Biden’s trouble with the plagiarism began a stump speech in Iowa. At the end of the speech, Biden used a series of phrases that closely mirrored a previous speech by that of British politician Neal Kinnock. Though there are several reports that he had previously used and cited the source of those words, there seems to be a clear understanding that, in this one case, he did not.
The result of this was that his Democratic challenger Michael Dukakis created an attack video splicing together Biden’s speech with that of Kinnocks.
The attack was remarkably effective and can be described as a classic example of “YouTube politics” before the Web even existed. Not only was Biden’s reputation hurt by the initial scandal, reporters from Newsweek also turned up allegations of plagiarism dating back to when he was a student at Syracuse Law School, where he failed and was forced to retake a course due to an allegation of plagiarism.