Obama must really be sick on the stump, because Hillary Clinton has been biting him relentlessly:

“We are fired up and we are ready to go because we know America is ready for change and the process starts right here in Iowa.”

In Davenport, Iowa, those words escaped the barriers of a tired Hillary Clinton’s teeth.

Without irony.

That phrase is associated with Barack Obama. Obama borrows it from a woman in South Carolina who helped remind him what was important in life.

It’s the signature, in fact, of Obama’s close.

Steve Benen points out some further instances of Clinton biting Obama’s rhetoric:

I hate to think there’s a pattern here, but there are quite a few examples: 

* “New Clinton Iowa radio ad has voter voice saying she is the candidate of ‘hope.’”

* Yesterday, on Hardball, Clinton’s communication director said Iowans are looking “under the hood and kickin the tires,” a line Obama has been using for quite a while. (Chris Matthews told Wolfson he “stole” the line directly and urged the campaign to “get a new scriptwriter.”)

* As a debate in Philadelphia in October, Clinton said, “We’ve got to turn the page on George Bush and Dick Cheney” — a line straight out of Obama’s stump speech.

Benen is his characteristic temperate and diplomatic self, urging readers to make “too much” of this. But it’s pretty hard for me not to make a character judgment about a candidate who goes as far as to steal words out of her rival’s mouth.

Not that I have any illusions about politicians being the moral vanguard. But Hillary’s “borrowing” irritates me because it reminds me of all the other things black people do that white people eventually get credit for. (You know, like rock music or the Civil Rights Movement)

A Clinton supporter might argue that this kind of behavior is exactly what will allow her to outmaneuver the opposition as President.

This is a campaign. If she gets elected, when it comes to policy, is she going to be borrowing policy elements as well as rhetoric from her opponents?

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