Deval Patrick’s Timeline Doesn’t Mesh with Reality

By Jennifer Parker

Feb 19, 2008 11:42am

Speaking to the New York Times Sunday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick attempted to excuse his friend Sen. Barack Obama’s lifting of part of his October 2006 "Just words" speech.

“In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Patrick said that he and Mr. Obama first talked about the attacks from their respective rivals last summer, when Mrs. Clinton was raising questions about Mr. Obama’s experience, and that they discussed them again last week," the Times’ Jeff Zeleny wrote. "Patrick said he told Mr. Obama that he should respond to the criticism, and he shared language from his campaign with Mr. Obama’s speechwriters.”

But Obama was quoted using Patrick’s language before the Summer of 2007.

"’We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal.’ Those are just words," Obama was quoted as saying in a March 19, 2007 New Republic story. " ‘I have a dream.’ Just words.”

So….the claim that Patrick an Obama "first" discussed this last Summer does not make sense.

It should also be noted that in addition to the "Yes We Can" slogan that Obama used in 2004, Patrick used in 2006, and Obama uses today, other language from the two clients of political guru David Axelrod has come from both men’s mouths.

To wit:

Patrick in June 2006, at the Massachusetts Democratic party convention:  "I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

Obama one year later, as quoted in USA Today: "I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

Just words?

- jpt

UPDATE: Some folks have pointed out that when Obama borrowed the line on voting your aspirations in Portsmouth, NH, on December 21, 2007, he footnoted Patrick, saying, "Don’t vote your fears, I’m stealing this line from my buddy, Deval Patrick, who stole a bunch of lines from me when he ran for the governorship, but it`s the right one. Don`t vote your fears, vote your aspirations."

But in my original post, I wasn’t referring to that quote.

I was referring to a month before, in November 2007, when Obama according to news coverage stood on the steps of the Clarendon County Courthouse in Manning, S.C., and, according to USA Today, said:

"Now, I’ve heard that some folks aren’t sure America is ready for an African-American president, so let me be clear," he told his mostly black audience. "I never would have begun this campaign if I weren’t confident I could win. But you see, I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

Don’t believe me OR USA Today? Fine.

Check out the Obama website where they have the speech posted — no credit to Deval Patrick is given:

"Now, I’ve heard that some folks aren’t sure America is ready for an African-American president, so let me be clear: I never would have begun this campaign if I weren’t confident I could win. But you see, I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

Or watch it HERE.

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