Melania Trump, Donald’s wife, has kept a very low profile on the campaign trail, but she was more or less forced to give a speech at the Republican National Convention last night. It’s unthinkable that a future First Lady would remain a cipher to Americans until the election.
And so she spoke. Unfortunately, several sources report that she lifted an entire paragraph of her speech from—yes!—Michelle Obama. The “Daily Intelligencer” column of New York magazine reports the plagiarism from Michelle Obama’s convention speech for her husband.
Here’s the text from Trump’s speech:
My parents impressed on me the value of that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. Show the values and morals in in the daily life. That is the lesson that we continue to pass on to our son.
We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. [Cheering] Because we want our children in these nations to know that the only limit to your achievement is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
And here’s Obama:
And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.
And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
There’s no way that’s coincidence. But I don’t think this can be pinned on Melania. Though she speaks five languages, English is not her native tongue, and her words were almost certainly concocted by speechwriters.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t look good—one more gaffe in the Trump campaign. Embarrassed, Trump’s campaign issued this statement at 2 a.m.:
“Fragments that reflected her own thinking?” What the hell does that mean? It means this: “Melania, in her beautiful speech, cribbed some bits from Michelle Obama’s speech that she thought sounded good.”
I read about this; I didn’t see it. Nothing short of waterboarding (a plank in Trump’s platform) would get me to watch that confederacy of dunces.