Tuesday Reads: Disastrous Day One of the Republican National Convention

Good Afternoon!!

After the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, there’s good news and bad news for the Trump campaign. The bad news is that the big story today is that Melania Trump’s speech last night was basically a light edit of Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008 with a few paragraphs thrown in to make it look like it was about Donald Trump. The good news for Trump is that this story is distracting the media from the racist, misogynist, and xenophobic content of the rest of the Convention speeches.

The Washington Post: Republican National Convention: Scrutiny of Melania Trump’s speech follows plagiarism allegations.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign came under new scrutiny Tuesday after it became apparent that part of Melania Trump’s primetime address Monday night at the Republican National Convention bore conspicuous similarities to a speech delivered by first lady Michelle Obama in 2008 at the Democratic convention.

The plagiarism charges have cast a shadow over Trump and his campaign on the second day of the convention here in Cleveland, where Republicans are making the case to a skeptical country that the celebrity billionaire —the most unconventional and impulsive major-party standard-bearer in modern history — could be a credible and steadfast leader at a time of terrorist threats abroad and senseless tragedies at home.

Trump’s campaign and allies rushed to defend Melania Trump on Tuesday morning.

“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,” wrote senior communications advisor Jason Miller in a statement. “Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.” ….

Melania Trump had previously indicated that she wrote the speech herself.h. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pretty much threw Melania under the bus by sticking to the story that she wrote it herself.

On Tuesday morning, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort denied that there had been any plagiarism, despite clear similarities between the two speeches. Some parts of the speeches appeared to be the same, word for word.

“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values that she cares about, her family, things like that,” Manafort said on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning. “She was speaking in front of 35 million people last night, she knew that, to think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”

The sections in the video are only the beginning. There are similarities to Michelle Obama’s speech throughout. Even the final lines claiming “he will never turn his back on you” were borrowed from Michelle. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pretty much threw Melania under the bus by sticking to the story that she wrote it herself.

Oh yes, and Manafort also blamed Hillary for the mess the campaign is in. Think Progress: Trump Campaign Manager On Melania’s Plagiarism: It’s Hillary’s Fault

Donald Trump and his campaign are scrambling to address the apparent plagiarism in Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech, which replicated specific language from First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Trump’s former rivals-turned-surrogates Ben Carson and Chris Christie both refused to acknowledge the plagiarism.

Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort went even further. He not only denied the speech was plagiarized, but accused Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton of spreading the storybecause she hates other women.

“This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton she seeks out to demean her and take her down,” he said. “It’s not going to work.”

Manafort repeated the sexist attack in a press conference a few hours later. “When Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person,” he told reporters.

There are now rumors that Trump is furious with Manafort. Perhaps he’ll be looking for a new campaign manager soon–right in the middle of the RNC.

Wow! That’s some heavy duty misogyny there.

Some folks on Twitter have been digging up tweets from Mr. and Mrs. Trump that suggest plagiarism is nothing new for these two.

And check this out:


And what about the parts of Melania’s speech that weren’t plagiarized? Isaac Chotiner at Slate: Melania Trump’s Pathetic Attempt to Humanize Her Husband.

The traditional role of the first lady is, in the clichéd language of our politics, to “humanize” her spouse. Melania Trump may in some sense appear to be nontraditional for the wife of a Republican nominee. But in her speech on Monday night she set for herself the same goal: showing a side of Donald Trump that voters had not seen. What she delivered, according to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, speaking from the convention floor, was the speech of the night. The CNN panel gushed. Hugh Hewitt got excited on MSNBC. But don’t believe it: Melania’s speech was just as morally questionable as Rudy Giuliani’s Mussolini-not-so-lite speech that preceded it.

The most striking feature of Melania’s speech was the lack of specifics: Perhaps because her husband is a gruesome demagogue rather than a halfway-decent person, there were no humanizing anecdotes or sweet stories to tell. The candidate’s public personality is clearly more than an act; those who know him have nothing truly nice or personal to say about him, just as he has nothing nice or personal to say about them. (People he likes in his orbit tend to be “absolutely terrific.”)

I noticed that last night. Melania didn’t provide a single specific anecdote to illustrate her husband’s supposed generosity, kindness, and other positive qualities she claims he has.

This morning Ivanka Trump told the AP that her dad wants her to make sure everything in her speech introducing him on Thursday is in her own words.

Could there be trouble between Trump’s third wife and his children from first wife Ivana? Joy Reid tweeted today that Melania refused to attend the introduction of Mike Pence and his family because she was angry with Donald’s children for pushing him to name a VP candidate that he didn’t really want.

