February 18, 2008
The Clinton campaign has accused Obama of plagarizing Deval Patrick when he used nearly identical language in a speech the other night that Patrick used on Boston Common in 2006. The similarities of Deval Patrick and Barack Obama have been chronicled before here. The two men are friends and it doesn't surprise me that they share speeches and, unlike the Clinton campaign, I don't see this as a "where's the beef" gotcha moment. If both parties have no objections, then there is really no problem with two allied politicians sharing the same rhetoric. Deval Patrick responded to this incident by saying,
"Sen. Obama and I are longtime 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 [for] responding in just the way he did."
I can't imagine that anyone would at this point be terribly surprised to learn that Obama is using the same playbook that Deval used to wax poetic his way to office. In the end, this is nothing more than manufactured controversy concocted by a flailingly desperate Clinton Campaign.