Did you know?
Plagiarism at law school, plagiarism on the campaign trail.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden mounted an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1988.
- When incidents of plagiarism in campaign speeches and during his time in law school came to light, his campaign was soon suspended.
- “My intent was not to deceive anyone,” Biden wrote at the time. ”For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.”
- Biden is mulling another run at president in 2020, of which an announcement could come this month.
Incidents of plagiarism both on the campaign trail and during his time at the Syracuse University College of Law became some of the final issues that dogged Biden before he ultimately suspended his floundering campaign.
During his failed 1988 run, Biden lifted portions of a speech by United Kingdom Labour MP and Margaret Thatcher challenger Neil Kinnock.
New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd reported on the fiasco in September 1987.
During an event at the Iowa State Fair, Biden mimicked entire portions of Kinnock’s speech from earlier in the year. At one moment, Biden repeated the line that he was the first “in a thousand generations” to graduate from college, gesturing to his wife in the exact same way Kinnock did, while also saying the same line about her education and lineage.
Biden would later acknowledge that he in fact did have relatives who attended college, directly contrasting the Kinnock lines.
As Dowd reported, Biden’s staffers were defensive about the allegations of blatant plagiarism. Nevertheless, Biden dropped out of the race by the end of the month.
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