Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Sure, I stole it. But isn't that the point? That's what it's there for.
Barack Obama uses a line or two from someone else and all of a sudden it's a big campaign story. But should it be a story at all? Plagiarism is such a fuzzy area. Just because someone once used it, doesn't mean it can't be used again. Ask Sylvester Stallone. Ask any network executive who ever pitched a sitcom idea. Do you think Gary Marshall said, "I call it Laverne & Shirley and it's an exact ripoff of I Love Lucy. Of course not. Why? Because it's American capitalism at its best. Oh, we may change a word or two, but since when is recycling bad. It's not stealing. It's protecting the environment.
The point is, we don't need less plagiarism. We need more. Certain phrases have said it better than it can be ever said again, so why settle on second best? Certainly we wouldn't want second best from our leaders.
"Fool me once..... shame on... uhh... you can't....er...ummm....ya can't fool me again..."
Imagine if something like that came out of the mouth of our Commander in Chief? It would be an insult to the American people, wouldn't it?
So, as the campaign marches on and one administration replaces another, let us bathe, not in the darkness of staid and weak phrasing, but in the glory of greatness. From the first announcement into the 2008 race to inauguration day 2009, I give you, political plagiarism at it's copy infringement best; how it could have been and can still be the most quoted campaign season ever. And if you don't like it, frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.
I see dead people.
-Candidates describing how they'll win Chicago.
I'll get you my pretty...and your little wife too.
-Clinton to Obama
You had me at hello.
-Oprah to Obama
Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten me into.
-Hillary to Bill
-McCain's intro at the Republican Convention
This is for all the lonely people.
-Mike Gravel rationalizing his continued run
I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.
-McCain suggesting a cabinet post to Romney if he drops out
Shaken, not stirred.
-Dick Morris describing the enthusiasm in the Clinton camp.
Houston, we have a problem
-Clinton during Texas Primary
What if I say I'm not like the others.
-Ralph Nader considering another run
Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!
All the world is a stage...Nothing can come of nothing
-Fred Thompson explaining why he entered the presidential race and why he quit.
Say hello to my little friend.
-Elizabeth Kucinich introducing her husband
I am big. It's the picture that got small.
-Joe Biden describing how he was holding his campaign together.
Show me the money.
Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
-McCain agreeing to be a guest on Sean Hannity's show
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
-Dick Cheney promoting the benefits of his last 6 years.
A plague on both your houses.
- Rush Limbaugh
Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake.
-Obama referring to Bill Clinton
-Hillary Clinton introducing her Super Delegates
You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been something, instead of a bum, which is what I am."
-Bill O'Reilly, during a moment of clarity, explaining why he thinks electing Clinton or Obama is dangerous for America
I'll have what she's having.
-Bill Clinton during Hillary Clinton swearing in.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
-George W. Bush at the Wailing Wall
Award-winning TV writer Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" www.greatfailure.com