Devack Obatrick on “Just Words”

I dunno, folks.  Just watch this and tell me what you think.  First part is Deval Patrick on the Boston Common on October 15, 2006.  Second part is Barack Obama the other day in Wisconsin.

I recall another presidential candidate getting into a lot of trouble over this kind of thing a while back.  Is there an exception when you share the same political consultant?

UPDATE: Credit where credit is due: tblade got the same idea posted before I did.  (But without the spiffy video splicing!)

FURTHER UPDATE: As Jasiu notes in the comments, both Patrick and Obama are confirming that Obama borrowed the rhetorical “just words” device from Patrick.

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87 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Joe Biden is shaking his head and wondering $quot;why me?$quot;

  2. So what?

    Obama used the same line as our fine Governor, both of whom have high regard for each other.

    Do you think Patrick will be upset or happy about this speech by Obama?

    Now, if Senator Clinton had made a speech like that, appealing to the power of extraordinary words like, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," that would be worthy of comment!

    Instead, according to a recent speech in Ohio, "every single day," she is going to ask her Cabinet and the people who work for her, "what have you done to help the people of America."

    It sounds like a lot of telephone calls.

    • great find

      A lot of telephone calls, indeed. That pretty-much captures Hillary's problems.

    • Not plagiarism...worse

      Patrick would be happy to have his friend Obama borrow from him.  But that's really not the point, is it?  I imagine that Neil Kinnock would have been flattered to learn that Joe Biden borrowed his speech (and attributed it to him on nearly every occasion he gave it, except when the videographer from the Dukakis campaign happened to be there).  But the incident still killed his campaign.

      Do you think Biden was railroaded unfairly in 1988?

      • Joe we hardly knew ye

        Joe Biden never really recovered, did he. His theft from The Welsh Windbag, "Kinnochio" himself, haunts him even now, 20 years later. Of course, Biden had a history of plagiarism, whereas Obama was President of the Harvard Law Review.

        I have no position on old Biden's withdrawal in 1988. It seems a silly thing to fold one's Presidential tent over, especially considering that he cited the chap in his other speeches. I'd say rather, good politics by the Dukakis campaign.

        Thus, the issue here is whether the Clinton campaign can get any mileage out of this redundant phrasing. I suppose that will cut to the issue, as much discussed here of late, of whether she is running an effective campaign. Someone get Susan Estrich on the line!

        I suspect, however, that Obama if asked will just say he got the line from Patrick, or from Axelrod. Patrick will say he's welcome to it -- he endorsed him. Axelrod will say he's flattered that everyone likes the line so much, and that it worked well fro Patrick and he hopes it works as well for Obama. End of story. Like I said, so what.

        Now about that Clinton promise. There are at present 15 Cabinet members, plus six more officials with Cabinet-level rank. That's 21. According to the Washington Post, there were several hundred people on the White House staff in 2006. Let's say 300 people total. I'm not including the entire Executive Branch staff, which of course, "works for," the President in some sense. Now, if Senator Clinton spends just 30 seconds talking to each one, enough time to ask, "What have you done to help the people of America," and get even a cursory response (note that a simple Yes or No answer seems insufficient given the question), I calculate she will spend over two hours each day making all of these 30-second telephone calls. I ask you: is that really the plan of an experienced administrator?

        • It worked, but did we learn anything?

          Yeah, Obama will be happy to credit Patrick, but will we fall for that line again?  Will Patrick's tenure and corporate biotech agenda be under the microscope now, to ascertain just what those words mean?  I wanted specifics then, and I want them now.

          • McCain is going to hang Deval Patrick around Obama's neck like an albatross

            McCain and the Republican party will have side by side vids of the two mouthing the identical words, then they will cut to Patrick's gubanatorial record. Then they will mine quotes and excerpts from BMG and say. "This is what Massachusetts accepted in good faith. And this is their dividend. Then they will illustrate the housing crash, crumbling infrastructure, education, tax burdens, drapes, caddy's and whatever and say, "Is this what you really want?" It matters not if these are justifiable comparisons or that Gov. Patrick deserves the blame for his  predecessors. This is what they will bombard the American airwaves with, as well as Rush, Hannity, Laura, Ann et al.

        • Campaign has been $quot;shoddy$quot;, not Clinton herself

          She doesn't have to make a phone call.

