`As Jesse Jackson says ...'

In the wake of Sen. Joseph Biden's forced exit from the 1988 presidential race, politicians are jumpy about plagiarism. But at a weekend debate sponsored by the Democratic Black Caucus, Jesse Jackson gave some of his fellow Democratic candidates tips on self-protection. During the question period, Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri suggested that what the nation needs is ``star schools,'' not ``star wars.''

Gov. Michael Dukakis quickly responded: ``I thought that was my line.'' The Massachusetts governor had used similar words in an Iowa debate.

Then Mr. Jackson sought to give both men a lesson in political speaking. ``I'll tell you how to deplagiarize and get away with it,'' he said.

First, Jackson said, you say, ``As Governor Dukakis says, star schools. ...''

Then you say, ``As a great philosopher once said, star schools. ...''

Finally, you say, ``As I always believed, star schools. ...''

These are ``the three steps to deplagiarism,'' Jackson said, as the audience laughed and applauded.

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