Joe Biden was once accused of plagarising a speech given by former Labour leader Neil Kinnock

Joe Biden was once accused of plagarising a speech given by former Labour leader Neil Kinnock

Joe Biden, Barack Obama's vice president during his time in the White House, has today announced that he will be running for office in the 2020 election.

This announcement has been greeted with some enthusiasm, but Biden already faces stiff competition from other Democrats such as Bernie Sanders, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris, who are among 20 candidates to have already announced they are running.

Biden, of course, has been here before.

Back in 2008 he ran against his future White House colleague Obama, but ultimately struggled to raise significant funds and didn't get anywhere near the same traction or attention as Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Despite being unsuccessful, Biden had clearly learnt from his previous big mistakes, the biggest of which included plagiarism.

Way back in 1988, a fresh-faced Biden threw his hat into the election campaign circus, attempting to become the youngest president since John F. Kennedy.

Yet, just a handful of months in and his campaign had practically been derailed thanks to a damaging claim of plagiarism which saw the future vice president accused of stealing a speech from the then leader of the British Labour party Neil Kinnock.

During a televised speech at the Iowa State Fair, Biden said to cameras:

I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university?

Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college?

Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright?

 Is it because I'm the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?

This bore an eerie similarity to a speech that Kinnock had given in the lead up to the 1987 general election, where Kinnock was ultimately unsuccessful against the Thatcher-lead Tories.

At the time, the Welshman said:

Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university?

Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university?

Was it because all our predecessors were thick?

Conicidence? Absolutely not as Kinnock's performance in defeat had grabbed a lot of attention in the States, with Biden admitting to some audiences that he admired Kinnock.

However, he failed to pay the same tribute to Kinnock on that day in Iowa which, along with further claims of plagiarising the likes of Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, as well as accusations dating back to his time in law school, Biden's bid ultimately unravelled and, by September, he withdrew his candidacy.

Following today's announcement, a video comparing Kinnock and Biden's speeches has begun to circulate again but surely the 76-year-old has learnt the lessons of 30 years ago? After all, it wouldn't be the first time someone close to a president has been accused of such a crime.

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