Did Obama pull a Biden?

posted at 2:20 pm on September 8, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Joe Biden’s first presidential campaign got derailed in 1987 when he plagiarized a speech by British Labour leader Neil Kinnock, including Kinnock’s personal anecdotes of his family.  According to Steve Janke, Barack Obama may have followed in his running mate’s footsteps to some degree when telling an anecdote about workers thrown out of work by free trade.  Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s Leftist NDP, tells a similar story — and says he wrote about it to Obama:

Janke notes that Layton got challenged from the opposite direction on this, and issued a statement which strongly suggests that he told Obama to retell this story on his own:

That story about Kenora I first got to tell with the workers themselves right in front of that Abitibi plant which is right in the heart of Kenora. This was when we were doing our softwood sell-out tour and showing how the softwood lumber deal was really failing.

There were beefy steelworkers and paper workers and the office workers were there and these guys were in tears because they had the well-paid jobs, hundreds of them, and they were the ones that would donate to the hockey team and they were saying to me we were the ones who used to give to the local charities and the church and they said our folks are having to pick up and move, their houses are worth nothing, they can’t even leave and I have been to so many places like this and I have told these stories so many times. I must admit I was struck by the similarities because I went down to that convention and of course you may recall I wrote to Senator Obama and Senator Clinton when this issue of trade relationships came up and I said, you know, the trade deal is not working for the middle class of your country or ours and those stories have got to be told and we’ve got to find a way to reach across that border…

It just became clearer and clearer to me, including the big speech at the convention, that we share a lot of these kinds of problems and we have a (something) to perhaps how these issues can be addressed.

The stories could just as easily be separate, but the “packing up the equipment” makes them sound suspiciously similar — especially with Layton announcing that he pushed this and other stories to Obama and Hillary Clinton.  That would not be plagiarism per se, but it certainly would be dishonest.  For a man running on his superior judgment and ethical purity, it puts him much closer to … well, Biden territory.

Did Obama borrow this story and disguise it by shifting the location to Indiana?  If so, that indicates that Biden may have quite an influence on his protegé, although not one that will thrill Democrats.

Update: It wouldn’t be the first time Obama has recycled speeches.


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Change you can Xerox.

SoulGlo on September 8, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Anything to win.

Montana on September 8, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Next we’ll learn that Obama had coal mining relatives too.

Cicero43 on September 8, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Obama speech in a can ™

William Amos on September 8, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Democrats. The party of new ideas. Okay, old ideas borrowed from foreigners.

NNtrancer on September 8, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Wow. Democrats lying?

Shudder

john1schn on September 8, 2008 at 2:28 PM

I wish they had conviction I could believe in. They all lie. they all make up stuff so you will like them. McCain isn’t much better. That’s the appeal of Palin. You think she actually believes what she says and isn’t trying to sell you snake oil – whether you agree with her or not.

ThackerAgency on September 8, 2008 at 2:29 PM

It’s suspicious, but it’s also perfectly feasible that the same event happened in both places. Biden’s plagiarism was laughable and undeniable. This snippet doesn’t reach that level.

zmrzlina on September 8, 2008 at 2:29 PM

What is it with Democrats and fake anecdotes? Remember 2000 when the most fun thing about the presidential debates was vetting all the people Gore brought up?

Anecdotes have their place in campaigns to humanize issues but Democrats simply seem incapable of sticking to the truth and embellish their stories with elderly citizens being forced to choose between eating dog food or getting their meds, whole communities on the verge of experiencing the Great Depression II, and other extremes that simply don’t hold up to reality.

highhopes on September 8, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Does Obama have any original material or is he just that much into recycling?

.

GT on September 8, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Anybody remember MadLibs? They came with a story line and told you to insert a noun, a pronoun, a verb, etc.

Hey, that name might fit BarryO’s campaign — The Mad Libs.

EconomicNeocon on September 8, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Biden’s plagiarism was laughable and undeniable. This snippet doesn’t reach that level.

zmrzlina on September 8, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Which time? Let’s not forget that Biden nearly got kicked out of law school for plagiarism too.

highhopes on September 8, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Ed, why are you so racist?
/

carbon_footprint on September 8, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Just words……

saiga on September 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM

Ack, could it be Baarrraaack doesn’t even write his own speeches!? I’m shocked!

kirkill on September 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM

It’s suspicious, but it’s also perfectly feasible that the same event happened in both places. Biden’s plagiarism was laughable and undeniable. This snippet doesn’t reach that level.

zmrzlina on September 8, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Problem is Obama has already ome under fire for recycling speeches. There was a some comparisons between his speeches and Gov. Patrick Duvall of Massachusetts

William Amos on September 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM

copy to change?

sven10077 on September 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM

This Is OUR TIME….