  3. Great video.

    I was far to lazy to splice the video, I'm glad you did.

    In the spirit of the video, I'll self-plagiarize from the other thread: I think "just words" is a brilliant piece of American political rhetoric and I think Obama should use every weapon at his disposal. I'm biased because I like Barack and I think it is OK given that the words might have been written by Axelrod himself. I might be more comfortable if Barack might have said "In the words of my friend..." or something just to cover his ass from plagiarism accusations. I hope for Barack's sake they are Axelrod's words and not those of someone else who worked on the campaign that wants them back.

    • They are just words

      unless the person saying them can accomplish the ideas behind the words. No one has told me anything about Barack Obama's experience and back ground that shows that he is the person who can accomplish the ideas behind his word.      

    • I have a Dream.....

      ...Nothing to Fear but Fear itself.....Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country  resonate as inspiring moments from single speeches given at important moments.

      The "Just Words" if it had stayed as Deval's speech at the Common (and I was there) History would have honored it as a great moment like the lines from speeches it honors. But its reduction to "Sound Bites of Hope", cheapens it, makes its come off as calculated and  hollow in our you tube political reality, leaving it just a new recording from the playbook of "Politics as Usual", where it will become tired and stale like all commercial jingles eventually do.

      Pathetic really for they were inspiring words.

  4. Heh

    Patrick had a better delivery.

    • as i've been saying...

      for a long time. If Patrick keeps on this new momentum he has (and especially if casinos are blocked), I'd be very, very excited about a potential Patrick POTUS campaign 4-8 years from now. Obama just doesn't excite me like Patrick did/does. I just don't think Obama is a) as qualified and b) as talented a speaker, or even politician (at least Patrick has had the guts to stick up for difficult decisions - both popular and unpopular in the state, as well as party).  

      • Patrick for POTUS? Did I miss something? Care to speculate on Patrick's electability if he were running for governor now?

      • momentum

        If Patrick keeps on this new momentum he has (and especially if casinos are blocked), I'd be very, very excited about a potential Patrick POTUS campaign 4-8 years from now.

        Yeah.  If he keeps throwing up bad ideas that the Legislature squashes he'll have quite the track record.

        • didn't you get the memo?

          Most of his corporate loophole cuts are about to go through, bringing in nearly $300 million more a year.

          His biotech initiative, including the UMASS focus, is finally getting its dues and will likely now pass, since DiMasi's claimed it as his own (and I'm fine with that).

          His education plan, especially surrounding the position of a Secretary of Education, is already a done deal.

          All of those things happened in, what, less than a month? Imagine what we, as a state, could do in a year of this kind of process? It's exactly the give and take we, as citizens, should expect out of State Government.

          • Did you forget the corporate tax cuts? What's the net gain? Take off the rose colored glasses. In an entire year---a year-- the man has done zero.

            • Err

              What's the net game?

              Are you serious?

              Did you read my post at all?

              Nearly 300 million/year.  

              • Not to mention the net gain

                To local corporations like shipping companies, painting crews and bars who get the tax cut while coca cola now has to actually PAY their taxes on their way to hauling the money down to Atlanta.

                Win-win for local corps and the state gov't.

              • Facts

                What's the net game? Are you serious?

                Did you read my post at all?

                Nearly 300 million/year.


                -The proposed legislature results in a current year corporate tax increase of about $289 million.    

                -The proposed legislature freezes unemployment rate increases to save business about $150 million.

                -Subsequent rate decreases (f/y 2009, 2010, 2011) result in decreased corporate tax totaling nearly $393 million by year 2011.

            • But isn't that the point?

              Who can really be against closing loopholes when the rate is reduced across the board?  It is the larger corporations that have the flexibility now to gain advantage of more local businesses.  It is about time someone took to leveling that playing field.  And if Obama follows suit, we may take away the advantages of the multinationals that can export work via unbalanced trade agreements.

          • Memo?

            didn't you get the memo?

            I'm aware of no memo.

            Most of his corporate loophole cuts are about to go through, bringing in nearly $300 million more a year.

            First, the bill in the House is revenue neutral and calls for combnied reporting and a commensurate tax rate decrease.  

            And, second, buried within that legislation is a loophole of its own exempting banks, life insurance companies and utility companies. (house 3026) So, to shine the cold light of reality onto your guy, IF you wish to credit Mr. Patrick with the 'combined reporting' measure, then too must you credit him for its exceptions give to certain companies.  

