Joe Biden is now a candidate in the 2024 race for the White House. While we can make many arguments of what could go wrong for Team Biden, there is one thing above all else they must be mindful of: the president’s past plagiarism issues.
Joe Biden: Lier and Plagerist
The issue of plagiarism was so significant that it ultimately ended Biden’s first White House bid back in 1987.
Biden, who had chaired the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, was reported to be among the Democrat’s best chances of taking back the White House.
His campaign ended after just three months, even before the primary season had begun after he was caught using some five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribution in a paper he claimed to have actually written as a first-year student at the Syracuse University College of Law.
Biden had apologized to his law school, and claimed his actions were “unintentional.”
But then on the campaign trail he used – again without attribution – substantial portions of speeches by U.S. lawmakers Hubert Humphrey and Robert Kennedy, but also by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock. Biden initially tried to suggest the claims “were ado about nothing,” and suggested he didn’t know he was using the words of others, but the allegations were enough that it derailed his campaign.
In his 2008 memoir Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics, Joe Biden finally addressed his mistakes, writing, “When I stopped trying to explain to everybody and thought it through, the blame fell totally on me.”
Yet, the issue seemed to have continued even in the 2020 presidential election when it was reported that Biden lifted ideas, slogans, and writings from others. This included “word-for-word” language from other groups, while Biden’s “Build Back Better” slogan was a phrase that was attributed to Bill Clinton in 2006 – and was later used by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The issue was so great that Slate.com reported in October 2019 that Joe Biden’s campaign spent at least $4,200 on “anti-plagiarism software,” after it had unintentionally used language from other sources in its climate and education proposals without proper credit.
While it appears that Biden has learned from his past mistakes on the matter, we need to remember that there isn’t software that will stop him from telling lies or making excuses for mistakes that are very much his own.
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.