No wonder he and Joe get along.

originalpechanga on September 8, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Wouldn’t be the first time for The One. Obama’s been recycling other people’s speeches throughout the campaign.

CP on September 8, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Uncle Joe and cousin Barak…..two rotting peas in a pod.

saiga on September 8, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Sorry should be Deval Patrick

was on Hotair before

William Amos on September 8, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Competition = Bad
Entitlement = Good

It’s not fair expecting Biden to come up with original secular ideas. His strengths are all theological, and he intends to do for when life actually begins what Gore did for ecology and cow farts.

The Democratic party can sure crap these big thinkers out.

Hening on September 8, 2008 at 2:34 PM

I clicked on one of the un-comment-able links above, and it was HuffPo, if those people could analyze facts, use common sense, or tell the truth, they’d all be Conservatives…unbelievable weirdness over there.

kirkill on September 8, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Change you can believe in. Old ideas changed into new and fresh plagiarism (or at least copycat)? Obama and Biden, kings of the re-circulated anecdotes.

jerseyman on September 8, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Sociopath.

I bet Obama’s speeches are put together with cut out letters from all kinds of magazines so that you cant tell who wrote them originailly.

TheHat on September 8, 2008 at 2:35 PM

B.O. will just say it words.

Just words.

Just words that someone else said or wrote first.

Just words that B.O. decided to plagiarized.

Just words.

pilamaye on September 8, 2008 at 2:36 PM

If Obama has had to resort to getting his material from Whacky Jack then he really is in deep trouble.

Paradox Drive on September 8, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Why don’t we try focusing on Obama’s weak point: substance, or lack thereof.

Who cares where he got the fake anecdote? What is the point of it supposed to be?

He hates it when American companies move, fine. Everybody does. But what does he intend to DO about it?

Raise the company’s taxes.

I assume his tax plan also includes a giant moving box subsidy, because it’s going to greatly increase the demand for them.

logis on September 8, 2008 at 2:36 PM

My first thoughts on this story:

I gotta get more popcorn !

RocketmanBob on September 8, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Obama’s been recycling other people’s speeches throughout the campaign.

CP on September 8, 2008 at 2:34 PM

I particularly enjoyed the one where Obama talks about the challenges of raising a family, holding office, and taking on the role of hockey mom in the wilds of Alaska! :0

highhopes on September 8, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Don’t pile on Obama for this, cause at one time, many years ago, he “considered” working in a mill in Indiana.

PC14 on September 8, 2008 at 2:38 PM

I would put this on par with the John McCain lifting lines from Wikipedia..

Barack tells the stories so many times, does he vary it up a bit? same with the Layton? China is a cheap shot in a way of stealing jobs..

packing the up the equipment adds a dramatic punch to the story as well..

I’m not defending the Messiah.. doesn’t seem that big of an issue..

DaveC on September 8, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Sociopath.

I bet Obama’s speeches are put together with cut out letters from all kinds of magazines so that you cant tell who wrote them originailly.

TheHat on September 8, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Won’t that make it look like a 1970s low-budget murder mystery ransom note?

Oh wait, was that racist?

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on September 8, 2008 at 2:38 PM

It’s not the Dalilama’s fault – it’s the aid that put it on the teleprompter. Fire up the bus.

AMDG on September 8, 2008 at 2:39 PM

I bet the / and / buttons are wore clear out on Obama’s speechwriters keyboards.

cntrlfrk on September 8, 2008 at 2:40 PM

They all lie. they all make up stuff so you will like them. McCain isn’t much better. That’s the appeal of Palin. You think she actually believes what she says and isn’t trying to sell you snake oil – whether you agree with her or not. – ThackerAgency on September 8, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Wow. Profound stuff. I mean, like, we never knew this. Or even suspected this was a messy and imperfect world.

Thanks so much, Plato. Any suggestions? Philosopher-kings, perhaps?

