CLEVELAND,VARGHESE K. GEORGE: Parents, family, dreams and values may be common to all American speeches, but Melania Trump’s thoughts appear too close to those of Michelle Obama, and it may not be a case of great women thinking alike.
Ms. Trump, who was introduced to the Republican National Convention by her husband Donald Trump “as the next First Lady of the U.S” was feted for her poise and confidence by many commentators after she finished her speech, but that did not last. Within minutes, she was facing charges of plagiarism, as social media erupted into discussions about the uncomfortable similarity that her speech had with a speech by Ms. Obama. Ms. Trump’s speech had at least one paragraph that almost entirely sounded like Ms. Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008, when President Barack Obama won the party nomination.
“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. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son,” Ms. Trump said on Monday.
“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,” Ms. Obama said in 2008.
“And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them,” said Ms. Trump. “And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and to 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,” Ms. Obama said then.
“To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd,” Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chief told CNN. “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values. She cares about her family. To think that she’d be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.