            Alternatively, I guess you could argue that Patrick did the good stuff and the mean old legislature did the bad stuff.  

            Frankly, I claim a conservative win on the tax bill if it does pass:  1) a broader and lower rate; 2) revenue neutral 3) a trend for a lower corporate rate.  Objectively, it's the Legislature's action, and not Mr. patrick, who by the way, has not yet opined whether he supports the Bill 3026.

            • it is not revenue nuetral

              it stands to raise nearly $300 million. I think the number is about 280.

              And you should check your email... Because Deval Patrick just sent out this:

              On Wednesday, Speaker DiMasi announced a corporate tax package that will help balance the budget this year while adopting many of the proposals I made last year, including closing many of the corporate tax loopholes. This is an important first step in providing tax fairness and equity in Massachusetts, and I thank the Speaker for his help in accomplishing these goals.
          • Is this the moment

            where I get to say I told you so?

  5. Not plagiarism...worse

    This video doesn't tell me that Barack Obama stole from Deval Patrick.  It doesn't even necessarily tell me that they think their "words" are on par with the "words" of the Constitution or of Reverend King.

    (And if I may: do these morons think that segregationists rolled over and died because King said "I have a dream?"  To quote from that selfsame speech:

    We will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together

    That work is what ended segregation.  Not those words.)

    No, what this video demonstrates it that Deval Patrick and Barack Obama will say whatever David Axelrod tells them to say.  I'd feel more at ease were they merely plagiarists.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • Errr....

      are you suggesting candidates should write all of their own speeches and come up with their own messaging? That's insanity.

      I don't defend Obama here - certainly, I went on the attack. He should have asked for something a little bit more original from Axelrod. But I don't think this means he'll just say whatever Axelrod tells him too, at least anything more so than other politicians.  

      • Not $quot;all of their own speeches$quot;

        But geez, maybe once in a while.  It's not as if they have that many anyway...these candidates give the same speech over and over, and maybe tinker with it once or twice a week.  Just another reason why it sucks to be a candidate.  The "here are some words that matter" is the obvious riposte to the "all words, no action" attack.  But at least phrase it differently...

        sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • You all have no idea who wrote these lines...

      From reports on the web - Obama started riffing in his speech and ad libbed his lines - maybe he had heard it from Patrick before.

      From what I can tell, Axelrod is not a speech writer - the campaign has others.  I bet both Patrick and Obama come up with plenty of their own material as both are certainly able orators and wordsmiths.

  6. Cyrano Axelrod for president!

    I mean, who should the Hope crowd really be supporting, the guy who wrote the words, or the guy who delivers them?

  7. Ugh,

    He can't even deliver it well.

    Yes we can!!

    Damn, I know it must be hard to come up with new ideas for political messaging that play on the same themes... but this is just damn lazy. Axelrod becomes less and less impressive to me with every campaign he's a part of. The message doesn't work the second time around, so I fear for the next national election Axelrod is a part of.... because people, en masse, will say "I've seen that before," just like we all have from Massachusetts (this just being the worst, best example).  

    • Axelrod - the less impressive the more he wins

      I think his star is rising - while Mark Penn and Co's are falling.  He has great material to work with but he finds the right message and keeps it positive and consistent.

    • But you do have to give him credit

      for pushing the race issue right before the South Carolina primary and getting the media to go along with him.  His strategy not only resulted in a win for Barack Obama in South Carolina, it also damaged the reputation of both Clintons in a very sinister way.  Who cares if it was right out of the Karl Rove playbook.  Also, you have to give him credit for promoting the almost messianic image of Obama. Just look at the picture of Obama on his website. What does it remind you of? This perhaps?

      • reminds me of...


      • the clinton attacks hurt both campaigns

        I'm not gonna respond to the silly messianic stuff, but the way the Clinton campaign let their seemingly unintentional minimizations of Martin Luther King and the South Carolina primaries just hang there for days instead of clarifying immediately both marginalized Obama as the "black candidate" and ruined bill Clinton's standing among many democrats. to try to pin blame that on the Obama campaign is disgusting.  

