Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The rhetoric of words...

I understand the reasoning behind the focus on the words Barack Obama stating on the campaign trail are not his own, yet I'm more troubled by the fact that he's making a promise that his health care plan will be in effect before the end of his first year as president than I am about the now more than apparent "words" story.

I'd much rather see the Washington Post focus on what seems to be a very unrealistic promise that is being made to voters, above and beyond the typical pie in the sky campaign promises than Oratory Has Helped Drive Obama's Career -- and Critics' Questions. Though I was surprised to learn that the "fired up and ready to go" wasn't something that was original either...
Obama gave his rivals an opening to question his speechmaking recently when he borrowed a riff about the power of words that was used two years ago by Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick (D), a friend and informal adviser. But the episode also illustrated a basic fact about Obama's ever-evolving stump speech: It is replete with outside influences, from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ("the fierce urgency of now") to Edith Childs, the councilwoman in Greenwood County, S.C., who inspired the "fired up, ready to go" chant that Obama used for months to end the speech.

Then again, as much as I am not one of the Obamamanics out there, it's almost impossible anymore to make a speech without using someone else's words, the trick is to at least credit them, which is part of the reason this is an issue.

I'd still rather see the focus be on what is being promised...