At the inception of the most controversial and divisive #GOP convention in recent memory, with the most spiteful nominee in modern times, the wife of the presumptive nominee delivered a speech that is being assailed nationwide as plagiarizing the speech that First Lady Michelle Obama delivered when she spoke to the delegates of the 2008 Democratic Convention. Parts of Melania's speech resembled Michelle Obama's speech, and other parts seemed to be a "word for word" regurgitation of her speech.
Talking about values.
Both Obama and Trump talked about values and how they were raised as children. Both women talked of how they were raised to believe in hard work and to stand by their word and live up to their commitments. It was not what Trump said in her convention speech that was the issue; it was that her words, her delivery, and her accentuation of her message almost seemed to be an identical "copy cat" of the same from Obama's 2008 speech. Here are Obama's words pertaining to the values with which she was brought up and what she was taught to believe in her 2008 convention speech:
"Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like 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."
Here are Trump's words that she spoke in her convention speech on Monday night:
"From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values 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."
The similarities in the two excerpts speak for themselves. Although Trump and Obama may have had similar thoughts and values as they prepared their speeches, it is too coincidental for it not to have been plagiarism, as this observer sees it.
Accusations of plagiarism soon emerged on Twitter and other social media. It appeared that the allegations foreshadowed the message that Trump was trying to send and #Donald Trump's plagiarism accusations against others came back to haunt him. Here was a tweet from an observer on his personal Twitter account:
Trump, attacking Biden: “I’ve had a great record, I haven’t been involved in plagiarism."https://t.co/nRqzacK0A5— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) July 19, 2016
Trump campaign responds.
The Trump campaign immediately praised Melania for her address with a tweet of their own:
It was truly an honor to introduce my wife, Melania. Her speech and demeanor were absolutely incredible. Very proud! #GOPConvention— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2016
Very little assistance provided.
In an interview on "The Today Show" with Matt Lauer on the Trump plane before arriving at the convention center, Melania Trump claimed that she had "very little help" on her speech. Of course, this was before the speech was delivered and before the plagiarism accusations were flung left and right.
What happens now?
It is this observer's belief that the plagiarism accusations will circumvent efforts by the Trump campaign to feature Melania Trump at high-profile events. The other night the Trump campaign stated that Melania will be "the next Jackie Kennedy." If that was the objective of Monday night's speech, the Trump team is off to a very bad start. Jackie Kennedy was a one-of-a-kind person and nobody ever will be able to emulate her successfully. She was about much more than exquisite clothing and a soft, graceful accent. She was a sincere, classy person who was real, passionate and inspiring. Those are character traits that cannot be imitated or copied.
Most likely after the convention, Donald Trump will start speaking "off the cuff" and without his teleprompter again and will continue to offend nearly every demographic of Americans, including his own. America will see through this penny-ante hoax by the GOP, just like they saw through the hoax perpetrated by McCain and Palin in 2008 and Romney and Ryan in 2012 with the 47 percent of Americans whose votes they claimed they did not need. America knows what it needs and polarization, divisiveness, bigotry, and homophobia are not on the menu. Nice try, GOP, but it is not going to work this time either, "copy-cat" or not. #Election 2016