Reid also cited a Daily Mail article that suggests trouble in the Trump extended family: ‘She can’t talk, she can’t give a speech’: Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana slams his current spouse Melania and suggests she would make a better First Lady.

Trump’s first wife Ivana, who was married to the Republican presidential front runner from 1977 to 1991, said Melania ‘can’t talk’ and ‘can’t give a speech’.

The 66-year-old – who had three children with the billionaire – reportedly said she would have made a good First Lady and backed her ex-husband to be a ‘great President’.

Ivana was told at a recent party in New York that she would have been a good First Lady.

According to the New York Daily News, she laughed and replied: ‘Yes, but the problem is, what is he going to do with his third wife?’

Referring to Melania Trump, Ivana continued: ‘She can’t talk, she can’t give a speech, she doesn’t go to events, she doesn’t want to be involved.’

Ivana also said Trump would be a successful President and backed him to win the Republican nomination.

‘He’ll be a great President,’ she said. ‘He’ll surround himself with the right people. He was always meant to be a politician.’

She added that she had backed Trump to run for President in the 1980s, but ‘then he got involved with Marla Maples and America hated him’.

ROFLOL! Most of America still hates him.

I’m going to wrap this up soon, because I’m completely exhausted after driving nearly 1,000 miles over the past two days. But I want to include stories about one more speech from last night.

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If you missed Rudy Giuliani’s crazy address to the convention, you really need to watch it. You can do that at Slate, where Fred Kaplan writes about it: What Has Happened to Rudy Giuliani? He used to be a pragmatic moderate. Now he’s spewing nonsense.

Exactly 20 years ago, as the Boston Globe’s New York bureau chief, I interviewed Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his office in City Hall. The 1996 Republican Convention was going on in San Diego, and I asked him why he wasn’t there. “It’s not my sort of thing,” he replied. “I’m much closer to moderates in both parties than to extremists in either.”

That was a long time ago….

Self-righteous and bombastic as he has become in recent years, I have never seen him—I have never imagined him—huffing and puffing with such fire and brimstone. Or spewing such rank nonsense.

Boasting that he changed New York “from the crime capital of America to the safest large city in America,” he said, “What I did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America.” Stipulating that he played a role in cutting crime in New York (and I think he did, to some extent), what did he do? Most pertinent, he appointed William Bratton as his police chief, who tracked crime with daily computer statistics (before then, there were only quarterly statistics), then instantly redeployed cops to neighborhoods where crime was spurting. He also arrested people for committing small crimes, and many of those people, it turned out, were wanted for large crimes. Other things were happening in society, too. But these techniques and the surrounding circumstances have no application to the fight against global terrorism. Nor does the sophisticated approach that Giuliani and Bratton brought to urban disorder have any resemblance to Trump’s attitude to anything.

Then Giuliani delved into the shallowest realm of Trump’s attack on Obama’s (or Obama-Clinton’s) counterterrorism policies—the refusal to call our enemy by their name: as he bellowed it, “Islamic extremist terrorism” (words that drew an enormous ovation). Obama has addressed this critique: It is silly to believe that, if only he uttered those three words (like “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!”), the bad guys would turn and run—or anything different would happen whatsoever. “If they are at war against us,” Giuliani roared, “we must commit ourselves to unconditional victory against them.” What does that mean? What does the United States or the West have to do to achieve that goal? I ask Giuliani and others who speak in this language to put forth a three-point outline, a 100-page treatise—some idea of what new policies, tactics, or strategies they have in mind. I honestly don’t know, and I’m pretty sure they don’t either.

Kaplan carefully dissects the entire Giuliani diatribe.  The piece is well worth reading.

I wonder what atrocities Trump and the Republicans will produce in day 2 of the their convention? So far this week looks like it will be very good for Hillary Clinton.
What stories are you following today?

79 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Disastrous Day One of the Republican National Convention”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a great Tuesday, Sky Dancers!

      • Enheduanna says:

        OK so I think Trumps’ hands are all over that speech – she even says at one point:

        “And he will do this better than anyone else can… and it won’t even be close.”

        Gosh I wonder who wrote that. So Trump may have even been the one to crib the lines thinking we’re all too stupid to notice and isn’t he being so clever.

        But I don’t think either of them knows what a rickroll is – so still open to the possibility there is a saboteur, maybe one of the kids?

        For the record – i don’t think Melania knew those lines were plagiarized – too risky. And nobody vetted the speech because Donald wrote most of it.

        • bostonboomer says:

          This morning someone posted a Trump tweet in which Trump said Michelle’s 2008 speech was great. So he was familiar with it.

