LSTCaress (via Flickr)Give Howard Wolfson, Hillary Clinton’s well-paid chief flack, an F minus for his idiotic plagiarism attack against Barack Obama.
“When an author plagiarizes from another author there is damage done to two different parties. One is to the person he plagiarized from. The other is to the reader,” Wolfson told Politico no doubt wagging his finger in the process.
The media is chasing this story like a kitten going after a shiny tinfoil ball. Like the kitten, the media will soon bored of this tempest in a teapot and move onto something else. If this is the best attack the highly paid Clinton staff could come up with against the surging Obama, the New York senator might as well throw in towel now.
The Illinois senator wasn’t trying to deceive anybody. In the middle of a grueling campaign schedule, Obama just forgot to credit his friend Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for a remark he ad-libbed in a speech. It was tiny mistake. Prominent people including historian Doris Kearns Goodwin have made far more serious attribution blunders. Obama noted that Clinton has done the same thing to him. Besides, as Politico notes, the point the two men were making that words matter is worth repeating.
From Obama’s speech Saturday in Milwaukee:
“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! [Applause.] ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words — just speeches!”
And now Patrick from a 2006 campaign rally:
“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, [applause and cheers] that all men are created equal.’ [Sustained applause and cheers.] Just words – just words! ‘We have nothing to fear but 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!”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.