Just over the last week, evidence of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) presenting others’ work as his own has come to public light over and over and over and over and over again. This afternoon, Andrew Kaczynski found yet another instance in which part of the senator’s most recent book plagiarized an article from Forbes magazine.
With new revelations popping up at least once a day, the Kentucky Republican decided to address the controversy by talking to the New York Times.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who in recent weeks has had to explain a series of plagiarism charges, said in an interview Tuesday that he was being held to an unfair standard, but that there would be an office “restructuring” to prevent future occurrences.Sitting in a conference room in his Senate office complex, Mr. Paul, drawn and clearly shaken by the plagiarism charges, offered a mix of contrition and defiance…. Acknowledging that his office had “made mistakes,” he said he was putting a new system in place to ensure that all of his materials are properly footnoted and cited.
The quotes in the Times piece are remarkable, in that it seems the senator feels put upon – as if having to play by the same rules as high-school kids who are taught not to present others’ work as their own is some kind of imposition.
“What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers,” Paul told the Times.
The senator’s office, despite numerous instances of blatant plagiarism, will not dismiss any of the staffers responsible, but it will adopt what a senior adviser called a “new approval process” for works “going forward.”
As for how and why Paul has had so much trouble in this area, the senator told the Times he’s very busy. “We need to get stuff earlier, but it’s hard,” Paul said. “We probably take on more than we should be doing.”
It’s an odd defense. There are 99 other senators, all of whom give speeches and write op-eds, but none of whom find it “hard” to avoid plagiarism.
For that matter, let’s also not forget that Paul has national ambitions – he sees himself as the next president of the United States. If he’s taking on too much now, and is so busy he and his team feel the need to plagiarize, what does it tell voters about the senator’s ability to effectively oversee an enormous professional operation?