Barack Obama has developed a troubling reputation for blaming the results of his incompetence on his predecessor, George W. Bush. According to one of the 43rd president’s speechwriters, however, Obama can legitimately point the finger at Bush regarding much of the content of his latest State of the Union address.
Marc Thiessen, who was the lead speechwriter for the 2007 State of the Union speech delivered by Bush, publicly accused Obama of plagiarizing a large portion of that address when composing Tuesday night’s delivery.
“It was eerily familiar,” Thiessen explained, noting that while none of Bush’s lines were repeated verbatim, both speeches contained many of the same very specific themes.
“There were lines like, ‘Our job is to help Americans build a future and opportunity, a future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy, a future of hope and opportunity requires that all citizens have affordable and available health care, extending opportunity and hope depends on a stable supply of energy,’” he said. “All of that came from the 2007 State of the Union from George W. Bush.”
Obama is often praised for his oratorical skills; however, much of his latest speech was marred by his stunted annunciation and tendency to stumble over his words. Of course, according to Thiessen, they weren’t even his words.
Accusations of plagiarism are nothing new in the world of politics – or in Obama’s career.
Researchers have identified several passages and themes from his book, “The Audacity of Hope,” that were apparently lifted or heavily inspired by previous works. Additionally, several speeches – including his 2011 State of the Union address – have elicited similar accusations.
That speech, according to an opinion piece in U.S. World and News Report, “contained enough recycled ideas and lines lifted from speeches of others to make historians wince.”
–B. Christopher Agee
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