The Sin of Obama

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?


3 Responses to The Sin of Obama

  1. David Gordon February 22, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    Washington didn’t give the Farewell Address as a speech; it was really a “farewell letter.”

  2. Administrator February 23, 2008 at 3:05 am #

    Did he put the letter in an envelope? Did he write an Address upon the envelope? Aha.

  3. David Gordon February 23, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    I don’t get it.

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