Every blogger in America is writing about the possibility of Obama plagiarism. What a joke. Howard Wolfson says Obama’s record is based on his oratory and the promises he uses in his oratory. That he has no real public record. Blah blah blah. It’s a big “so what” since Obama does have a record of public service and his campaign is not based on oratory – it’s based on hope. This just makes me mad. I think the Clinton campaign appears desperate, and it shouldn’t be. The Senator is again, not well served by her strategy team.
On election day in Virginia, I got four phone calls. Two of them were from the Clintons. The scripts were almost identical. They had clearly discussed what they were going to say – or the script writers did—and decided what would be the most effective appeal to voters. Neither credited the speech writers or one another with the words they used. Why is that any different than what Obama did with his friend Governor Patrick. Is it all right to share words when you’re married but not when you’re pals—boy am I in trouble. And further, how could you start your speech by saying “In the words of my friend Deval, and Martin Luther King, and whoever else said great things, I’d like to say....” Now would that be rhetorically successful. Yecch!
Let’s as we say at the end of an exhausting day with little children, put this to bed. Here’s the dictionary definition of said concept. ‘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.’ Whew, it’s a lot of words to say, you have to have permission to use the same words as another person. Barack had permission to use Deval’s words – there are bigger issues.
I have no patience for this kind of foolishness or for stupid strategy mistakes. Public relations 101 or maybe 02 (from the Iris manual), Get out in front of the story. Be proactive not reactive. If you get behind, someone else will define the terms and you are merely a player in a game with someone else’s rules. And more from the same book: The Obama campaign should just sit down and shut up. Campaign and win if they can. Their new conversation about how ‘Hillary should drop out if she loses in Wisconsin’ smacks of the same rhetoric that put her back in the race in New Hampshire. Maybe it’s a boy-girl thing, but boys don’t seem to get what women hear when they use this kind of tactic. Women hear “The girl needs to give it up... she can’t win, despite the fact that a comeback is possible.. she just needs to go back to her little Senate seat and let us run the country.” Trust me, you want women voters acting — not reacting. My old pal Paul Tully always said – 'the wonder of political campaigns is you never really know what a voter is going to do until after they vote. If they get up in the morning and have a fight with their partner, or are irritated by a commercial they saw the night before, however they planned to vote for months is going right out the window.'
And wasn’t that the case in NH. Women came out in droves because they, like Bill Clinton, wanted to defend the underdog - who happened to be Hillary.
Once again it’s a wait and see. I think Hillary will do OK, but not because Barack plagiarized a speech. I think people want the bickering to stop, but the fight to go all the way to Denver. We’re just sayin.. Iris