        • The Clinton Campaign

          did not minimize Martin Luther King or the South Carolina primaries.  The Obama campaign said it did, and kept repeating it until people believed it was true.  It is disgusting that the Obama campaign decided to play the race card in such a hurtful way all the while denying they had a hand in pushing the issue until Obama apologized at one of the debates.  Some people, apparently, will do anything to win an election.  Your post has just comfirmed the effectiveness of the effort.      

  8. Well,

    Some of us have been saying for a while that Obama's speeches were nothing other than empty words. Here's the proof.

  9. Not surprising for us in Mass

    but the Patrick-Obama link has barely been touched by the Nat'l media.

    You know, after co-opting Clinton's economic stim plan, I'd like to see Obama start touting his own ideas on the stump. Political rhetoric gets recycled from candidate to candidate, but please show us that you have genuine policy ideas.  

    • Policy ideas

      Well, I think mostly people don't want to hear about the ins and outs of policy, not because it doesn't matter, but because it's too complicated for anyone to understand, from PhD's to guys pumping gas. What people want -- properly, in my view -- is a general sense of a candidate's priorities and character. For instance, the debate over the personal mandate is a little beside the point -- he says he's going to do universal health care, so now it's his job to get it done, by hook or by crook.

      For the sake of education, here's the Obama policy pdf. Or you can start with my rundown of his health care plan.

      People imagined that Patrick had no policy ideas because he was such an elevating speaker. That was not true -- indeed, he had more specific policy ideas before the other candidates. People imagine that Obama must have nothing going on with policy, because he doesn't stick his wonkery in your face like Hillary does. It ain't true. Being a good speaker and having a good sense of policy are not mutually exclusive.

      • Or perhaps... is the fact that the MSM is of the opinion that people don't want it so they don't bring it.

        The debate over how an executive will achieve their goal is not beside the point.  It is the point.  How will you govern?  Not "how will you make me feel about myself while you govern?" which is what people are more and more frequently asking when judging a candidates character.

        Is the average voter capable of understanding everything about every policy?  Of course not.  I am quite certain the same is true of most presidents as well.  That is why they have advisors and subject matter experts.

        Nonetheless, I think we would be all better off if the election process was more about teaching the public about policy and why it matters than teaching people how good it will feel to vote for their favorite personality.

        • Well, OK.

          I can't disagree with the statement that there ought to be more policy-talk as opposed to personality-talk. But I do think that temperament and personality are very relevant to the job, and relevant to the question of "how will you govern." Not all policy battles can be foreseen, after all; policy positions build trust and set out markers, but the whole idea of a campaign "promise" to pass certain legislation has always struck me as a little bit silly.

          But more to the point, we can all lead by example, as bloggers and folks who comment on blogs. How much policy do we do here at BMG? (I think a fair amount, particularly on local stuff; but the national horse race has taken prominence lately, for sure.) How much policy-substance have you blogged on?

          Blogs that do decent policy analysis: Ezra Klein Matt Yglesias Kevin Drum Atrios (on economic stuff) Daily Kos (runs the gamut in content and quality) Gristmill

          • I am not...

            ...running for president, so I don't actually have any policy positions myself.  I am interested in the candidates positions, not my own.

            I am looking for proof that Sen. Obama is well versed on his own policy.  Let's face the facts, there is no gurantee that any politician's policy postions are their own, they must demonstrate as much by speaking openly and easily about them.  I have not seem Sen. Obama do this.  It is he I am waiting to hear from, not bloggers who are not running for office.

  10. What are Obama's words?

    OK, we know what Kennedy and King and FDR's words were, what are Obama's words?

  11. This is being picked up more widely.

    Here from the Politico website is this story:

    Obama's rhetoric getting some friendly help? By: Mike Allen February 17, 2008 07:46 PM EST

    Is there an echo in here?

    Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) have not only endorsed each other's campaigns, they also have provided verbatim inspiration for each other.

    A rival campaign circulated a pair of YouTube links on Sunday that make the point vividly.

    Here's Patrick at a rally for his gubernatorial campaign on Oct. 15, 2006, during the final stretch of his successful campaign against then-Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R):

    "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!"

    Here's Obama on Saturday night at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's Founders Day Gala 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!"

    An Obama official said: "They're friends who share similar views and talk and trade good lines all the time."

    Obama apparently ad-libbed the remark, which was not in his text.

    The Massachusetts governor said in a statement: "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 responding in just the way he did."

