Reagan Speechwriter: Biden Just Plagiarized From Reagan - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Reagan Speechwriter: Biden Just Plagiarized From Reagan
Joe Biden (YouTube screenshot)

Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden introduced his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Biden said,

We can define America simply in one word: “Possibilities.” Possibilities. Let me say it again; possibilities. That’s America.

Watching as Biden said this was one Ken Khachigian. Ken was astonished. Ken, you see, was once a speechwriter for our former boss — President Ronald Reagan. And he quickly sent a note to his former colleagues — accompanied by a copy of a speech delivered by President Reagan on September 3, 1984. The president was speaking at a Reagan–Bush campaign rally in Fountain Valley, California. And in his typical, always upbeat Reagan style, the president said, among other things, this:

Now, we’ve heard what others have offered to the American people today, in this year. They have said that America is nothing if it isn’t promises. Well, America isn’t about promises; it never has been. America is about promise. It’s about possibility.

Say again, bold print for emphasis supplied, here is Biden:

We can define America simply in one word: “Possibilities.” Possibilities. Let me say it again; possibilities. That’s America.

Here is Reagan: “Well, America isn’t about promises; it never has been. America is about promise. It’s about possibility.”

In other words? Says Ken: “Reagan spoke 36 years ago saying America is ‘about possibility.’ Biden swiped it straight out of that speech.”

And so it appears Biden has done exactly that.

This is, of course, not the first run-in Joe Biden has had with plagiarism.

As this New York Times story from September 16, 1987, illustrates. The headline in the Times story by Maureen Dowd was this:

Biden Is Facing Growing Debate On His Speeches

The story began by saying:

Last weekend, after a report that Mr. Biden had appropriated a British politician’s speech as his own to close a debate last month, he said the reason was simply oversight: he had intended to credit Neil Kinnock, the Labor Party leader, for the moving description of Mr. Kinnock’s ancestors.

But this week politicians of both parties, some of them partisans of other candidates in the Democratic Presidential race, have pointed out to the press additional instances in which the Delaware Senator has borrowed memorable passages from others’ speeches without attributing them. These instances have become a major subject of discussion throughout the capital.

Indeed they were. In fact, my younger self, then working in the White House for President Reagan, is quoted in the Times story this way:

At the White House, N. Jeffrey Lord, associate director in the office of political affairs, was watching as Senator Biden spoke. A devout Robert Kennedy fan as a youth who keeps a print of the Jamie Wyeth portrait of John Kennedy in his office at the Reagan White House, Mr. Lord had listened to a memorial record of Robert Kennedy’s speeches so often that he knew them by heart.

As Senator Biden spoke, Mr. Lord found himself suddenly reciting the words along with him. ”I was finishing sentences before he was,” said Mr. Lord, who called The New York Times to point out the similarities. ‘’I wanted to listen because Biden had such a reputation as a great speaker that I wanted to hear him. But suddenly I realized the speech wasn’t Joe Biden, it was Robert Kennedy. He was repeating the exact language, without attributing it. I was really ticked.’ ”

The Biden plagiarizing scandal became so big and explosive it finally caused Biden to withdraw from the 1988 presidential race a few days after this article was published.

So let’s sum up, shall we? Thirty-three years ago Joe Biden runs for president and has to withdraw because he is caught plagiarizing, per the New York Times, from Neil Kinnock, the British Labour Party leader, and also from President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

Now, just yesterday, a Reagan speechwriter suddenly realizes that in Biden’s speech introducing Kamala Harris he has plagiarized yet again, this time from — President Ronald Reagan.

Somewhere, one suspects President Reagan is shaking his head and saying of Biden: Well, there he goes again.


Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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