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    Now we know that Melania is as much a fraud as Donald. Who’s surprised? Any woman who could live with this bullshit artist has to acquiesce to lying, deception and demagoguery as a normal life function or LEAVE. She didn’t leave, she stayed on the payroll.

    And I’d love for someone to call out Guiliani on his claim about Donald being a generour anonymous benefactor to those in need in NYC. I don’t believe that and Rudy should either put up or shut up. He thinks if he sucks hard enough he’ll be the next United States Attorney General. NOT GONNA HAPPEN CRAZY RUDY!!!

    • janicen says:

      Yes, yes, and yes! I agree with all of your points, Mouse. Now we know what Donald loves about her, she’s a liar and a thief just like him!

      And I would love for somebody to investigate Rudy’s claim about Trump. It was so vague it had to be a lie.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Melania said in her speech that she had been with Trump for 18 years, but Trump’s divorce from Ivana was only 17 years ago! LOL!

        • janicen says:


        • ANonOMouse says:

          Because in Trump’s woman world a little overlap doesn’t hurt anything. That’s the same excuse Trump uses for his stomach and explains why he wears a tie that is so long it comes half way down his fly. Trying to cover up that overlap.

  3. janicen says:

    I was watching last night and during not ONLY Giuliani’s speech but every single speech up there I kept turning to my husband and saying, “WTF are they talking about?”

    They are just standing up there and spouting out word salads that have no meaning whatsoever. At least Giuliani got the crowd to cheer every so often when he shrieked some salad at them but the rest of them seemed to confuse the crowd. Well, except for the women who immediately displayed tears when the Benghazi mom started speaking but you could tell that was BS. They started crying at the first words out of the woman’s mouth! Seemed planned to me.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      The Benghazi mom is a regular on the right wing talking heads circuit. I’m sure she’s made many appearances on the Fox News NUTWORK. They knew what she was going to say even before she said it. She was pitiable, but totally standing on the edge of sanity and blaming Hillary was a desperate plea from a woman who is inconsolable. The GOP should be ashamed of even putting her on stage.

      • quixote says:

        I don’t follow this stuff so I don’t know if it’s precisely true, but I saw in another comment thread that the mom is a stepmom and she was actually estranged from her stepson. He was liberal and she is what she is.

        That wouldn’t necessarily stop her from being inconsolable (might actually be more so due to some added guilt), but it is a bit different from the narrative straight off the Convention floor.

        • Beata says:

          I did some Internet research on this. I found no evidence that Pat Smith was not Sean Smith’s biological mother or that they were estranged. During a 2012 CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, Ms. Smith refers to Sean as “my only child” and says she “had him for his first 17 years and then he went into the service”. They appear to have kept in communication even when he was far from home.

          If anyone wants to research this further, go ahead. To me, she is a grieving mother. I wish her solace.

    • dakinikat says:

      They had folks speaking they called “celebrities” and I honesty didn’t know wtf they were at all … very strange.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Roger Ailes’ huge fall from grace is just a prelude to a crushing Trump defeat this Fall. It’s gonna be a great year!!!!

      And if O’Leilly retires – icing on the cake.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        We can pop open a bottle of champagne and toast this year, even with all of it’s bad news

  4. thewizardofroz says:

    “Could there be trouble between Trump’s third wife and his children from second wife Ivana?”

    Ivana was his first wife. His second wife was Marla Maples. There is one daughter, Tiffany, from that marriage. She is scheduled to speak tonight. Some info about her here:


    Roz in NJ/NYC

    • dakinikat says:

      Why are we hearing from all the spawn of Trump? They really don’t have much in the way of accomplishments as far as I can tell. They can talk to me when one of them cures cancer or wins a Nobel prize.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You’re right. Sorry about that. I’m so out of it, I hardly know what’s happening.

  5. Jslat says:


  6. dakinikat says:

    Seriously though, the worst thing was how the campaign and the RNC basically used that mother’s grief and suffering for a cheap hit on Hillary over Benghazi. That was the most sadistic thing I’ve seen on TV for awhile and I won’t link to the part. I had to go out, get a glass of wine and pick up pokemon balls after about 2 minutes of it.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      It was a totally disgusting move! But using the misdirected anger of grieving mothers and wounded veterans is what the GOP does best. They wrap it in patriotism and jesus and make their acolytes believe that it must be true because “jesus” and “veteran” and “grieving mom”. It’s a sad, despicable game.

