The Audacity of Obama’s Speechwriters

Much has been made of Barack Obama’s speech-making capabilities in the last couple of weeks, and Hillary Clinton has even been accused by some people of cribbing some of his phrases. But is it is possible that Obama himself borrowed one of his signature lines, from a most unlikely source? “I tuned out the NH debate the other night to watch Man of the Year, in which Robin Williams plays a comedian who gets ‘elected’ President,” one reader commented on John Heilmann’s piece about Obama in last week’s New York. One of Williams’s speeches in the film, he noticed, was strikingly similar to one Obama gave in an ad in Iowa: “We are not a nation of red states or of blue states; we are the United States of America.” So we got a copy of both speeches, played them one after the other, and, well, what do you know? Now, we’re not accusing anyone of plagiarism: Like “I’m a uniter, not a divider” before it, it’s a pretty facile construction, one that could have easily just, you know, seeped in. But on the off chance that Obama’s aides are turning to Hollywood for inspiration, we highly recommend studying Martin Sheen in The West Wing. Or Michael Douglas in The American President. Now that’s a man who would sweep the primaries. Click here to watch the video!

Related: The Changeling [NYM]