DID VAUGHN WARD THINK NO ONE WOULD NOTICE?…. In Idaho, Vaughn Ward is running for the Republican nomination in Idaho’s 1st House district, and has received a fair amount of support from prominent right-wing voices. On Friday, former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Fox News) even made a campaign appearance with him.

But Ward is quickly becoming one of the year’s most embarrassing candidates.

Idaho Republican Vaughn Ward has already come under fire for mimicking other candidates’ policy language on his website, but now the congressional candidate is facing accusations of plagiarizing from another source: President Barack Obama.

In a kickoff speech for his campaign in January, Ward used language that closely followed Obama’s 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention, and a conservative Idaho blog spliced together the two sets of remarks to show their similarities, accusing Ward of cribbing from Obama’s remarks.

After watching the video released by a local far-right activist, it’s hard to deny the fact that parts of Ward’s speech were lifted directly, word for word, from Obama’s 2004 speech. In fact, it seems more than a little bizarre that Ward and his campaign would assume no one would notice — that ’04 convention speech was pretty widely seen. Someone was bound to think, “Wait, that sounds kind of familiar.”

In response, a Ward campaign spokesperson responded, “If anyone thinks he’s anything like Obama, they’re dead wrong.” Of course, that’s not the point — the question here is why Ward’s kickoff speech lifted whole sentences out of Obama’s six-year-old convention speech.

What’s more, Ward seems to keep running into trouble. Last week, he was asked in a debate whether he would vote in Congress to support Puerto Rican statehood, Ward said he opposes “extending statehood to some, to any other country,” adding that he doesn’t care “what country … wants to become part of America.” Told that Puerto Rico is an American territory, not a foreign country, Ward said, “I really don’t care what it is.”

Ward was also reprimanded last month for violating military protocol when he gave the impression that the U.S. Marine Corps was supporting his campaign.

And just to add insult to injury, Ward’s published positions on a variety of issues were found to have been “borrowed,” again word for word, from other campaign websites without attribution. (thanks to J.E. for the tip)

Where does the party find these guys?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.