ManlyRash on September 8, 2008 at 2:40 PM

For every person who lost a job because of free trade, there are two others who gained jobs because of it.

MarkTheGreat on September 8, 2008 at 2:41 PM

That / and / should be cntl-c and cntl-v

cntrlfrk on September 8, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Faux-bama!

psrch on September 8, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Ahhhh.. All liberals sound the same to me..

not gonna look to much into this one, how we do have a pattern of this behavior now, remember he “borrow lines” from Deval Patrick “Don’t tell we words dont matter”

Chakra Hammer on September 8, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Don’t worry. All Obama statements have an expiration date.

This will soon be “that isn’t the anecdote I thought I knew”

VolMagic on September 8, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Ahhhh.. All liberals sound the same to me..

not gonna look to much into this one, but now we do have a pattern of this behavior…, remember he “borrowed lines” from Deval Patrick “Don’t tell we that words dont matter”

Chakra Hammer on September 8, 2008 at 2:46 PM

What is it with Democrats and fake anecdotes?

highhopes on September 8, 2008 at 2:30 PM

They just have trouble relating to common people I guess. It’s tough when the only regular folks you know are your make-up person and your driver.

forest on September 8, 2008 at 2:46 PM

I would put this on par with the John McCain lifting lines from Wikipedia..

DaveC on September 8, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Not me. Oh, of course on its own this isn’t a deal killer. But the fact is that I remember that line and remember being a little jarred by it when I heard it, because it didn’t ring quite true.

This guy either exists, or he doesn’t. It’s either a lie, or it’s not. And that’s not the same as just lifting some forgettable filler language to keep from having to write exactly the same thing yourself.

One is a shortcut. The other is a lie.

Hopefully someone will ask Barry about the poor soul: What town he was in; what the factory produced; stuff like that.

Then Barry can either remember and prove it’s not a lie, or he can pretend not to remember and in so doing show that he’s either lying, or only cares about this guy as a means to get elected.

Typhoon on September 8, 2008 at 2:47 PM

although not one that will thrill Democrats

I don’t think the Democrats will give a hoot. It will just frustrate us.

burt on September 8, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Is this surprising? He’s been “borrowing” other peoples speaches all along and he doesn’t even deliver them half as well as the originals. Yet we have to listen to “conservative” pundits constantly telling us what a brilliant and exciting speaker he is.

peacenprosperity on September 8, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Biden says,“My ridiculous plan for Iraq that was never implemented in Iraq is working.”

Despiration

… a new fragrance for men
… balding Democratic men with inferiority complexes about strong women

Damiano on September 8, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Layton who was born in Montreal, is fluent in French. Wouldn’t it be funny if Layton’s speech was in French and Bambi has to Umm Ehh all the way before saying Merci Beaucoup reciting Layton’s speech in French. It must be quite embarrasing. Oh BTW, Layton is considered a real lightweight up here in Canuck country. It’s only fitting one lightweight wants to copy another.

poxoma on September 8, 2008 at 2:54 PM

What is it with Democrats and fake anecdotes? Remember 2000 when the most fun thing about the presidential debates was vetting all the people Gore brought up?

The liberals think Reagan had no substance, and rationalize that his effectiveness came from using words to shape the debate.

They have been trying to generate the fruits of Reagan without the roots of Reagan in faith, human freedom, and optimism.

Right_of_Attila on September 8, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Won’t that make it look like a 1970s low-budget murder mystery ransom note?

Oh wait, was that racist?

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on September 8, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Well I think Obama has Columbo beat on the pretty factor, but still has a ways to go to beat Dustin Hoffman’s Rainman factor.

If he can make it through a sentence without sounding the “UHHH” alram, he might actually achieve Jawa status.

TheHat on September 8, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Real lightweight doesn’t begin to cover what Comrade Mad Jack is….

Then again, the Liberal Party ™ up here wants to implement a “green Shift” for our taxes, promising that their carbon taxation will be “revenue neutral”*, just like
every other past tax increase.

* Revenue Nuetral – def. – any tax that is described as revenue neutral will cause government spending to increase so that the surplus created by the tax is eaten up with government spending as a result of implementation.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on September 8, 2008 at 3:02 PM

From Chicago Sun-Times article:

Obama said on Feb. 16, ”Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream’— just words? ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — just words? ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ — just words? Just speeches?”

