The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Bush speechwriter: Obama plagiarized GWB’s 2007 SOTU



As dark clouds continue to gather over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, all but the most diehard Obama worshipers grudgingly concede that his presidency has entered its lame duck phase. Some analysts have drawn comparisons between the second term of the current occupant of the White House and that of his immediate predecessor.

Bruce Drake, writing at Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank, notes:

Barack Obama and George Bush have at least one thing in common when it comes to the second terms they won — the first year of their encores have been downers when it came to their public images. Both experienced falloffs in overall job approval and in Americans’ perceptions of their leadership, ability to get things done and trustworthiness.

For one observer, even last night’s State of the Union address had an oddly familiar ring, sounding like something George W. Bush might have said. That’s because the words were something Bush did say. Mark Thiessen, the observer in question and lead Bush speechwriter, had written them for Bush’s 2007 SOTU.

Appearing on “The Kelly File,” Thiessen said:

It was eerily familiar. There were lines like, “Our job is to help Americans build a future of hope and opportunity. A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy. A future of hope and opportunity requires our citizens have affordable and available health care.” “Extending opportunity and hope depends on a stable supply of energy.” All of that came from the 2007 State of the Union address by George W. Bush. So, Barack Obama has gone from blaming George W. bush to plagiarizing George W. Bush.

I went back and took a look at the Bush speech, the text of which is here. Here are the exact lines Thiessen was evidently referring to:

Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and to help them build a future of hope and opportunity. And this is the business before us tonight. A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy, and that is what we have. We are now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs so far.

If you read the entire speech, you’ll notice there are differences. There is not a single instance in which Bush ridiculed his opponents across the aisle or threatened to use “his pen and his phone” to bypass Congress and the U.S. Constitution.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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  • BostonTea101st

    I’m confused. Those lines didn’t appear in Obama’s SOTU. According to the transcripts he even only used the word “hope” once (and hopeful once). Comparing the two there is a similar tone but no similar language. How did the speechwriter get so confused?

    • Al Barrs

      You do not need to use the EXACT worlds to be a plagiarist! Merriam Webster Dictionary: Plagiarize; to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas. Nuf said…

      • BostonTea101st

        Right. What ideas exactly were those again? Improve the economy?

        There was so much else that could be attacked in the SOTU, it seems silly to make-up some plagiarism scandal. And it’s lazy reporting to not compare the speeches at all.

      • Bob G

        Go away commie troll.

      • sc

        Bob, you should know by now that you can not use logic or common sense when dialoging with an obutt, it’s sort of like trying to poke marshmallows in a wild cats r&*^, they just won’t allow it.

      • Eric Haulenbeek

        Obama has been one disappointment after the next for well over five years now and this is just one more reason to not like this clown. He never was what he claimed to be, and a clueless plagiarist is just one more reason not to trust the lying creep!

    • Observing Christian

      Obama and his speech writer, after years of governing this nation, face the fact that at at least some of Bush’s basic assumtions that must be in place to have a prosperous people and economy are still valid. So these ideas were adopted for State of the Union 2014 address. It is unfortunate for him and for our nation that this administration would not and did not give credit to Obama’s predecessor, President Bush, for the adoption of this self-evident ststement. If he had, then he might have gained some credibility with people like me for having the humility to recognise a self-evident truthful principle that could bridge the bipartisan gap that he so desperately needs to bridge in his lame duck phase of his governance. Instead, he threatens to tule us by Presidential decree as much as he can and he gets accused of plagiary. Hubris like this administration retains is ruining them and it corrodes our government. What a shame! Pray for God to guide our voting in 2014. Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to break through our leaders’ blind pride so that they will govern us with humility and wisdim and not with Alinsky ‘s satanic doctrine. I, for one, have faith in miracles. May God save us individually and collectively as a nation. Only then will God fully bless us when we operate in the paraneters of His perfect will.

      • Bob G

        We get the point so take all the marbles out of your mouth. KISS. Keep it simple stupid.

