Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama Plagiarism Charges, Bush The Elder Endorses McCain, Youngest Superdelegate, And Interview With College Shooter's Girlfriend (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Happy New Week! We're beginning tonight with Anderson Cooper telling us that the democratic race is close. Very close. They can both taste it, people! (And it tastes like chicken.) But it seems the Obama campaign might have hit a small snag. Or did they? A Candy Crowley piece breaks it down for us. As per usual, the two candidates are playing a game of back-and-forth, with Clinton going on the offensive against Obama's alleged lack of solutions. But this time she has something else up her sleeve too: plagiarism charges. Apparently a part of one of Obama's speeches originated with a speech given by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Ruh roh. Although before we give Obama the Joe Biden treatment, it's important to point out that Patrick is totally cool with it and Obama claims they borrow from each other. I'm guessing this explanation will probably suffice for now.

I don't think Clinton really did herself any favors here with this calling out, but then again, with so much of Obama's campaign based on words, it's a legitimate issue to explore. I never mentioned it before, but I noticed quite a while ago that Obama had done a little borrowing. Alice Walker deserves a shout out is all I'm saying. I pretty much have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Plagiarism is a very serious issue, but Obama's speeches contain universal ideals that I'm not sure can be completely owned by one person. In any regards, I think perhaps the junior senator needs to learn that attribution is your friend.

For discussion of all this, we're next joined by David Gergen, Bay Buchanan, and Keith Boykin editor of "The Daily Voice." What's with Bay popping up all the time now? It's like a revolving door. Anyway, nobody on the panel thinks this is a death blow for Obama or anything. In fact, it seems like the general consensus is "meh." The Gerg thinks it's was a mistake, but not plagiarism. Keith tells us all candidates steal from each other (yay?). And when Bay is asked about a clip showing Bill Clinton kind of going off, she changes the subject and accuses Hillary Clinton of stealing from her brother Pat. Apparently in politics, everyone has sticky fingers.

Moving on now to a Tom Foreman piece where we learn that John McCain has dug himself a hole. The Maverick has done a little borrowing himself lately. Specifically, he's promised no new taxes. Sound familiar? Maybe you need to read his lips first. No new taxes was the broken promise of Bush 41, who has coincidentally just endorsed McCain. So, will the promise be kept this time? Eh, probably not so much. In case he hasn't noticed, (and he should have, since these are his issues), we kind of have a massive deficit, we're fighting two really expensive wars, and baby boomers will be retiring soon. All that's going to require some dough. But no worries. Maybe he'll just do what Bush 43 did and put the debt on the backs of your grandchildren. The kids will love it!

Back with our panel, both Keith and The Gerg are fairly boggled about this pledge, Keith deeming it irresponsible and The Gerg wondering how well he'll do managing the economy. Bay on the other hand, thinks this is all about gaining conservative love. You know, I have to say, I really don't understand conservatives when it comes to taxes. Nobody likes taxes. Of course we all want to keep as much of our money as we can. But taxes do a lot of good too. Sure, there's always something someone doesn't want to pay for--if I had a choice I'd rather not fund the war--but there's enough good to pay for that a part of me doesn't mind so much. So when someone prioritizes taxes above the war or healthcare, it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Actually, it tastes like greediness.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Anderson and Erica Hill inform us that Princess Diana's former butler is back in the news. Again?! I swear, it's been like a decade. When are they going to let that poor woman rest in peace? Anyway, apparently there's some video of the butler claiming he lied to the Princess Diana inquest and lovely things like that. Anderson informs us this jerk has already written four books about the late princess. Gonna exploit every cent (or, uh, euro) he can, I guess. You stay classy, butler dude! Oh, also? Anderson deserves a high five for this: "I have always avoided interviewing him, frankly, like, because it seems like playing into it." Psst, next time apply that same reasoning to Britney Spears coverage. Just saying.

Next up, we have a David Mattingly "Keeping Them Honest" piece on contributions to superdelegates. It seems that both Obama and Clinton have given out much coinage to these now very power people, leading to some whispers of vote buying. David paints this as all very unseemly, but is it? Not really. See, thing is, all democratic Congress members are superdelegates. And what did they want in 2006? To take back Congress. In the piece, it's brought up that my senator, Claire McCaskill, received funds from Obama for her 2006 campaign. Not mentioned is he also stumped for her in the state, because, well, he wanted her to win. They all wanted her to win, because again, they wanted to increase their numbers. People who were well financed helped out the little guys. I don't see anything wrong with it as it stands now.

Speaking of superdelegates, 21-year-old Jason Rae has returned to make me jealous again. Jason tells us he is still undecided and assures us he is also still unbribed. But he's definitely not unpopular. In fact, his phone and social calender seem to be quite busy: "I've met with, you know -- talked with President Clinton. I've talked with Chelsea Clinton, met with her, talked to Madeleine Albright, met with Michelle Obama, talked to Senator John Kerry, talked to Wisconsin's lieutenant governor, talked to Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. I've talked to the mayor of Milwaukee. I've talked to -- you know, everyone and anyone is trying to court my vote." Oh...shut up. And of course he's kind of likeable, so that just makes it all that more annoying. But hey man, back in 2004 Bill Clinton called me to remind me to vote, so, uh, I'm special too. Although come to think of it, he wasn't too chatty...and he kind of hung up on me when he was done talking.

Anderson brings up how Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind is no fan of the superdelegate system. Jason then goes on to start saying nice things about Kind, which has me writing "politician" in my notes, at the same time that Anderson says, "You sound like a politician right there." Yes, Jason confirms he has leader-of-the-free-world ambitions. Hopefully by the time he's old enough we'll be ready to break that wall down too. As for his vote, he thinks it should go to the party's best candidate. Initially, I thought that if I were in that situation I would vote for who carries the popular vote in my district, regardless of my preference, but, you know, if it was a Bush versus Kerry kind of situation (just both democrats), I'm not sure I could leave it to the people. It's a hard decision. And though I'm still totally jealous, I'm kind of glad that's not something I have to worry about.

After Jason, there's some Erica and Anderson banter that leads to a bizarre childhood picture war. Um, okay. Moving on to an interview Abbie Boudreau had with Jessica Baty, girlfriend of Northern Illinois University shooter Steven Kazmierczak. They had been living together, she had no idea he was capable of what happened, and she's pretty much in shock. And...this really doesn't answer any important questions, so there's that.

Coming back from commercial, Anderson points out that he had just said 'y'all.' "I was in New Orleans, and I think I picked up a y'all," he tell us. Um, Anderson, you actually say that all the time. Just FYI. Your sporadic light southern dialect has been bemusing me for well over two and a half years now. But don't get neurotic about it; it's kind of cute. Just don't say 'Missourah' and we're cool. The Shot tonight is a sea rescue of 10 French sailors. Scary. Anyway, the show was pretty good. Oh, for those wondering, I saw Michael Ware on American Morning this morning. Anderson had said in his live blogging he was going to be on 360 last week, but...nada. What's up with that? Bring on the Michael! Also, I'm going to have to start calling the behind-the-scenes blog posts "Sporadic Blog From the Back Row." Just saying. Show gets a B.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found it both interesting and worrisome that the super young super delegate hasn't made up his mind yet. What is he waiting for? The eenee meenee minee mo result in the voting booth?

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Big Apple Idiot said...

There is an odd but amusing sexual tension of sorts between AC and Erica, no?

12:51 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-Well, I didn't make up my mind until the last minute either. They're both good candidates (on the democratic side).

@big apple idiot-Uh...maybe a brother and sister type tension?

11:34 AM  

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