Category: 2016 Presidential Campaign

Michelle’s “Master Class.”

This is a can’t-miss speech.

Courtesy C-SPAN

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke in Manchester, New Hampshire last week at a presidential campaign event on behalf of Secretary Hillary Clinton. But this speech was no mere campaign stump speech. It was a speech that Washington Post columnist Jena McGregor described as a “master class” that “…should be required viewing for every leader.”

Her speech named the disrespect so often aimed at women and rebuked it. And in so doing, the First Lady elevated our discourse, reminding us to remember the dignity and worth of every human being, young and old.

Her speech demands our attention. Make time to watch and listen to her important words.

Speaking of the First Lady, make sure you read To the First Lady, With Love. Its lead essay was written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Plagiarism. It’s Called Plagiarism.

Courtesy CNN

The split screen doesn’t lie. Neither do the words.

Melania Trump (or her team) plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech delivered before the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Full stop.

Whether you take her at her word that she wrote the speech with as little help as possible or believe that she relied on a speechwriter (or a team of writers), that speech was plagiarized. Regardless of the denials of the Trump campaign, or the minimizing attempted by campaign surrogates.

This is something you do not do. Ever.

Never use other people’s words as your own without attribution.

It is wrong. Your deceit will be uncovered–quickly (hat tip to Jarrett Hill–credited as the first to notice the plagiarized passage and to tweet about it).

And mocked mercilessly.

So don’t do it. Don’t even be tempted by it.

Don’t plagiarize.




Wednesday Word: He Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.

Musical Muse: “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg


May I share a Wednesday Word with you?

More to the point, I’d like to share some words of advice: Don’t beg for pity applause. Never, ever implore your audience to applaud for you, on command, at any point during a speech or a presentation.

At times, we may have desired a certain response or result so badly that we resort to begging. We’re only human, so I won’t judge–unless you’re begging your audience to applaud for you.

Which is exactly what I just watched Jeb Bush do at a New Hampshire town hall event earlier today. (Hat tip to Steve Benen at The MaddowBlog.)

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The Victors in Iowa

I’ve tried to avoid posting a lot of speeches by the 2016 presidential aspirants. That was a deliberate decision. It would be very easy to simply post speeches by politicians on a blog dedicated in large part to speeches, and I’ve tried to resist that urge.

That said, the speeches delivered by the man or woman who will serve as our next president are incredibly important. We all need to hear and listen to what is said, and how it is being said, as well as what isĀ not said, and why.

Now that actual votes will be cast–rather than blather informed by various levels of intelligence regarding polls with various degrees of accuracy–we can really focus on what the aspirants have to offer.

Finally, I hasten to add that the speeches posted here, or in subsequent posts, do not reflect endorsement of the policies and ideology expressed by them.

On to the victors.

First, Ted Cruz on the Republican side:

Courtesy CNN

Now, Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side:

Courtesy CNN

Next stop: New Hampshire!

“A Blast From the Jim Crow Past”: Hillary Clinton and Voting Rights in Alabama

Today, the nation will be treated to wall-to-wall coverage of Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House panel to grandstand about her email to investigate her role in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi, Libya attack that killed four people, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

I associate myself with Senator Bernie Sanders’ sentiments: I’m tired of hearing about her emails, too.

So before today’s media frenzy, I offer a part of a speech made by Secretary Clinton on an issue that doesn’t garner nearly the airtime it should: the assault on voting rights–this time, in Alabama.

Courtesy ABC 33/40

Voting is a sacred part of any democracy. SACRED. Barriers to voting are barriers to democracy. You can’t have a democracy without the freedom to choose one’s elected representatives.

I thought the Secretary did a good job here by personalizing the issue and using passion to deliver her message.

And I am glad she used the speech to spotlight this issue. The shameful closing of 31 driver’s license offices in 31 counties–ones where African-Americans are the majority of registered voters–should raise alarm bells. Indeed, it seems to be quite a “blast from the Jim Crow past.”

I’d love to believe this idea, ostensibly a cost-cutting move, had no discriminatory intent. It surely has a discriminatory effect. And history is full of examples that Alabama is a leopard that will not change its spots unless compelled to do so.

The House should hold hearings to expose the weakening of voting rights in so many states and explore ways to strengthen voting rights nationwide.

But I won’t hold my breath. Instead, I will watch her speech.