, and Reagan won in ‘84. May Bambi steal all his speeches from then.

NotCoach on June 4, 2008 at 11:01 AM

525 – 13
49 – 1
58.8% – 40.6%

Jaibones on June 4, 2008 at 11:03 AM

I was in college back in 1984 and remember everyone gushing over what a great orator Cuomo was. I knew the guy was a fraud, just as Obama is.

A lot of good Cuomo did for the party that year.

JammieWearingFool on June 4, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Once again, Barack Obama gets exposed as an empty suit.

Please tell me this wasn’t the “Mighty Big Shoe” that Bob Beckel said was going to drop on Obama today.

Outlander on June 4, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Can you imagine a Reagan/Obama debate? Thats like John Wayne tussling with Don Knotts

malkinmania on June 4, 2008 at 11:05 AM

Entitlement crisis?!?

We haven’t begun to see what a President Obama would do to an entitlement crisis.

Hoodlumman on June 4, 2008 at 11:05 AM

I corrected the spelling of Patrick’s name. Thanks!

Ed Morrissey on June 4, 2008 at 11:07 AM

For his core supporters, and for much of the media, this is a non issue. Obama could go on stage at the DNC convention in August and deliver an acceptance speech made up of nothing but 30 minutes of armpit noises and those already infatuated with him would swoon. And for the moderates, most of whom are pretty disengaged from politics until just prior to the election, the plagiarism charge isn’t going to make much of a ripple.

If the GOP is going to play “gotcha” with Obama, it’s going to have to be on more substantial things like policy and judgment, than whether or not he’s ripping off Gov. Cuomo’s San Francisco speech.

jon1979 on June 4, 2008 at 11:08 AM

When your message is, “I’m going to soak the rich, and we’ll split the loot to give you all the things you want. It’ll be great,” how many ways are there to say that? There are only so many ways to dress up that message and make it sound better.

RBMN on June 4, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Lets just hope that the same speech begets the same outcome.

1984 doesn’t seem like a good time for Democrats to be cribbing campaign ideas.

Just sayin’

Sinner on June 4, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Can you imagine a Reagan/Obama debate? Thats like John Wayne tussling with Don Knotts

malkinmania on June 4, 2008 at 11:05 AM

A John Wayne/Don Knotts debate would be enjoyable. A Reagan/Bambi debate would be cringe worthy as we watched the Messiah be dismantled piece by piece.

NotCoach on June 4, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Obama has borrowed from more than just Duval Patrick and Mario Cuomo. He’s borrowed from movies too. Here’s a mashup of some of his greatest hits…

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YuB_W8o_UsU

CP on June 4, 2008 at 11:11 AM

While it’s not powerful as plagiarism, it is a good idea for the GOP to establish a sense of “Yeah we’ve heard all this shit before”

Dash on June 4, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Please tell me this wasn’t the “Mighty Big Shoe” that Bob Beckel said was going to drop on Obama today.

Outlander on June 4, 2008 at 11:04 AM

This is today’s entry in the 2008 Obama Gaffe a Day Calendar.

Beckel said the “Big Shoe” was going to drop on Michelle Obama.

EJDolbow on June 4, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Dunno this is pretty weak. I have seen dozens of politicians use the “maybe if” clause… including McCain and Clinton

12thman on June 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Its also the way he makes his speech, he has the same pacing and pauses of Cuomo, soon he’ll be doing Billy Jeff’s speeches word for word while playing the sax.

Please tell me this wasn’t the “Mighty Big Shoe” that Bob Beckel said was going to drop on Obama today.

Outlander on June 4, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Na the other shoe was going to drop when Hillary drops out, Beckel assumed she would drop last night but she hasn’t. What ever they have its better waiting till August or September to bring it out, they played the Wright card way too early, maybe since he was giving up the priesthood.

Rbastid on June 4, 2008 at 11:12 AM

. . . He’s an outstanding orator, but Obama has no time to research the details of every speech put in front of him.

cannonball on June 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

No, he is not an outstanding orator. He’s a fast talking flim-flam man and that’s what allows him to cover his numerous errors, misquotes and inaccurate nonsense.

rplat on June 4, 2008 at 11:15 AM

CP on June 4, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Why don’t the Dems just nominate David Axelrod?

EJDolbow on June 4, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Really? And yet you have undoubtedly attributed all sorts of bizarre responsibility to Presidents in the past, who don’t have direct involvement of 99% of the things that go on in this country. Why the free pass?

Jaibones, please don’t think of me as giving him a pass. I think electing Obama is the worst thing that could happen to our country. I just think that he is too busy and to inexperienced to know any better and he is putting too much trust in those around him. Maybe he is the one that pulled these quotes. Maybe someone else did. Who cares. I’d rather focus on where he stands versus how he whips a crowd into a frenzy. Obama is a scary man…

cannonball on June 4, 2008 at 11:19 AM

Maybe if Obama had answered “Sweetie”‘s question, we would understand what he is really going to do to help Michigan, rather than just blame Bush.

