Who’s To Blame for Melania Trump’s Plagiarized Speech?


Melania Trump at the RNC 2016

IMAGE: AP Photos

Shortly after Melania Trump’s well received speech on day one of the RNC, viewers and fact checkers realized that there were many similarities between Melania’s speech and Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech.  Melania’s speech nearly matched Michelle Obama’s in certain areas where Melania said, “your word is your bond” and “you work hard for what you want in life”.

While these topics and phrases are far from unique in a presidential election setting, there were multiple strings of words that directly matched the current first lady’s speech eight years ago. This issue of plagiarism once again puts the Trump campaign’s integrity into question.  

Paul Manafort, a top Trump aid, claimed that the issue was overblown, and yet another partisan conspiracy targeting the Trump campaign.  Whether the similarities should be regarded as intentional plagiarism will be up for the voters to decide, as well as whether or not this is an important issue.

The writers of the speech, indicating those who should be held responsible, have not yet been identified.  Earlier in the day, Mrs. Trump told Matt Lauer of the Today show that she wrote the speech “with as little help as possible”.  However, sources within the campaign say that each family member had someone from the staff assigned to them to oversee their work and make a final sign-off.  It seems as though someone will end up having to take the fall for this disaster.

Whether or not this story holds anyone’s attention for much longer, what has happened so far has already taken its toll on Donald Trump.  While the issue may soon blow over, Trump has already lost the spotlight for a significant period of time.  The convention is meant to be an enormous advertisement for the candidate so that they can gain support from undecided voters.  Much of Trump’s ad time has been stolen by his wife’s speech.  

The evidence is not scathing and can be argued against.  RNC spokesman Sean Spicer made a point of how many of Melania’s phrases closely resemble that of musical artists Akon and John Legend, as well as cartoon character My Little Pony.  It seems unlikely that Trump will suffer further from such generic phrases and their similarity to Michelle Obama’s speech, but the voters get the final say on whether this debacle holds any weight on their decision.

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