Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just... words...

Just words.

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


Iris&David said...

We had to adjust the column, herewith comments by Anonymous and Iris:

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah.

There - I just plagiarized.

Or to do it again.

Much ado about nothing.

And for the record, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's book "It takes a Village" was written by a ghost writer. Not a word written by Senator Clinton!

Blah blah blah.

The professor is growing tired of these children of Washington. They need to find real work.

9:20 PM

Iris and David said...

well walt great minds -- when I was watching the returns I blobbed and you'll see my reference to It Takes a Village--probably david will post it later. he must be working or he would have posted last night blah blah blah
7:58 AM

Anonymous said...

The issue is not whether Obama said what Deval said in two speeches (that we know of). The issue is that the Obama Campaign is pretty much a clone of the Patrick campaign of 2006.
Both had David Axelrod.
Obama, like Patrick, rose up from the South Side of Chicago and excelled at Harvard Law School. Both are brilliant orators. Like Patrick, Obama is a superb and charismatic campaigner. Both project a persona that "transcends" race. And Deval also used rhetoric like " The Politics of Hope", "Change", "No Politics as Usual" The Obama campaign slogan: "Yes We Can" was Deval's campaign slogan.

Could this be "Deval Patrick- The Sequel"? An Axelrod script in the Theater of Electabilty?

I was caught up in the Patrick campaign in the same way as so many are caught up in Obama's.

And Patrick seemed to forget all but himself as soon as he was elected. He certainly does not dance with those who went out on a limb and brung him. And it is politics as usual. He does not work with the legislature. He does not seem to know how.

His only significant initiative has been the plan to build a casino(s) in Massachusetts,(courtesy of notorious South African entrepreneur, Sol Kerzner of Sun City fame who had extensive ties to the Apartheid Government).

In short, Deval Patrick has been a huge disappointment to those who had put so much store by his candidacy. Many of the legislature feel betrayed.

This does not mean that Obama will be another Deval in a much broader context. But there are certainly grounds for skepticism.

It occurs to me now that maybe Patrick was running for higher office (in the Obama administration?) all along, because the Patrick-Axelrod-Obama configuration did not just “happen”. It has a history and an agenda

I leave the rest to your imagination