Who you calling a plagiarist?

By Megan McArdle

During the debate, Dan Drezner suggested to me over IM that Hillary Clinton was plagiarizing Primary Colors. He backs it up on his own blog:

Hillary Clinton, February 21, 2008 debate with Barack Obama: "You know, lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in, it's change you can Xerox." Hillary Clinton, later on in the same debate: "You know, the hits I've taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country." Jack Stanton speech, in Primary Colors (New York: Random House, 1996), p. 162: "Y'know, I've taken some hits in this campaign. It hasn't been easy for me, or my family. It hasn't been fair, but it hasn't been anything compared to the hits a lot of you take every day."

Meanwhile, Chris Beam at Slate picks up on another instance:

Hillary, however, pivots in a way that evokes, of all things, her Diner Sob. Only this time, she sets herself up: “People often ask me, ‘How do you do it? How do you keep going?’ ” That’s the exact same question asked by Marianne Pernold Young at the Café Espresso in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the eve of the primary. Clinton then goes into a colorful anecdote about a medical center filled with people injured in Iraq. She doesn’t exactly tear up, but it’s a deliberately emotional moment. (We see Chelsea looking teary afterwards.) At the very end, she borrows a line that John Edwards used toward the end of his campaign. "We're going to be fine," she said, referring to herself and Obama. (Edwards always said it about himself and Elizabeth.) "I just hope we can say the same thing about the American people."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/02/who-you-calling-a-plagiarist/2784/