      • BostonTea101st

        Ideas like… affordable heath care, improving the economy, and energy reform? Those are ideas every single President has had… ever. Regardless of how terrible Obama is, he didn’t plagiarize those ideas.

      • Eric Haulenbeek

        I think I’ll trust Marc Thiessen’s word on this subject. As a professional speech writer with years of experience on the subject, he’d be the guy to know what Obama’s up to in this instance. It’s not like truth-telling is high on Mr. Obama’s morality index!

      • BostonTea101st

        Never trust someone else to tell you what to think. That’s exactly how they get control to mislead you. Especially when it’s something as easy to check as this. The whole article is written in a way to avoid doublechecking. They take the time to say “those words did appear in Bush’s speech” but not to check if the words appear in Obama’s speech? It’s just suspicious. Don’t be afraid to question the media or political figures, they don’t know better than you just because they’re in charge.

      • Eric Haulenbeek

        Read the speech… I have, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Obama lifted it.

      • BostonTea101st

        I have, and remember hearing it the first time. They’re SOTUs, they all have the same tone and rhetoric “improve the economy, the state of the union is strong, blah blah blah”. Can you point me toward things in Obama’s speech that match parts of Bush’s speech? I just don’t see it and haven’t seen any news sources actually quoting the parts of Obama’s speech they think are the same everyone just references Bush’s speech which is only half the battle.

    • Bob G

      Big fail troll. Change your avatar and name. Your mom is calling you for dinner from your basement abode.

      • BostonTea101st

        What? This might surprise you but not every single conservative is exactly the same. If you want to be a robot then go read with the rest of your libot friends.

      • Bob G

        I reiterate troll. Change your name to Prog/Social/Libby/Commy and squirrel yourself away in mom’s basement. You disgust me.

  • Geoffrey Britain

    Plagiarizing GWB’s 2007 SOTU speech is the least of Barack Obama’s sins. But it does provide insight into the moral and intellectual backruptcy of the man and his administration.

  • Twitch

    Not the first time this sort of thing has happened. JFK plagiarized Warren Harding.

  • dashandra monika

    you all be racist! his speech was fresh, original. just like a pile of s..t

  • BGills

    Wow, I knew that speech sounded very familiar!
    The glaring difference was Obama trying to use his inability to come to a compromise as a Leader, to justify the use of executive orders, and a way to usurp the powers grated the Congress. He only highlighted his inability to admit his failure as an effective, and open-minded Leader.
    His assertion that our system of checks, and balances, have somehow become an intolerable obstacle, that somehow grants him the power, and right, to force his questionable policies on the American People with only the consensus of one, can only be interpreted as the unprecedented power grab of a Tyrant, and not a Presidential Leader.
    No matter how difficult it was for prior administrations to come to a compromise, they hammered away at it until a bipartisan consensus was reached. They used the power of negotiation, the give, and take, required to achieve hard-won reward of success, and did not, seek out short-cuts by overstepping, or abusing, the powers granted the office of President.

  • AFS1970

    Even if it turns out to be plagiarized, it would be the fault of his speech writer, who in true Washington fashion will be fired for the good of the country and nothing will stick to BHO. He may even end up looking like an innocent victim. He will say something nice but noncommittal about Bush and the RINO’s will say what a great guy he is. We should just leave this one be.

    • HappyG

      Ah, will the buck ever stop at Obo’s desk for you?

      • AFS1970

        Like I said, the buck will stop at his desk, he will act shocked and dismayed, fire the speech writer and look like a hero. Remember that few if any political speeches are written by the person giving them, they all have large staffs who write them, then they go through a couple of agencies like State to make sure they will not cause an international incident, then they go to the speaker to learn. Of course the teleprompter king has no need for that last step.

