In honor of Vice President Joe Biden’s fundraising visit to our state this week, it’s worth noting that he is known for many slips of the tongue over his long political career, but one of his most memorable verbal faux pas was very much planned – and that was his plagiarizing a speech from a British politician during his first race for President back in 2008.
Biden’s use of another’s words for his own political agenda seems worth noting is because it gives him something in common with Jay Inslee, a connection that also became apparent this week.
Inslee’s national profile for environmental extremism was raised over the Memorial Day weekend by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman who highlighted an Inslee quote from the signing of the Pacific Coast Action Plan last October. Inslee had said, “We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.'”
Eloquent words for a rarely-eloquent man. But it turns out, they were not his – and his staff knew that.
A review of staff emails obtained from his office show that Inslee spokesman David Postman learned the phrase he was putting in Inslee’s speech last fall were actually from a letter written by former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
Now, we understand most people would probably not want it known that their words were actually put in their mouth by McGinn – but Inslee can ask Biden what the media thinks about politicians who speechify without attribution.