After investigating the numerous accusations leveled against her, Harvard’s disgraced president Claudine Gay, in one of the most prominent university scandals of the decade, has been ousted after the discovery of her serial plagiarism throughout her academic career.
But, as we begin asking how this could have happened in the first place, conservative writer Phil Kerpen has helpfully reminded us on X (formerly Twitter) that another president is also a “serial plagiarist.”
A serial plagiarist is still president of the United States.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 2, 2024
The year is 1987. Joe Biden has launched his first ill-fated presidential campaign. As ridiculous as it might seem in hindsight, the Biden of 1987 seemed like a fresh hope for the Democratic Party, a real front-runner in the race now that Reagan was completing his second term.
Indeed, according to TIME Magazine, Biden had been seen as a real contender since 1972, when he was first elected to the Senate. The perception in 1987 was that Biden was a straight arrow, a contender with more moral character than the original front-runner, Gary Hart, who, that same year, had been forced to drop out from the race when the public learned about the married man’s affair with model Donna Rice.
In this race, Biden’s age was an asset rather than an impediment, as many found his relative youth encouraging and refreshing. According to veteran political reporter Laurence I. Barrett, “There was this thought, not really based on a lot of facts, that the Democrats were too soft, too feminine, too much into interest politics, and Biden was seen by his own people as an antidote to that — good looking and athletic — who would come across as stronger.”
Sure, Biden had his liabilities (specifically his inability to think on his feet and his recurring tendency to run his mouth when enraged, according to Barrett), but Biden and his party hoped that his role in chairing the Robert Bork hearings would help bolster his presidential aspirations.
And that is when the proverbial “stuff” hit the fan. As reported by The New York Times in September 1987, a video, later traced to Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis’ campaign, as reported in the Washington Post’s Clinton Accused website profile of the incident, leaked of Joe Biden plagiarizing, almost word for word, a speech from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.
Specifically, Joe Biden copy and pasted Kinnock’s own background as a descendant of poor coal miners, whose wife and he were the first in their families to “go to university,” as the Brits say. The now infamous video spliced together clips of Biden’s and Kinnock’s speeches, demonstrating exactly where Biden lifted his words from and leaving no doubt as to the disgraced senator’s transgression.
Even worse, as Biden was desperately trying to clean up the fallout from this egregious blunder, his records and grades from law school were released, demonstrating that he was not only a one-time plagiarist, he was a serial plagiarist and a liar.
Biden had bragged on the campaign trail that he had enjoyed excellent grades in law school, but, not only did his files from the Syracuse University College of Law demonstrate that he had a C-average at best, but he had also, according to a file dated Dec. 1 1965, “used five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribution.”
Biden attempted to paper over the controversy by claiming his intentions were not “malevolent,” maintaining he just didn’t fully understand the rules of citation and attribution. As he said at the time, “I was wrong, but I was not malevolent in any way. I did not intentionally move to mislead anybody.” (Sure, pal.)
This lame response of course failed to convince anyone, and his reputation and campaign were absolutely destroyed, with even Johnny Carson making fun of him for the scandal on his late night show.
Now, what is the point of rehashing this almost 40-year-old scandal? Well, as the recent scandal with Harvard president Gay has demonstrated, the Democrats have a long and sordid history of admitting serial plagiarists into their midst.
Biden might have been the first prominent example, but he is by no means the last. The 1987 Democratic Party had at least enough of a moral backbone to give Hart the boot for his sex scandal and Biden the boot for his plagiarism scandal, but the Democratic Party since then doesn’t seem to care much about either.
Bill Clinton is still celebrated and allowed to hobnob with elites and celebrities even after taking advantage of a naive, 22-year-old intern. Hunter Biden can walk free despite his laptop full of homemade porn and illegal drug use being made public. And finally, Biden can somehow run for a second term despite the serial plagiarism, the horrendous treatment of Clarence Thomas during Thomas’ confirmation hearings, and an alleged international business scandal of his own.
Much as the Democrats might ring their hands and make a production of their horror regarding Gay’s plagiarism, the fact of the matter is they propped-up and are still supporting a serial liar and plagiarist as the president of the United States.
Whatever Democrats might say, the continued presence of Joe Biden in the White House shows that they really don’t care about plagiarism as much as they claim.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.