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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Biden on Dowd on Biden on Biden

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mo Mo Do brings up further allegations leveled by Maureed Dowd against Joe Biden during his 1987 run for President.

Who knew there was a blog dedicated singularly to Maureen Dowd?

The comment goes like this: "Dowd was also leaked from a Republican t proof that Biden was frequently using Robert Kennedy's speeches without attribution. You can see the quotes here."

The link takes you to a Dowd article from September 16 with the headline "Biden Is Facing Growing Debate On His Speeches." The article lines out a quote from RFK and places it next to an excerpt Biden gave to the California Democratic Convention. Needless to say, there are obvious similarities.

Biden recounts the RFK riff in his memoir, Promises to Keep:
Later that day the San Jose Mercury News was calling. They wanted a response to new allegations. Hadn't I used a Bobby Kennedy quote without attribution in a speech in California, and a Hubert Humphrey line in another? I'd never tried to hide those quotes, but now I was finding out that one of my speechwriters had inserted an RFK line into the speech in California without telling me. People from the Hart campaign had brought it up then. Newsweek correspondent Howard Fineman would refer to the hubbub a few days later as somewhere between a traffic ticket and a minor misdeameanor, but I knew what was happening. There was a hint of blood in the water, and it was mine. These reporters who kept calling, none of whom had any personal experience of me, were starting to see the emergence of a pattern . . . a character flaw. Until then I hadn't seen it coming, or I thought I could handle it. But the alarm bells went off for Jill right away. They were questioning the one thing she saw as my greatest strenght--and something I would never be able to defend with words alone. 'Of all the things to attack you on,' she said, almost in tears. 'Your integrity?' (p. 190-191)
"A speechwriter did it" seems a weak answer to a plagiarism charge. After all, you're ultimately responsible for the words that are coming out of your mouth.

All the same, Biden's contention has always been that to use the language of those who have come before is to honor them and bring them into conversation with todays problems.

As the Governor said of Todd: Biden's still my guy.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:46 AM

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