So now we know why Melania Trump’s speech was not only lame, but plagiarized in part:
Matthew Scully and John McConnell, who had worked together as speechwriters during Mr. Bush’s first term, wrote a draft of Ms. Trump’s speech in June, sending it to the campaign for review about a month ago.
The pair did not hear back from the campaign until about 10 days ago, according to one person familiar with the conversation, when they were told that the lineup of speeches and the timing of Ms. Trump’s speech had been changed, leading to the speech having to be shortened. Ms. Trump then worked with a person from within the Trump organization to make substantial revisions.
The speech-writing duo was not aware that the speech had been significantly changed until Ms. Trump delivered it on Monday night. According to one source, the only parts that remained from the original draft were the introduction and a passage that included the phrase “a national campaign like no other.”
On the one hand, who cares? She’s a supermodel. One’s oratorical expectations are not high for that sort of person. On the other hand, now that we know more about how this debacle happened, this symbolizes something problematic about the Trump operation. It hired two of the best speechwriters in the business to craft that address, then threw out their work at virtually the last minute to handle it in house. Because Trump knows better, probably. And they ended up humiliating Melania Trump with their corner-cutting and lack of integrity.
A small thing? Yeah, mostly. But if it reveals a mindset within the Trump campaign, a sense that they know better than others, this could be a real problem for a Trump presidency. Then again, it must be admitted that all the GOP campaign experts couldn’t defeat an amateur like Donald Trump this past year. Nor did having a bunch of serious experts advising George W. Bush prevent him from leading the country into a disastrous war. Nevertheless, this was a very easy error to have avoided, and the fact that Donald Trump hasn’t made a public example of someone for having caused his wife to make a fool of herself in public probably indicates that somebody else in the family made the fatal call.
UPDATE: Holy Scott McConnell’s Great Aunt Agatha, Donald Jr. just plagiarized TAC in his convention speech!:
This family is either truly crazy, or they’re trolling us like bosses.
UPDATE.2: Ah, but the plot thickens. This is Frank Buckley, author of the TAC article, and a Trump fan:
Except it wasn’t stealing…
— Frank Buckley (@fbuckley) July 20, 2016
He probably wrote the speech for Trump fils. Is it plagiarism if you quote yourself? To be clear, even though Buckley’s essay appeared in TAC, I have no idea if he had anything to do with writing Trump Jr.’s speech. We’ll have to hear from him on it.
UPDATE.3: Aaaaand, that’s a wrap:
F.H. Buckley tells @businessinsider: “I was a speechwriter for this speech. So I’m afraid there’s no issue here.”
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) July 20, 2016