YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Sen. Biden's Problems With Plagiarism

September 26, 1987

Have you ever given thought to the fact that it might well be a lot more interesting to know "Who Wrote That"?

Any reasonable minded student of the political process is certainly aware that behind every glib-tongued politician there labors a staff of writers and aides who prepare position papers and block out the main themes of a speech and then flesh it out.

Certainly, the person delivering the immortal words has some input and well may wellspring some of the phrases.

I am reminded of the magnificent inaugural speech of John F. Kennedy with the well-known phrase, "Ask not what your country can do for you . . ." I do believe that Ted Sorensen did receive some post-mortem praise for the effort.

I am not a total cynic; I actually believe that Abraham Lincoln did indeed write the Gettysburg Address.

It's not that I consider our modern-day politicians as dullards, but with the press of office in today's rat race there would seem to be little time for the contemplation of something as important as a major speech on television with its ratings implications and instant surgery by every major anchorman.

In closing, may I express some doubt that Mrs. Alexander, your second grade teacher, was original and thus failed the very test of attribution you speak of?


Temple City

Los Angeles Times Articles