Patrick, referring to his opponent, said on Oct. 15, 2006, “but her dismissive point and I hear it a lot from her staff is that all I have to offer is words, just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident,’ just words? Just words? ‘We have nothing to fear itself.’ Just words? ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ Just words? ‘I have a dream’– just words?”

Polly wanna cracker? Bawwwwwwwk!

highhopes on September 8, 2008 at 2:30 PM
What is it with Democrats and fake anecdotes?

Tell me about it. They do it over and over again. And it seems the more of a tearjerker the story is, the less likely it is to be true. Hillary’s a pro at this.

Paul-Cincy on September 8, 2008 at 3:06 PM

The NDP is Canada’s closest party to frank communists. If he is advising Obambo, then BHO is closer to the CPUSA then to DNC.

txdoc on September 8, 2008 at 3:07 PM

I’ll say it again. SHAMELESS LIARS

marklmail on September 8, 2008 at 3:07 PM

“What the Senator meant to say…”

diogenes on September 8, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Every single campaign phrase Obama Hussein utters is a regurgitation of some socialist predecessor.

We can only thank god that he has never had an original thought.

TheSitRep on September 8, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Oh my God! Someone’s writing his speeches for him! He must be the new Sarah Palin!

morganfrost on September 8, 2008 at 3:27 PM

It’s pretty bad when you have to steal your talking points from the Canadians…eh. Hosers.

Wyznowski on September 8, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Just prior to Obama’s speech, every talking head was waxing poetic about how Obama had “researched” speeches from MLK, JFK, Reagan and even his own 2004 speech while preparing his acceptance speech. They even babbled admiringly at how he had practiced practiced his 2004 speech with teleprompters all week, leading up to the speech.

*fast forward 6 days*

Palin’s speech was written by Bush people and she read it off a teleprompter.

Damiano on September 8, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Has this dolt ever had an original thought?

rplat on September 8, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Hussein probably never saw it before it appeared on his teleprompter.

Akzed on September 8, 2008 at 4:26 PM

NICE GET, ED!

jimmer on September 8, 2008 at 4:42 PM

InstaBama! Change you can Xerox…

Jaibones on September 8, 2008 at 4:58 PM

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.

It was well written by Ed on June 4th and it’s just as new and important now.
Great job Ed.
.

Hussein probably never saw it before it appeared on his teleprompter.
Akzed on September 8, 2008 at 4:26 PM

At least he can say that’s the first time he saw it on a teleprompter.
hehe.

shooter on September 8, 2008 at 5:01 PM

Regarding : Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s Leftist NDP, tells a similar story

Just so everyone is clear on who’s helping Sen Obama. The NDP (New Democratic Party) are socialists. This is not name-calling…they self define themselves as socialists. This is their ideology (as compared to the Liberals who are left of centre but don’t have the supporting socialist ideology).

So. Socialists feel they have an ally in Sen. Obama.

Just sayin’.

Blaise on September 8, 2008 at 5:25 PM

For those that don’t know, Canada goes to the polls on October 14 — Conservatives, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, may get the majority parliament they desire, especially when you have an opposition rife with incompetent people like Jack Layton.

You should see the official opposition’s leader, Stephane Dion. A real winner.

Richard Romano on September 8, 2008 at 5:43 PM

I’m from Toronto, I once saw Jack Layton do something I thought was insensitive, if not downright cruel.

Liberals think that Conservatives are mean, but from my observations, Liberals are far more mean spirited and selfish, while Conservative types are far more gentle, kind and sensitive to others.

Johnny 100 Pesos on September 8, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Change you can Xerox.

SoulGlo on September 8, 2008 at 2:24 PM

LOL. Can I borrow that line?

oh.

scotth on September 8, 2008 at 6:49 PM

google Magnaquench. This was a company in Indiana that made super magnets for the guidance systems on our missiles. Between Clinton and Bush, it got sold and moved to China. Yes, we now rely on China to supply parts for our missile guidance systems.

ramthulon on September 8, 2008 at 7:45 PM

Jeffrey Pelt:
Listen, I’m a politician which means I’m a cheat and a liar, and when I’m not kissing babies I’m stealing their lollipops.

The Hunt for Red October

29Victor on September 8, 2008 at 8:41 PM