    The Boston Globe reported last year that Obama had echoed the "just words" comments in a New Republic article, and noted "symbiotic friendship between Obama and Patrick."

    Obama made the comments in reference to Saul Alinsky, father of community organizing, while talking with Ryan Lizza for an article published last March.

    The inspiration has run both ways between Obama and Patrick, both Harvard Law grads and longtime acquaintances.

    Obama also used "Yes, we can!" - now a staple of his presidential campaign - as a rallying cry in his successful race for U.S. Senate in 2004.

    The Globe reported: "After Patrick employed the same phrase at a state Democratic Convention in 2005, a reporter alerted the campaign that it was Obama's signature line, and they went back to the drawing board," said Dan Payne, a Democratic strategist working for Patrick at the time. (Patrick would adopt "together we can" instead.)

    In fact, posters visible in the YouTube video from 2006 say, "Deval Patrick" and "Together We Can."

    Its all worth noting that a lot of people seem to think Obama's is the much smoother delivery.  The two videos are spliced next to each other on the website's blog as well for closer reading.  

  12. David Axelrod has only one playbook...

    It's not Obama's fault, David Axelrod just has one playbook, and that playbook only has one chapter under "your message"...he sold it to US Senate wannabee Barack Obama, then he sold it to Gov. wannabee Deval Patrick, then he resold it again to Senator Obama...and then they sold it to us.

    The problem is not the carbon-copy, cookie cutter's that the beautiful rally poetry lacks the substance that concrete policy is made from...we are buying the words without knowing what new policy they will result in (if any)

    I saw comedian Jimmy Tingle's "Tingle for President" show this weekend. Have to admit, he had more concrete ideas for policy change in his one hour speech than are contained in any of the Axelrod's "Sure-to-make-Chris-Matthews-tear-up" speeches...

    It's time for some hard questions before we wake up in Nov. with buyer's remorse...we need to be able to know what it is we are actually voting for...and now is the time to find out.  

    • I saw Jimmy Tingle, too

      Yes, he had lots of policy proposals.  Like little windmills atop the traffic lights.  Days where there was no wind, you wouldn't need to stop.

      It's easy to sell silly specifics when your goal is a laugh.

      • Exactly, pablo, but...

        yes, indeed, it is easy to have specific proposals when it's just a comedy routine, it's supposed to be for laughs...but, electing a president should be more demanding...or no one will be saying HA-HA-HA next year.

    • $quot;Sure-to-make-Chris-Matthews-tear-up$quot; ???

      It was not in his eyes that Chris Matthews said he "felt something" when Obama spoke.

  13. in NY Times today

    No need for conjecture anymore.  From today's New York Times:

    In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Patrick said that he and Mr. Obama first talked about the attacks from their respective rivals last summer, when Mrs. Clinton was raising questions about Mr. Obama's experience, and that they discussed them again last week.

    Both men had anticipated that Mr. Obama's rhetorical strength would provide a point of criticism. Mr. Patrick said he told Mr. Obama that he should respond to the criticism, and he shared language from his campaign with Mr. Obama's speechwriters.

    Mr. Patrick said he did not believe Mr. Obama should give him credit.

    "Who knows who I am? The point is more important than whose argument it is," said Mr. Patrick, who telephoned The New York Times at the request of the Obama campaign. "It's a transcendent argument."

    David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Mr. Obama who also advised Mr. Patrick, said Sunday that Mr. Obama adapted the words from Mr. Patrick. Mr. Axelrod said that he did not write the words for either candidate.

    "They often riff off one another. They share a world view," Mr. Axelrod said. "Both of them are effective speakers whose words tend to get requoted and arguments tend to be embraced widely."

    • What....


      It was obvious from the get go that these were not Obama's words and were probably not really Patrick's words.  Everyone knows they are friends and share a political svengali.  The issue isn't whether Obama mis-appropriated.  

      What this illuminates, very clearly, is that Obama is every bit the passenger in a pre-established and effectively test driven political limosine that he accuses Clinton of being.  He is pre-packaged.  A political product whose words and demeanor have been in development, at the hands of others, for years.

      This is not conjecture.  He is not the change candidate.  He is the same politician in cool new wrapping selling a political product rebranded as "change".

      Problem is, of course, that change is just as often bad as it is good.


      • You know what must be frustrating?

