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.Indeed, it's a tad ridiculous to attack Obama for using words neither he nor Patrick, but rather speechwriters, came up with.
Clips of both speeches have been dropped on YouTube in a concerted attack on the Obama campaign which neatly avoids being attributable in the way that a traditional attack ad would be. YouTube users like "wtmv" and "chrisoh7" joined yesterday apparently only to upload these videos. The latter's commenters, however, are mainly long-term Hillary Clinton supporters. Someone has found a way to make anonymous attack ads without even the chain of "ownership" of a 527 group. One has to wonder whether McCain's campaign is even close to being that net savvy.
Update The Swamp identifies the origin.
Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign wants everyone to see a campaign speech made in 2006 by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick just before he won that office and a recent speech by Sen. Barack Obama.And various outlets are linking to a Boston Globe story from last April which noted the identical rhetoric in Obama and Patrick's campaigns. Back then, though, it made not a ripple. Of course, back then Obama wasn't as serious a threat to Clinton and the Clinton campaign hadn't yet unveilled its nastier side fully.
Update 2 The Politico finally names a name - Clinton campaign communications director Howard Wolfson has directly accused Obama of plagiarism.
But as my good friend Kyle Moore points out, Gov. Patrick's hearty endorsement of Obama's using his words leaves the Clinton campaign with a definition problem:
pla·gia·rism –nounIt seems clear that the Clinton campaign conceived and orchestrated this attack on Obama from word one, including the anonymous YouTube drops. While it's true that Obama will take a hit here, simply because his rhetoric is revealed as calculated rather than spontaneous, the Clinton campaign may well end up taking a bigger hit as it throws any semblance of fair campaigning out the window - and with it possibly Democratic unity should Clinton win the party's nomination.