  • rank

    So did Joe Biden write the SOTU? Seems like Joe had some problems with plagiarizing on his resume. Yep, if that happened Joe is likely to blame. Phew, for a minute there Obama might have had to accept some blame. Oh wait, it could have been Bush’s fault for those words. Yep, it was likely Bush’s fault, again. /S

    • sc

      of course it’s Bush fault, he knew that barry the imposter was going to us them and jumped in ahead of him, shame on Bush, bad boy.

  • frankenbiker

    The difference between the two is Bush had class, amd a set of values and courage. Owevomit is a tasteless, narcissistic, coward that hides behind his subordinates, and has no values to guide him except Rules for Radicals,and the communist manifesto.

  • Al Barrs

    SO, why shouldn’t Obama think he can get away with plagiarism when he has gotten away with more lies than the numbers in our national debt…after all Joe Biden was also a plagiarist and he too got away with it…birds of a feather and all that you know.

  • informed

    Per4haps we should just give Obama CREDIT for some truthful language rather than charging him with plagerism. ROFL After, that is rather rare.

  • outofsteam

    I didn’t tune in last night to hear the emperor tell everyone how great he is and what a terrific job he’s done. We all know that when he opens his mouth to speak, he’s lying. I don’t give a rat’s a** if he stole parts of Bush’s speech. He’s a phony, period!

  • Anthony Alexander

    Again here we go with HOPE….Hope is NOT a method that can be applied to solving problems…it is an EMOTION and a poor one at that……When will people stop using words and phrases they do not have a fundamental knowledge of?………

  • aez

    Fascinating. I wonder why they stole the words? “I’m George W. Bush” in code? Really weird.

  • 1Pummalo1

    His teleprompter must have been set on 2007 and the idiot just read the lines with no idea of what he was spouting

  • HappyG

    In Obo’s defense, given that all he has done since taking office is talk and golf, sooner or later he had to search out more rhetoric…

  • AppraisHer

    Everything about Barky is plagiarized. If America knew who this fraud really is he’d be ridden out of town on a rail or sitting his butt in jail.

  • P2AK

    This does not surprise me as they are really one and the same. As a matter of fact you can go back and listen to a debate from the Bush/Kerry debate and it sounds just like the Ford/Carter debate verbatim. I am sure if Bush/Obama would have been separated by a few more terms the speech would have been the exactly same. People that think we are the same Constitutional Republic that we always have been are sadly mistaken. What we live in today is whats called a de facto system of government, and the best the politicians can do is pretend to be an elected choice of the people in the Republic is appear to be over. Democrat or Republican they are one and the same.

    • P2ak

      Sorry about my typing. I was rushed when I typed it and it didn’t come out as I meant it but you all get what I am saying.

  • kushibo

    The concepts are not new and even the words are barely the same. If that is the criteria for “plagiarism,” then both Dubya and Obama plagiarized Ronald Reagan’s phrasing of “hope and opportunity”:

  • DAY8293A

    Illegal alien muslim criminal terrorist loving, still a citizen of Indonesia,Barry Soetero living under an alias of Barack , which is why he had to give up his law license or have it taken, because it is a fact that he put down ”no aliases” on his law license in Illinois, which was and still is a lie, and he never legally changed his name back to Obama… This guy is the biggest fraud ever pulled over on the American liberal left…. and yes, apparently the libturd trolls are just that easily fooled…

    • sc

      he was never issued a license, the use of phoney SSI number was the reason he pulled the application as it would have been checked thru the FBI, and at that time he would most likely have gone to jail for using someone else’s number.

      • DAY8293A

        Yes he was issued a law license in Illinois…

        1. President Barack Obama, former
        editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a “lawyer”. He
        surrendered his license back in 2008 in order to escape charges he lied
        on his bar application.

        A “Voluntary Surrender” is not something
        where you decide “Gee, a license is not really something I need
        anymore, is it?” and forget to renew your license. No, a “Voluntary
        Surrender” is something you do when you’ve been accused of something,
        and you ‘voluntarily surrender” your license five seconds before the
        state suspends you.