IMITATION IS FLATTERY, right? Taoiseach Enda Kenny appears to have paid “homage” to Barack Obama in his introductory speech at College Green before the US president took the microphone.
In this mash-up put together by East Coast FM – listen here – the first few lines of Kenny’s speech were practically word-for-word the first few lines of Obama’s speech to a rally at Grant Park, Chicago on the night he won the US presidential election in 2008. Kenny’s spokespeople have since said that the reference was “entirely deliberate”.
This is what Obama said in 2008:
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
This is what Kenny said yesterday evening (from a full transcript released by the Department of the Taoiseach):
If there’s anyone out there who still doubts that Ireland is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our ancestors is alive in our time, who still questions our capacity to restore ourselves, reinvent ourselves and prosper, today is your answer.
The similarities are so significant that it is clear that Kenny’s speechwriter was intending to make reference to Obama’s speech in Chicago. It’s just a shame they didn’t tell anyone.