If Barack Obama gave a speech that used someone else’s words – with the other writer’s permission and even encouragement – is that “plagiarism”? Or is it just having a speechwriter – something pretty much all politicians do? (For example, it’s no mystery why George Washington’s farewell address is more eloquent than any other speech he ever gave; you can do worse than having Madison and Hamilton ghosting for you.)
As far as I can tell, Obama’s alleged sin differs from the ordinary use of speechwriters only in that the words he used had been aired previously rather than being created exclusively for him.
So is it just the social faux pas of appearing in a certain dress when someone else has been wearing the same style?