In 2004, a young, Democratic senator from Illinois gave a stirring speech at that year’s Democratic convention. The speech vaulted then-Sen. Barack Obama to national prominence, and was ultimately his first step in entering the White House four years later. Six years after Obama’s dynamic address, a young Republican congressional hopeful declared his candidacy for Congress in Idaho’s 1st District, using many of the same words that Obama did. Vaughn Ward, a political unknown at the time, much like Obama, declared to potential voters and media gathered at that Idaho Capitol in downtown Boise that he was running for U.S. Congress.
Though Ward didn’t use Obama’s language word-for-word, there are large similarities in what each man said. Here is a breakdown of the final portions of what both said: (similarities highlighted)
Obama 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.”
Ward in 2010:
“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.”
IdahoReporter.com also has the video of the two events. The first was taken by C-Span and the second was taken at the Ward rally by the Ward campaign.
Ward is set to square off with state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, in the Republican primary election on Tuesday. Whoever prevails there moves on to face Walt Minnick, a Democrat, serving his first term in Congress.