August 08, 2008

Barack O'Borrow? Probably Not

There is the claim that Barack Obama took an anecdote in The Audacity of Hope from a story told about G. Gordon Liddy in All the President's Men from 1976, or perhaps 1962's Lawrence of Arabia.

The YouTube video comes courtesy of the G. Gordon Liddy show, so it is rather obvious which source he'd prefer Obama cite, but I'm not willing to to say Obama necessarily borrowed this story. The only reason this claim merits a second look is the fact that Obama used the words of his friend Deval Patrick on several occasions without immediate attribution.

I've seen similar firsthand stupid tricks at parties and bars from high school through college, performed by young men fueled with testosterone and alcohol and a momentarly lapse of common sense. This form of a tough guy routine, followed with some sort of gritty catch phrase, is almost certainly older than Obama or Liddy or Lawrence of Arabia, and I would not be surprised at all to discover similar acts of bravado in ancient Greece or Rome.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 8, 2008 06:56 PM

A psuedo-macho anecdote may be a trifle, but what if he IS just remembering that scene from elsewhere? What else has been pilfered?

Posted by: DoorHold at August 10, 2008 11:31 AM

Actually, there was a famous Gaius Mucius Scaevola of Rome who burnt his hand in the fire to show that he was fearless.

Posted by: Nikolay at August 11, 2008 09:01 AM