Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On plagarism and pride:

As everyone knows by now, Governor Deval Patrick and Senator Barack Obama have been friends and political allies for fifteen years and both say they talk several times a week. David Axelrod helped coordinate Patrick's campaign and oversees Obama's and according to CNN, as early as a year ago, both Patrick and Obama said publicly that they sometimes use each other's lines. Since yesterday, in at least two interviews, Patrick has made abundantly clear that they sometimes swap adages and that he encouraged Obama to employ the phrases in question. Plagiarism, by definition, involves theft. As a writer, I take the charge extremely seriously. If I thought Obama stole another's words, I'd forfeit my position as county delegate. But it's like Patrick gave him the keys and said, "Here, borrow my car" and the Clinton campaign is crying, "Grand theft auto!" Logically and morally, it doesn't make sense.

Re what Michelle Obama said about feeling pride in her country for the first time in her adult life: I have complete respect for her and I like that she often speaks off the cuff and perhaps she misspoke, but any way you parse it, it was a ridiculous thing for a potential first lady to say to a room full of reporters. Please, Mrs. Obama, do not morph into Teresa Heinz-Kerry.

No comments: