John McCain - Four More Years Of The Accidental Presidency? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation


Well how about that? It looks like the rhetoric of the straight talk express is being lifted nearly word for word...straight out of Wikipedia. If you haven't heard the news, it appears that several passages from the candidates comments on the conflict between Russia and Georgia are notably similar to the online encyclopedia.

From Political Insider:

A Wikipedia editor emailed Political Wire to point out some similarities between Sen. John McCain's speech today on the crisis in Georgia and the Wikipedia article on the country Georgia. Given the closeness of the words and sentence structure, most would consider parts of McCain's speech to be derived directly from Wikipedia.

First instance:

one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion (Wikipedia)


one of the world's first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion (McCain)

Second instance:

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia had a brief period of independence as a Democratic Republic (1918-1921), which was terminated by the Red Army invasion of Georgia. Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922 and regained its independence in 1991. Early post-Soviet years was marked by a civil unrest and economic crisis. (Wikipedia)


After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. As the Soviet Union crumbled at the end of the Cold War, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but its early years were marked by instability, corruption, and economic crises. (McCain)

In many ways, this situation isn't all that surprising. In fact, it may well make sense. Consider that McCain readily admits his lack of internet savvy and recall that the books he's written were primarily authored by his frequent speech writer and longtime associate, Mark Salter. As such, one can logically imagine how McCain could end up parroting the words provided to him by his handlers...absent an awareness of their origin.

Nonetheless, one would think that Salter and/or other senior advisors would have McCain's back. If the campaign lacks a level of quality control necessary to flesh out a plagiarist, what can we expect from a McCain that will, based upon the nature of the candidate, need to navigate the unfriendly skies like a plane on auto-pilot?

I'm not sure whose choosing McCain's surrogate speech writing staff, but it looks like the good ol' boys club may need a twenty-first century makeover...or at least enough managerial skepticism to police the product being produced. If the McCain campaign can be duped by garden variety word thieves, how on earth can we expect he and his handlers to assemble a staff with the competence to lead the free world?

In his haste to present himself to voters as the astute foreign policy candidate, McCain may have actually exposed his own propensity to portray himself as a powerful wizard while actually being the inept grandfatherly fellow hiding behind the curtain. The frequent instances of stuttered sentences and fumbled facts only exacerbate the suspicions that the senior senator is but a shell of the rough and tumble warrior he once represented.

Haven't we had enough of a commander in chief whose modus operandi involves delegating unchecked authority to cronies and confidants rather than assuming the role of a hands-on leader with bottom line accountability? The last thing we need is a carefully constructed candidate who is ultimately exposed as little more than a caricature of competence.

I don't know about you, but I'm not looking for a president I can have a beer with...and I'm certainly not willing to endure four more years of an accidental presidency.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Georgia, John McCain, Mark Salter, Russia, Wikipedia

Daniel DiRito | August 11, 2008 | 2:36 PM
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In John McCain’s rush to showcase his foreign policy bona fides, he may have extracted portions of his remarks from Wikipedia. After enduring eight years of George Bush mangling his words, perhaps the GOP thinks a president who plagiarizes his words wi... [Read More]

Tracked on August 11, 2008 5:20 PM

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