        Even if your characterization was 100% valid (I happen to not agree- I think you've taken a grain of truth and baked a loaf of bread from it), I'd still vote for him.

        • I long...

          ...ago accepted the blinders people choose to wear when confronted with reality and the consequences it may bring.  It is far from frustrating at this point.

          The reality that that Obama is unquestionably a political animal being lead by a well oiled political machine and that it may result in his receipt of the democratic nomination will not reap the same diseased crop that the last eight years has brought so the fact that you would choose to vote for him is equally free of frustration.  I will vote for him should he be the candidate.  I won't be at all surprised, however, when his shortcomings become appartent both as a candidate and perhaps a president, because I didn't join in pretending that he didn't have any.

      • These $quot;all talk no substance$quot; claims

        all seem to come from partisans who aren't interested in doing any actual analysis of the guy's record.  

        Obama's got one, you know: he's been out there working on social justice issues for 25 years.    

        • I did....

 due dilligence on Sen. Obama.  His record is not bad but not particularly impressive.  He waffles as often as he leads.  He avoided some very touchy votes in the Illinois legislature by voting present (and I am not talking about the abortion votes) he was for coal to get elected and is now not behind it so much any more.  He has managed to convince most everyone under 30 I have spoken to that he voted no on the Iraq war (even though he was, of course, not in the Senate at the time) and has taken no real leadership positions since being elected and certainly has played the Iraq issue super safe.  That is just the Cliff's Notes.  

          As a politician of national recognition he is all talk and his record before that is entirely average.

  14. BMG had it first

    Apparently the Barak and Deval show is making the rounds big time:

  15. To sum up the arguments of this thread:

    I like Obama, so this is OK. I've long been a critic of Obama, so this is pathetic.  

  16. Now let's look at Hillary Clinton

    "Are Homosexuals Immoral?"  HC "I will let others conclude"

    "Tell me why you are anti-same-sex marriage"  HC "I like to consider myself pro-civil unions"

    And let's not forget HC "I believe in 'full equality' of benefits" when she was speaking once again about marriage equality and dodging

    For Hillary too many words, well picked and chosen, but wrong wrong wrong

    • At least they are her own words.

    • And...

      ...the difference is that Obama is in full support of gay marriage and has never done anything that people question in terms of its unwavering support for proud gay citizens.....and....oh....wait...

      he has the same exact positions as HRC on this issue.  

      Go figure.

      • Not entirely the same

        HRC only wants to remove the third part of DOMA, will not acknowledge DOMA as a bad thing, and by saying that she is pro Civil Unions and says that marriage laws should remain in the state's hands, she is only saying that she is for Civil Unions in New York--unless she moves from state to state.

        We crucified Kerry Healey for this yet we only as LGBT look for excuses for Hillary Clinton.  Mitt Romney back in 2004 was negotiating to give Massachusetts Civil Unions because he feared marriage may stick.  Romney was NOT all or nothing back then.  Hillary is pro-Civil Unions to get elected president and somehow intelligent LGBT and even many pro marriage equality leaders have a sit down and shut up and elect Hillary mentality.  I for one will not.  

        • Entirely...

          ...the same.  Obama stands for nothing more, nothing less.  In this regard he is not Deval Patrick.  He is not the better choice on this issue and that is basically indisputable.

          Hillary and Obama both suck on same sex marriage.  Woopee.

  17. And the Obama camp says:

    From CNN:

    The Obama camp also said Clinton had a pattern of borrowing some of the Illinois senator's signature phrases, including "Yes, We Can" and "Fired Up, Ready to Go."

    My thoughts: Using a phrase and stealing parts of a speech are two different things. No one owns "Fired Up, Ready to Go". If that's the case, I'd like to stake ownership to such gems as "Pumped Up", "Let's Rock" and "Away we go!"

    • Where is the stealing?

      Deval told him to use it.

      • Its a quote about quotes, so big whoop

        Both Patrick and Obama faced similar ridiculous criticisms and pointing out the phrases that have been important in shaping our national consciousness does not seem a bad retort.  

        Obama and Patrick, because they are good speakers, seem to get attacked for being less than substantive, despite the fact they have very detailed policy proposals.  Of course, Clinton has to try to turn Obama's strengths into weaknesses, similar to how the right-wing used Kerry's Vietnam War record against him as well.  

