What's interesting about the coverage of the plagiarism accusations is the way that people are going after Clinton's camp for bringing up the issue (which I anticipated would be the case when I first heard the news, as how weak is it to claim that your opponent is a copy-cat, whether or not it's true? And, indeed, even I think it's kind of weak), and often as support for this they are talking about how all candidates borrow language and ideas and it's part of the process, blah blah blah, or, as John R. Bohrer writes over at the Huffington Post:
"If you want to be high-minded about it, you could say looking at what survives one campaign to go on to the next is a study of what rhetoric works and what rhetoric doesn't.Here's the thing: I still haven't decided about whether I support Obama or Clinton. I am so lucky as to have months before I could vote for either. I will say this, though: I'm less bothered by the fact that Obama borrowed language than by his response to being caught out about it. I'm not pleased about the "no big deal" vibe I got from his comments to the NY Times. At the very least he should be embarrassed. I mean, that's the least I expect from my students, and they're not running for president. And the "I wrote two books" defense doesn't mean crap to me, as I don't let a student off the hook if he or she wrote their first paper but submitted a plagiarized one for the second. Just because you *could* have written it doesn't mean you *did*. Duh. But so yeah, his response is to the allegations is weak.
Clearly, Patrick's worked, and Obama's seems to be doing the same. Otherwise they wouldn't be going after it in so many different ways.
In fact, I'd like to put Hillary Clinton's 2008 attacks on Obama's rhetoric next to that of Patrick's 2006 Republican opponent, Kerry Healey.
Might find some "plagiarism" there, too."
You know, I feel like *I'm* embarrassed for both Obama and Clinton. And that sucks because I know I'm going to end up voting for one or the other of them.
ETA: I was just cruising around on the youtube video of the two speeches side by side, and some poor soul argued that if you talk to your friend about it first, and your friend consents to you using his ideas/language, that it's not plagiarism. Here's a tip to any students who might believe that: consent means nothing without proper citation. That defense will land you in big trouble with the Academic Integrity Police, and could get you expelled from school.