CommunityThe Bullpen

Scott Brown Plagiarized 2002 Elizabeth Dole Speech

Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Senator facing a serious challenge next year from Elizabeth Warren, drew inspiration from an unlikely source for his official website: Elizabeth Dole.

A Democratic group has unearthed a bit of inspirational autobiography on Senator Scott Brown’s official website that was lifted verbatim from Elizabeth Dole’s site, language that originated in a campaign speech.

In a message to students, the Massachusetts senator uses the exact words as remarks delivered by the former North Carolina senator at her campaign kickoff in 2002.

Brown’s staff acknowledged yesterday the words originally were Dole’s and said their presence in Brown’s message was the result of a technical error.

I believe the technical error was “cut and paste.” Actually, the alibi was that Brown’s Web staff modeled their website after Dole’s website, and some of the, er, words, got left on there.

Sure, these are inspirational words: “I was raised to believe that there are no limits to individual achievement and no excuses to justify indifference. From an early age, I was taught that success is measured not in material accumulations, but in service to others. I was encouraged to join causes larger than myself, to pursue positive change through a sense of mission, and to stand up for what I believe.” Why wouldn’t you borrow them? Sure, it’s a statement of personal beliefs and values, but who doesn’t have easily mimicked personal beliefs?

But I have to question the source for the plagiarism. Elizabeth Dole? She was perhaps the laziest and most uninspired Senator in recent history. She presided over the Republican campaign arm of the Senate in 2006, the year that Democrats took it over. And then she was unceremoniously dumped by voters for Kay Hagan in 2008. Is that really the role model for Brown?

If so, people should send their resumes to Elizabeth Warren, Washington, DC, 20006…

Previous post

Morning Must Reads: Congress Passes Trade Deals while Families Suffer

Next post

Apparently American Population Now Stands at about 200 or So People

David Dayen

David Dayen