Her husband has made a career – and, terrifyingly, may yet still make it to the White House – out of his jaw-droppingly shameless antics. But so far, Melania Trump has always given the impression of being a rather less outrageous character than The Donald. The would-be first lady has been surprisingly reticent in her husband’s presidential campaign, making few public speeches and giving only a handful of interviews.
But at the Republican national convention on Monday night, the world discovered that the former Melanija Knavs can be just as brazen as her husband.
In a speech delivered to a packed arena in Cleveland, Ohio, Melania emphasised her and Donald’s shared values of family and hard work. The only problem: a key section appeared to be lifted, almost verbatim, from a speech made by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic convention.
“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,” said Melania.
“That you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, 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.”
And here’s Michelle, eight years earlier:
“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.
“And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and 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.”
In a statement published on Trump’s website, his senior communications advisor, Jason Miller, said:
“In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”
Somewhere in Washington D.C., Michelle Obama is laughing.
Images: Rex Features