MayBee on June 4, 2008 at 11:20 AM

I heard various MSNDC talking heads comparing Obama’s speech to Roosevelt, Truman, Lincoln, etc. GIVE ME A BREAK. If that’s fair game we can also comapare his speaking prowess to Hitler and Stalin. They had charisma too.

cannonball on June 4, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Can we hold the empty suit rhetoric UNTIL HILLARY is GONE?

Let’s not let the Dems have any buyers remorse until next week.

originalpechanga on June 4, 2008 at 11:20 AM

EJDolbow on June 4, 2008 at 11:16 AM

It’d probably work. Except his firm lobbies for companies, including Illinois hospitals opposing proposals that would force them to provide more help for the poor.

amerpundit on June 4, 2008 at 11:21 AM

He lifted “Yes We Can” from Cesar Chavez, and in some cases didn’t bother to translate it into English.

Not to mention the fact that “Yes We Can” (and it’s brother – “Together We Can”) was used extensively during the DeValue Patrick campaign as well.

crazy_legs on June 4, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Release the Whitey tape

malkinmania on June 4, 2008 at 11:02 AM

It’s a DVD that was on sale at TUCC

mred on June 4, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Reagan would have eaten Obama’s lunch and right afterward the media would have gushed how senile Reagan looked against the fresh, articulate candidate.

Notice how little commentary there was after Saturday evening’s disastrous press conference when he threw his church under the bus.

Obama’s lost without his TelePrompter and cliche generator. Forced to ad lib, he becomes the Wizard of Uhhhs.

JammieWearingFool on June 4, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Shivas Irons on June 4, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Maybe if he gets John Edwards as his running mate the crippled will walk again too and they will be unstoppable!

saltydogg14 on June 4, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Obama “can deliver a good speech.” And that’s about all he has going for him. I’d say that he’s eloquent, but that would imply that he creates the arguments that he presents, but he doesn’t, he has people for that, when he speaks off of the top of his head he winds up gaffing.

In this he is the anithesis of Bush. For the last seven years libs have been ignoring everything Bush says and concentrating on how well he speaks in public, calling him a moron because he stammers and mispronounces words. Now they have found themselves a man who has no ideas but “can deliver a good speech.”

Bush does poorly with prepared speeches, but he does well “off the cuff.” Obama does a wonderful job of reading someone else’s words but sounds like an idiot when speaking extemporaneously.

Obama offers pure emotion, pure style, pure rhetoric and sloganeering, and he’s pretty ta boot. The left have found their dream date.

29Victor on June 4, 2008 at 11:28 AM

Release the Whitey tape

malkinmania on June 4, 2008 at 11:02 AM

It’s a DVD that was on sale at TUCC

mred on June 4, 2008 at 11:23 AM

This is the kinda stuff that will sink Obama, not wasting oxygen hyperventilating over ‘plagiarism’.

LimeyGeek on June 4, 2008 at 11:31 AM

sounds like an idiot when speaking extemporaneously

That’s when the bare metal is exposed – whereas Bush is iron, Obama is revealed to be flimsy tinfoil.

LimeyGeek on June 4, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Forced to ad lib, he becomes the Wizard of Uhhhs.

JammieWearingFool on June 4, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Quotable!

Connie on June 4, 2008 at 11:34 AM

That’s when the bare metal is exposed – whereas Bush is iron, Obama is revealed to be flimsy tinfoil.

And recycled tinfoil at that.

29Victor on June 4, 2008 at 11:34 AM

When this DVD comes out, we’ll need tee shirts.

Akzed on June 4, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Obama is a great orator, as long as he has somebody to write it down for him. Have you ever, uh, heard, uh, him, uh, speak “off the cuff?” He is terrible at it, in case you didn’t infer that from the “uhs.”

TimothyJ on June 4, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Obama is a great orator, as long as he has somebody to write it down for him. Have you ever, uh, heard, uh, him, uh, speak “off the cuff?” He is terrible at it, in case you didn’t infer that from the “uhs.”

TimothyJ on June 4, 2008 at 11:38 AM

People have been conditioned to respect and revere news anchormen who are, in large part, just people who are good at reading a teleprompter. Obama would make a great news reader.

29Victor on June 4, 2008 at 11:42 AM

That’s interesting. Its says “Cuomo 1984″ and the 1988 Dem convention. Were the 1988 Dems using a playback of a 1984 Cuomo speech?

Bigfoot on June 4, 2008 at 11:44 AM

TimothyJ on June 4, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Uhs are usually very annoying and a terrible habit for a public speaker, but that is a minor problem for him. When he attaches his apparent ignorance to those uhs that’s when it gets real ugly.

NotCoach on June 4, 2008 at 11:46 AM

The Democrats impress me as being more emotion-based in their thinking and their campaigning. It is more about how a candidate makes them “feel” and less about how effective the candidate would be as an executive and what experience/track record that candidate has.

