CNN.com, where I watched Obama and Clinton square off last night, ran interstitial news pieces instead of commercials. One of the features was graphic results from "people meters" operated by a small group of Democrats watching the debate on the SMU campus in Dallas.
These are the handheld devices through which viewers can react positively or negatively to what they are viewing. A consensus score was superimposed on clips of the highlights of each candidates presentation.
All but one received positive reactions with the meters heading into the 70s and 80s. All except Clinton's attempt to use the plagiarism point that her surrogates have been spewing forth this week. When Clinton spoke ignobly of "change you can Xerox," she smiled smugly, but the consensus meters dove toward the 30s.
So, not only is the charge nonsense, but it also repels voters. At least Clinton effectively refuted the accusation that all her ideas are focus group tested to excess.
So, let me ask you this: did Hillary Clinton make up "change you can Xerox" or did someone else write that? While we are at it, did she make up "ready on day one" or "solutions not speeches?
I am guessing no. She has a staff to write these pearls.
So what is worse, paying for words or borrowing them from a friend?
Follow Stephen Kaus on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stephenkaus