If we are to believe the letter written by the Trump Organization in-house staff writer — Meredith McIver — who offered to resign over the damaging incident, Michelle's words came from Melania Trump, who admires Michelle Obama and read lines from the 2008 speech to McIver as a way to express what she was looking for. McIver took notes that included some of the verbatim phrases and then fashioned the speech without checking to make sure there was no overlap.
Donald Trump rejected McIver's resignation and — according to McIver — told her that "people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences." So rather than take advantage of McIver as a sacrificial lamb, Trump saw an opportunity to demonstrate his magnanimity and forgiving spirit.
I don't know how much of that is true, but to me the most interesting part is that Melania "has always liked" Michelle Obama. Isn't that nice?! Michelle really did do a nice job with that speech back in 2008! This screw-up got us all looking back on something that we ought to acknowledge as good. We should have models for our speeches. Who should we emulate? You don't start with nothing. You show something of yourself by whom you chose to copy, but of course, you don't copy verbatim without acknowledging your source.
Now, I'm imagining Melania giving a speech that begins: When they asked me to give a speech at this convention and to millions of people watching this convention on TV, I wondered how could I do it? What could I say? And then I remembered: Michelle! What a beautiful speech Michelle Obama gave back in 2008! I never dreamed that 8 years later, I would be in her position. I'd have been terrified. I am terrified! But what gave me the nerve to step up and talk to you tonight was that image of Michelle Obama that impressed me so much, because she spoke from the heart — about her values, her values that she learned from her parents, and about her love for her husband and for her country. I want to say that too. Her country is my country, and I want to say, like her, that I believe that you need to 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 that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them....