        But the fact is, if you read a Clinton speech it is often vacuous and lacking in detail, but just less inspiring as well, so no one focuses on that.

        Speeches are rhetorical devices - not lists of proposals.  We should not vote for Obama because he gives a good one.  Nor should we fail to support him for that very same reason

        • It is a big whoop...

          Obama's "pointing out phrases that have been important in shaping our national consciousness" is, of course, legitimate.

          However, "borrowing" the exact same speech on the subject without giving credit is not.  The fact that he "borrowed" the words from his friend, Deval Patrick, doesn't make it any less troubling.

          And nice try...trying to compare Clinton, on this issue, to the Republican right wingers who turned Kerry's war record against him.  That's an accusation I would expect to hear from the Republican right wingers.  

          Finally, you can (and you do) say a lot of things about Hillary Clinton, but "vacuous and lacking in detail"?  I don't think so.

          • Speeches aren't research papers

            and they are always loaded with stuff borrowed from other sources. I think it would have been wiser for Obama to give a node to Deval when using this, but don't think there is anything actually wrong with not doing so given that Deval told him to use the lines.

            • Yeah, right...

              ...he and Deval were discussing the issues of the day, and Deval told him to use his speech.  Right.

            • It's one thing to borrow

              It's another to completely lift, without attribution.

              I've always taken plagiarism very seriously, having written about it on my own blog on numerous occasions. Doing what Obama did, even if Patrick gave him permission (and I'm willing to bet he did), would have resulted in a big, fat 0 on a college paper. I don't think it would have been too much to ask for Obama to say, "My good friend, the Governor of Massachusetts, has a funny saying for times like these. "Just words." I had a dream - just words," yada, yada, yada.

              Can you think of a good reason, during a 15-20 minute stump speech, Obama couldn't have taken the 10 seconds to reference the original speech before he lifted it as his own?  

  18. Just diatribes

    It really troubles me that we have mediocre candidates to be crowned as the nominee of the Democratic Party. Please, let them continue to bicker and fight amongst themselves and let the Democratic Party come to its' senses and make a real leader the nominee of the Democratic Party for President.

    His name is Al Gore.

    Sincerely, Wayne Wilson Roslindale  

    • I like him, too, but if I'm not mistaken...

      ...he already had his chance.

      • errr....

        Had his chance?

        You're forgetting he won the popular vote.

        Now, you could have said, "he had his chance to run, but chose not to," but you didn't.

    • ya know...

      I've been wondering if we are on course to ensuring that neither of the potential nominees is electable. Both of the candidates and their supporters are trying so hard to knock down the other and say they can't win in November... it just might be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      I'm sure we've all heard and read things similar to what's expressed in this letter in the NY Times today. People who say they won't vote for one or the other candidate in November, or will but they won't do any campaigning, or else they'll sit it out.

      I'll work and vote for either candidate in the general election, but I feel I'm a dying breed.

      I don't think Al Gore is walking through that door any time soon (bonus points for the reference - never mind, too easy), but if he did, it surely would revive my enthusiasm.

    • Too late

      Al Gore has already ascended to a higher plane.

      While I think he has shown great leadership on the Global Warming issue, he did not show especially good leadership skills when he ran for president. Perhaps he is just not that kind of leader.

  19. Is this the best that the Clinton camp can come up with?

    If so they are obviously having a hard time coming up with anything better.

    All candidates by the way combine general themes with details and as has been noted elswhere here Obama has just as many details as Clinton.  What we still don't know and probably never will is the broader theme or purpose of the HRC campaign.  It can't really be experience because in that case Biden, Dodd, or Richardson would be the frontrunner.  We're sometimes told that the broad theme is universal health care, but as we know very well from the Clinton's past having a plan in now way shape or form guarantees that anything will come of it.

    • Experiences may vary

      This isn't the first time I've seen someone on BMG say something like "it can't really be experience because in that case Biden, Dodd or Richardson would be the frontrunner."  

      I just don't understand this argument. There are all types of experience. Those three and HRC all have very different levels and types of experience in a variety of issues. This "experience would lead to another candidate" argument just doesn't make sense.

    • The Clinton camp?

      I voted for Obama, and I came up with this all by my lonesome.  The second I heard the clip of Obama's speech on the radio, I knew he had ripped off Deval.  Just took a while before I had the time to put the YouTube together.

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Thu 18 Dec 2:14 AM