Dictionary.com- A Resource For Everybody

You’ll find no shortage of folks today claiming that Barack Obama plagiarized someone else’s rhetoric, no doubt in the hopes that this will crush his presidential apsirations much like Biden’s had been back in the eighties.  So what’s the deal?  Did he or didn’t he?

I find the definition of plagiarism to be particularly helpful here:

pla·gia·rism      [pley-juh-riz-uhm, -jee-uh-riz-] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation


1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
2. something used and represented in this manner.

Right, so it’s only really plagiarism if it lacks the authorization of the source, right?  Hmmm:

At the bottom is the text vindicating Mr. Obama and his use of Deval’s words:
UPDATE: The Obama campaign has issued a statement from Gov. Patrick: “Sen. Obama and I are long-time friends and allies. We often share ideas about politics, policy and language. The argument in question, on the value of words in the public square, is one about which he and I have spoken frequently before. Given the recent attacks from Sen. Clinton, I applaud him responding in just the way he did.”Ignore the fearmongering hillarats: it’s not plagiarism when the source is perfectly alright with it.

Oh…  Oh, well, I guess that’s alright then, isn’t it?  Patrick didn’t just give Obama the thumbs up, he “applaud[s]” it.  Further, if we are to take the characterization of Deval Patrick and Barack Obama as he states it, we are left with the impression that they brainstorm an awful lot, leaving plenty of room to suggest that perhaps Obama was in on the coining of the phrasing in the first place.

That’s another swing and a miss by Hillary Clinton and the Right Wing Attack Machine.

UPDATE: Cernig, of Newshoggers fame, goes the whole argument one better by showing that not only did Patrick applaud the use, but authorized it and even suggest he not be cited given his own low profile.

Swing and a miss doesn’t even come close to how this one plays.

UPDATE II: Thanks to Cernig, The Heretik, and US Divided for linking in.

One Response to “Dictionary.com- A Resource For Everybody”

  1. Mel says:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s team uses strategies that are lower than a snake’s belly. They can’t compete on oratory power (she is boring and Barack Obama is not). Barack Obama inspires a movement, Hillary Clinton induces sleep and snores to drown her out. So when you can;t compete on style, substance and policy content what do you do if you are the Clinton machinery? You do whatthey always do: get down in the trenches and engage in nasty, brutal divisive politics. Hillary’s negatives are so high because that is the kind of person and politics she and Bill (Billary) prefer. She is the wrong woman for this time. Incidentally what kind of feminist uses the metaphor of boxing glooves to energize her campaign. Has she ever heard about violence against women? Imagine if Barack Obama has used glooves and said he was ready to fight Hillary Clinton?! Keep your eyes on the prize (MLK, Jr for the nit-picky). Ms Clinton is trying to muddy Mr Obama and change the subject from 8 losses in a row. She is a sad human being.


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