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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Rand Paul Seeks To Retool His Craft After Plagiarism Fiasco.


The questions about Paul's writings, starting with disclosures that some of his speeches had borrowed from Wikipedia, threatened to undercut his relatively newfound status as an intellectually rooted libertarian Republican vying to lead his party into the post-Obama, post-Bush era. They were of a sort that caused Joe Biden to drop his Democratic primary campaign in 1988, when, as a young senator, he used words from a speech by Neil Kinnock, then the Labour Party leader in Britain, without attribution. (He also admitted plagiarizing a law review article for a law school paper.)
Paul's handling of the disclosures was being watched by his Senate colleagues and by strategists and potential donors to a 2016 national run. Some said they viewed it as a test of whether he could cope with the intensity of a campaign and the presidency itself.
"I think when you have a high visibility in America politically, you've got to understand that you undergo scrutiny that you don't even as a senator," said Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican Party's presidential nominee in 2008 and a frequent sparring partner of Paul. He added that he was hesitant to judge the political fallout Paul could face until he knew "how much there is of it."
Paul, when asked if he thought the accusations could turn off some presidential supporters, indicated the degree of what he termed "unfair criticism" might factor into whether he decides to run.
"It's also what people hate about politics, and it's why, frankly, members of my family are not too interested in politics, period, or wanting me to do more of this," he said. "To tell you the truth, people can think what they want, I can go back to being a doctor any time, if they're tired of me. I'll go back to being a doctor, and I'll be perfectly content."
On a day when one potential rival for the Republican nomination, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, won re-election, Paul was fending off a new disclosure that came Monday night, this one served up by BuzzFeed. The site reported that an op-ed article Paul wrote for The Washington Times in September on mandatory minimum prison sentences appeared to have copied language from an essay that had been published in the magazine The Week.
That article, written by Dan Stewart, an editor for the magazine, included this sentence: "America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year." It was posted on the Web on Sept. 14.
On Sept. 20, Paul wrote this: "America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year."
The Washington Times said Tuesday it was canceling Paul's column by mutual agreement.
Paul made it clear that he took that example more seriously than the previous disclosures. The first of those came last week on the MSNBC show of Rachel Maddow. She highlighted a speech from last Monday that used parts of the Wikipedia description of the 1990s movie Gattaca. which was based on a science fiction future in which societal standing is determined through DNA testing.
On Tuesday, Paul argued that that did not technically represent plagiarism. "Trying to say someone commits plagiarism, you're saying that someone is dishonest," he said. "And, well, it would be dishonest if I tried to say, 'Oh, I had this great idea for a movie, and this is my idea, and this is a story I wrote in college called Gattaca."
Paul said the unattributed passages of his Washington Times article were the result of life at the speed of a newly minted national political figure, and that the article had been adapted from a speech, which was one of the reasons it was not vetted.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/11/06/2914965/rand-paul-to-retool-office-after.html#storylink=cpy

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