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Eye On Boise

Baumbach: ‘It was a piece of propaganda’

Lucas Baumbach, the Boise Republican legislative candidate who created the video mash-up juxtaposing phrases from speeches by Vaughn Ward and Barack Obama, calls himself a "RINO hunter" and a "Tea Party activist" and is blunt about why he created the mash-up: Because he supported Raul Labrador over Ward. His video mash-up gives the impression that Ward, in his announcement speech in the Idaho Capitol on Jan. 26, parroted Obama's 2004 Democratic National Convention speech word-for-word, though that's not exactly the case.

"No, it wasn't accurate - it was a piece of propaganda," Baumbach told Eye on Boise today, "and people thought that there was enough truth in it to change their votes." Baumbach said he decided to exercise his video-editing skills after a May 13 blog post from the Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey pointed out similar turns of phrase in the two speeches, and Dustin Hurst of the Idaho Freedom Foundation's followed up with a May 21 story including video from both speeches. "That wasn't attracting much attention," Baumbach said. Simply posting both videos wasn't enough, he said, "when you're trying to get the word out, sensationalizing something."

"I admit that there was a lot of editing that went on there," Baumbach said. He'd just finished being congratulated by other like-minded Republicans after a GOP unity rally today at the state Capitol, where some were throwing around the word "brilliant;" last night, at GOP election-night headquarters, Baumbach attracted similar praise from some in the crowd who called him "the man of the hour." Baumbach's mash-up was featured on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" last night, though Leno left off the final scene in which Baumbach shows Ward's face slowing morphing into Obama's. Click below to read the full text of the speech sections that included the similar turns of phrase; click here to watch Baumbach's mash-up.

According to my notes, Ward's Jan. 26 speech in the capitol focused on what Ward said he'd been hearing from Idahoans as he traveled the state, mainly that, "Folks, Idahoans are furious" about the national debt and a sense that Congress wasn't accountable. "I look at Idaho and I see our state being haggled over by politicians who are unaccountable to the people and are more concerned about self-preservation," Ward said then. "It is time to usher in a new era of leaders who will do what is right." He also alluded to his military service, criticized "government-run health care, billion-dollar bailouts and failed stimulus plans," and said, "My fellow Idahoans, like you I am frustrated and angry with the direction that Congress is taking us." The part about "urgency" and "passion" that matches Obama's rhetoric comes at the end of the speech. The speech does appear to be studded with much-used phrases, like "usher in a new era of leaders" and "it starts here, it starts today," but those appear to be just cliches.

From Obama speech in 2004:
“As we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.  America, tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do, if we do what we must do, then I have no doubts that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.”

From Ward's Jan. 26, 2010 speech:
“As we stand on the crossroads of history, I know we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that lay before us.  If you feel the same urgency and the same passion that I do, and if we stand united and strong, then I have no doubt that our voices will be heard in November. Our country will reclaim its promise.  A better day is on the horizon, and out of this darkness will come a stronger, more united nation.  One that believes in personal responsibility, fiscal discipline, and limited government.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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