Obama Calls Plagiarism Flap ?Best of Times, Worst of Times?
Tells Hillary: ?Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner?
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama responded today to Sen. Hillary Clinton?s charge that he plagiarized a speech, saying of the controversy, ?It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.?
Mr. Obama?s somewhat cryptic remark came at a fundraiser in Houston in which he dared his rival to tell the truth about the brouhaha, declaring, ?You can?t handle the truth!?
The Illinois senator also told his supporters that Mrs. Clinton was trying to use the plagiarism allegations to back him into a corner, but warned, ?Nobody puts Baby in a corner.?
Mr. Obama?s last remark raised eyebrows, in no small part because people were puzzled as to why he had suddenly referred to himself as ?Baby.?
But the Illinois senator, who exhorted the crowd at the fundraiser to ?show me the money,? seemed dismissive of Mrs. Clinton?s accusations, later telling MSNBC?s Andrea Mitchell, ?Frankly, my dear, I don?t give a damn.?
Professor Davis Logsdon, who studies plagiarism in the speeches of presidential candidates at the University of Minnesota?s School of Public Oratory, says that accidental plagiarism can often occur in the hurried atmosphere of a political campaign: ?As Obama himself has often said, he feels the need? the need for speed.?
For his part, Mr. Obama seems to have moved past the controversy altogether, greeting his audience at a campaign rally in El Paso with his trademark welcome: ?Hello, I?m Johnny Cash.?
Elsewhere, President George W. Bush said that while he recognized Kosovo, he could not recognize Kosovo on a map.