[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Y'know, it kind of figures that Sarah Palin -- whose selection as John McCain's running mate raised enduring questions about the Republicans' vetting operations -- would have such a deft touch when it comes to endorsing candidates.
First there was the Nikki Haley fiasco, which of course is very much still ongoing.
Now we have another Palin endorsee, Idaho's Vaughn Ward, caught red-handedly plagiarizing a well-known speech by ... Barack Obama!
Vaughn Ward, a GOP candidate for Idaho's First Congressional district, is facing charges that he swiped key passages from Barack Obama's iconic 2004 Democratic National Convention speech for his own campaign kickoff speech in January.Notes Jared Keller:
The specific passages in question have since been spliced together by a Tea Party activist who asks, "Who Is Vaughn Ward Really?"
Mike Tracy, a spokesman for Ward's campaign tried to downplay the video, telling Politico that the attack was a sign that "[f]olks are getting desperate -- they're saying anything to get Vaughn to go after him. If anyone thinks he's anything like Obama, they're dead wrong."
These allegations come after a series of missteps for the GOP candidate's campaign. Ward fired his campaign manager following an embarrassing discovery that he had borrowed heavily from the campaign language of various other GOP politicians. Ward later sought to rebound from that hiccup with a high-profile appearance with Sarah Palin, who endorsed him -- along with other military veterans -- back in March, but the event was slightly tarnished by multiple reports showing that Ward had referred to Puerto Rico as a "country" during a recent debate.
Palin stopped in Idaho to endorse Ward as the GOP nominee to challenge Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick in Idaho's first congressional district. Unfortunately for Palin, Ward has been subject to his own controversy after apparently plagiarizing a speech from another politician: Barack Obama. More specifically, the congressional hopeful cribbed a passage nearly word-for-word from Obama's famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a speech which made him a household name.One of Vaughn's GOP primary opponents, Lucas Baumbach, is being credited with the video.
"Palin's endorsement is seen as something of great value among Republicans," writes Adams. "But the string of unfortunate events that occurred not long after Palin has given her support makes one wonder if there isn't a 'reverse Midas touch' effect: that rather than turning things to gold, Palin instead turns everything she touches into ... well, the opposite of gold."
Ah, the Schadenfreude.