Basically the Democrats respond like children and can be led like children.

crosspatch on June 4, 2008 at 11:49 AM

His speech is affected and unnatural. He’s trying to sound like a preacher, or what he thinks a preacher sounds like. The “uhs” are designed to show thoughtfulness, as if he’s thinking so deeply that he has to pause to collect the brilliant thoughts that are zooming through his brain.

In fact, given some of the things that have escaped his mouth (about Americans eating too much, about PA’s clingy crackers etc.) he is obviously neither bright nor self-controled. Combined with his narcisisitic messiah complex all of this makes him a dangerously ignorant and amoral man.

Akzed on June 4, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Running for office is his expertise.

And he sucks at it.

fogw on June 4, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Quotable!

Connie on June 4, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Seconded!

James on June 4, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Obama didn’t sound very eloquent in the Philly debate when questioned about Reverend Wright and William Ayers. You know, like, uh, distraction from the, uh, issues.

McCain will have to INSIST on at least one debate on Fox News, moderated by Brit Hume. Maybe even George Stephanopoulos could tear apart Obama since his gal lost the primary. And we don’t know what other skeletons might tumble out of the Rezko/Auchi/Ayers/Blagojevich closet between now and election day.

Everybody thought John Edwards was a great orator until he had his clock cleaned by Dick Cheney in 2004.

Steve Z on June 4, 2008 at 12:21 PM

I loved that one line, “Maybe if he went to New Orleans, from where he delivered his speech tonight…”

Er…

mikeyboss on June 4, 2008 at 12:42 PM

I think the point is that other people have to point out all his gaffes because HE DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING, so he can’t catch them himself.

He’s not even an empty suit, he’s like the empty casual-day outfit.

Merovign on June 4, 2008 at 12:53 PM

What good is economic success if the population of cities is highly radiated, burned and turned into craters because the CIC was an appeaser of terrorist supporting nations who are seeking nuclear weapons?

aikidoka on June 4, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Nice speech. But if you look closely you can see Obama is actually sitting on David Axelrod’s lap and his lips are moving.

moxie_neanderthal on June 4, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Duval Patrick

Hey! I live in Duval County, FL. We dont want him.

Squid Shark on June 4, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Ed, this is some seriously weak tea. Obama didn’t lift the exact words, and the theme is a natural comeback to McCain’s attack (what else could Obama argue?). Claiming this is a gaffe or somehow illegitimate just makes you (and the HotAir community) look ridiculous. There’s plenty to object to about Obama without stooping to this level of nitpicking.

Splashman on June 4, 2008 at 2:13 PM

There’s a video going around called “Obama’s Three Wise Men”. At one point, Obama seems to be cribbing lines from a Denzel Washington movie on Malcolm X!

alacrityfitzhugh on June 4, 2008 at 2:55 PM

OMG, Obama is so lame.. :{

Chakra Hammer on June 4, 2008 at 4:17 PM

At one point, Obama seems to be cribbing lines from a Denzel Washington movie on Malcolm X!

alacrityfitzhugh on June 4, 2008 at 2:55 PM


Hoodwinked
, bamboozled, and chickens coming home to roost were all coined by Malcolm X, so if you saw it in a movie, they were accurately using his words.

Buy Danish on June 4, 2008 at 4:37 PM

This is more about his speech writers than it is about Obama. He’s an outstanding orator, but Obama has no time to research the details of every speech put in front of him. falls apart any time he has to answer questions on the fly.

cannonball on June 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

He is an empty suit.
The speeches he gives are written by others.
It’s probably the same Democratic Socialist who wrote the line both times…both the original and the Obama redux. Since it is likely the same ghost writer both times, it is likely not true plagiarism…it’s just the same material fed through two different puppets.

Red Pill on June 4, 2008 at 4:57 PM

PARROT (deserves to be immortalized):

“Obama!” SQUAWK!!!

“Yes we can!” SQUAWK!

For those unable or unwilling to think for themselves…

Lockstein13 on June 4, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Historian David McCullough at 6:00am?

I’ll be watching.

Reaps on June 4, 2008 at 5:44 PM

Great Orator“, in Obama’s case is shorthand for “Grating Oral Bloviator

Everything is stolen from one of the deceased Kennedys, Cuomo, Jimmy Carter, Reagan, or (when addressing the Jewish audience) the collected Seinfeld.

A bad mix of metaphorical sources that do not gel.

Only the stunning naivete and historical vacuity of his adoring fans allows him to spew this simpering silliness and not be laughed offstage.

It’s all about the melanin level and not about the content of his character.

Martin Luther King, Jr. must be cringing in the afterlife at this crypto-marxist, race-baiting distortion of his dream.

profitsbeard on June 4, 2008 at 8:32 PM

Fox and Friends just referenced Hotair to this clip. Bookmark this site freinds! Welcome.

malkinmania on June 5, 2008 at 7:40 AM