Did Melania Trump Plagiarize Michelle Obama?

by Noor Al-Sibai

While much of the Twittersphere was abuzz about Melania Trump's dress with puffy sleeves and her tribute to Bob Dole after her speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday night, a few others noticed something fishy: that her speech sounded eerily to a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention. So did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama's 2008 DNC speech?

Unfortunately, it does appear that Melania's speechwriters did, in fact, take entire phrases and used the overall gist of Michelle's DNC speech for the Trump campaign's speech this year. The news broke on Twitter when journalist Jarrett Hill noticed first that some phrases seemed to be lifted from Michelle's speech, and later that an entire paragraph was paraphrased and, in some cases, copied word-for-word. Gawker then published a video of the excerpts in question, played one after the other. The video proves plain as day that Melania's speech was copied "almost verbatim" from Michelle's.

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau also noticed the similarities between the speeches, calling the paragraphs "nearly identical."

I'm honestly not sure which is worse: that whoever wrote Melania's speech plagiarized the current FLOTUS, or that they really thought people wouldn't notice.

It gets even trickier when you remember that Melania, on at least two previous occasions, has insisted that she wrote the speech herself.

In this side-by-side footage of the speeches played together, it's infuriatingly easy to see where Melania's speech copied Michelle's. We all have to decide for ourselves: does Melania's speech sound copied to you?

Although CNN and other news outlets are treating Melania's copy-pasted speech as a regrettable mistake to be blamed on the still-anonymous speechwriters, the significance of this alleged plagiarism cannot be overstated. This was Melania's first speech as the country's potential First Lady, and she gave a speech that seems very obviously copied from the current First Lady in a remarkably similar setting. This could impact not only her public image by painting her as a plagiarist without integrity (although some members of the media seem to be treating her with kid-gloves) but also shows the supreme disorganization and hubris of her husband's campaign — a campaign for a candidate who spent months defaming President Obama by questioning his place of birth, only to turn around and copy his wife's speech.