| Man, I love this fool:
In a kickoff speech for his campaign in January, Ward used language that closely followed Obama's 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention, and a conservative Idaho blog spliced together the two sets of remarks to show their similarities, accusing Ward of cribbing from Obama's remarks.
Here's what Obama said in 2004: "As we stand at the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us. If you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, then I have no doubt the people will rise up in November and this country will reclaim its promise and out of this long political darkness, a brighter day will come."
And here's what Ward said in January: "As we stand on the crossroads of history, I know we can make the right choice and meet the challenges that lay before us. If you feel the same urgency and the same passion that I do, then I have no doubt that our voices will be heard in November. And our country will reclaim its promise and out of this darkness, a better day is on the horizon."
Ward's campaign dismissed the video, and spokesman Mike Tracy told POLITICO: "This is just more of the same from folks who are afraid that Vaughn's the frontrunner."
So let's recap all the struggles that Vaughn Ward, the NRCC's preferred choice in tomorrow's Republican primary, has inflicted upon himself in recent weeks. First, Ward hopped aboard the repeal the 17th amendment train, apparently arguing that voters shouldn't have the right to elect their Senators. Next, the Idaho and Virginia Democratic Parties coordinated to tag-team Ward with the revelations that he served as an intern for then-Idaho state Rep. Jim Hansen, a Democrat, in the early '90s... and that his name was listed as a volunteer in former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's database. Ward's campaign was also busted by the local press for attempting to pass off a six month-old press release as news. When called on it, his campaign manager deflected the accusation, saying that it was a mistake caused by him not knowing how to properly operate his new Mac. And, most recently, Ward was heard at a Republican debate referring to Puerto Rico as a "country"; when called on it, Ward reveled in his ignorance, defiantly telling his Puerto Rican opponent, state Rep. Raul Labrador, that he didn't "care what it is." (Sadly, in the modern-day Republican Party, this last one may not really qualify as a "gaffe", as it's just the sort of cultural dismissiveness that conservatives lap up with glee.)
All that said, I'm sure that movement conservatives can't be pleased to discover that Ward's been cribbing notes from the reincarnation of Karl Marx, Barack Obama. (And, for those keeping score, this isn't the first time Ward's been busted for plagiarism: He was forced to do damage control after it was revealed that his campaign website's issues sections was a copy and paste job from other Republican candidate websites.) Perhaps the most amusing thing about all this is that, back in December, former ID-01 Democratic candidate Larry Grant referred to Labrador as a "Bill Sali Republican". As it turns out, though, Ward has done the best job of earning the title of Bill Sali 2.0.
It's entirely possible that Ward, who has a huge financial edge on Labrador and recently benefited from a campaign appearance with Sarah Palin, may find that his endless series of gaffes will cost him the Republican nomination tomorrow. Three major Idaho papers all endorsed Labrador over the weekend, with one calling Ward "unendorseable" and "untrustworthy". Ward led a poll conducted earlier in May by 34-16, but a new Mason-Dixon poll for the Idaho Statesman suggests that Ward has made this race a tossup all on his own doing (5/17-19):
Vaughn Ward (R): 31
Raul Labrador (R): 28
Harley Brown (R): 4