So a portion of Melania Trump’s speech was the same or similar to Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech. So what? It’s one passage. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes many Americans crazy. Look at what we are spending our time on—it’s as if all we have to talk about is a passage in a speech. Meanwhile, we are being attacked by ISIS on our own soil, many of our citizens have no jobs, and our national debt is way, way, way out of control. But we want to talk about Melania. Enough!
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter who wrote what sentence and when they wrote it. Mrs. Trump, who until now has avoided being in the spotlight, was undeniably passionate about many things—her husband’s candidacy, her child and her family, her citizenship, and being an American. “On July 28, 2006, I was very proud to become a citizen of the United States — the greatest privilege on planet Earth,” said the beaming Mrs. Trump with clear outward pride. This was the most important line in her speech—this one. She speaks five languages, and English was the last language she learned, so when she spoke with the accent of a non-native speaker, it endeared her all the more to the RNC audience and viewers around the nation.
According to The New York Times, Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson said that Mrs. Trump was trying to express themes from prominent women she admired, including Elizabeth Dole, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. “She really wanted to communicate to Americans in phrases they’ve heard before,” Pierson said.
According to CNN, a writer for the Trump organization, Meredith McIver, claimed responsibility for the phrase being in Melania’s speech. During a phone call between Melania and McIver, Mrs. Trump read the passage over the phone as an example of the kind of speech she wanted to make. “I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant,” stated McIver. McIver apologized and offered her resignation, which Donald and Melania would not accept. McIver said Donald Trump told her, “People make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences.” Trump seemed able to find the bright side of the episode, when he tweeted, “Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!”
Democrats have avoided comment, likely due to fear of backlash about speaking out negatively about the Republican candidate’s wife.
You can read the passage comparisons here and ultimately judge for yourself, but in a world where Hillary Clinton has lied about Benghazi, lied about email, and lied about who knows what else, a lifted passage from a nearly 10-year-old speech doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.