    • Fannie says:

      Their Benghazi committee spent over 2 years, and millions of dollars trying to prove what Pat Smith said, and they couldn’t, not even with their movie which was said to be a true movie. Not.

      Was glad that Chris Matthews came back on the republicans for putting this Mom out there. I’d couldn’t help but think that after 9/11, George W. Bush suspended all air flights from leaving, except for the Saudi Arabians.

  7. dakinikat says:

    and More intellectual theft from the Trust Fund Thugs:

    Queen guitarist: Trump didn’t have permission to use our song


    • ANonOMouse says:

      Trump doesn’t pay for anything he can Con or Steal and he does both very well.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Yes! I kept thinking how are they getting away with that??? Brian May let his feelings be known on that back during the primary when it was used. Is that even legal? Obvs Trump and the RNC don’t care what May thinks. And Freddie’s rolling in his grave I’m sure.

      There is not a speck of common decency in that entire party.

  8. Beata says:

    I watched several minutes of a speech Mike Pence gave today to a conservative group. He spent most of the time talking about meeting Ronald Reagan years ago. He appeared to be trying to run as Reagan’s VP. Good luck with that, Mike. I didn’t hear Pence refer to Trump by name, rather he kept calling him “this good man”.

    Jesus wept.

    • dakinikat says:

      My grandfather used to say Jesus wept when he was really ticked off about something. It’s evidently the preferred Victorian way of swearing but for me it always meant that some one clearly got something wrong. Pence probably thinks he’s forgiven for all the lying he’s doing and about to do.

    • teele says:

      My Hoosier relatives are all delighted with Trump’s choice — they are thrilled he’s getting Pence out of the governor’s office!

      • dakinikat says:

        I can imagine!!!

      • thewizardofroz says:

        That’s at least one good thing to come out of this Trump horror show. If he’d chosen our governor Crispy Cream, NJ would still have been stuck with him until January 2018. At that point, he’ll be looking for a job because he’s term limited.

        Roz in NJ/NYC

  9. dakinikat says:

    Trump’s RNC Claims Melania Plagiarized Speech From My Little Pony Not Michelle Obama

    Republicans have come up with a new excuse for Malina Trump’s convention speech plagiarism. According to the RNC, Mrs. Trump may have lifted phrases from My Little Pony, not First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Twilight Sparkle did it first? Really? Really?


  10. janicen says:

  11. dakinikat says:

  12. dakinikat says:

    Okay, the gawdess is on our side: Norovirus strikes the Republican National Convention


    The highly contagious norovirus appears to have hit the Republican National Convention.

    A dozen California Republican Party staff members, who arrived last week in Ohio ahead of the state’s delegates, have fallen ill with the virus, said Jim Brulte, chairman of the state GOP.

    So far, none of the state’s delegates appears to have caught the virus.

    “Our best guess is that this came from California,” Brulte said. The first staffer to fall ill infected her spouse.

    The delegates from California are staying at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, nearly 60 miles away from the Cleveland arena where the convention is being staged.

    Gee who needs to fund things like that anyway?

    • Jslat says:

      Very worth the time to read it. Do you know anything about Tucker, himself?

    • Jslat says:

      Besides what is on the blog?

    • Fannie says:

      You know, we have a republican city council man, Ty Palmer in Meridian, Idaho. Yeah, he’s one those I am going to make America Great Again by not passing a bill that would allow the help of a Federal block grant to build low income housing nearby. According to him allowing this housing program would generate tenants of the criminal kind. So he told the people to send thodr low income people somewhere else to live. I was on the phone to him, and we got into a yelling match, and I told him he was a white racist pig, and nothing more than the GOP Golden Boy. He hates poor people, wants them to live as second class citizens. He’s made me sick peddling the GOP hate against women, children, poor working class and people of color. It’s just a blatant lie that poor people will turn the neighborhood into a crime center. There will be another hearing, and I’ll be there. Meanwhile, I’d like to send this article to the Democrats on the committee, because they need to stop the discrimination, and improve the quality of life for poor working class people living here. I vow to help them fight for housing. This article strike a nerve with me.

      I really like this information, and data and his sources. I plan on sharing this, and wanted to thank you. I don’t know anything about this Tucker, but he has my attention. TY Dak


    • Fannie says:

      Here’s another reason why citizens of this country are angry…………Sect of State, Kris Koback prevents voters from casting ballots, and ACLU is suing:


  13. dakinikat says:

    The Brutal Slice of Trump’s Razor


    Over the weekend, I outlined my heuristic of Trumpian action which my high school classmate John Scalzi has now dubbed ‘Trump’s Razor’ in honor of ‘Occam’s Razor’, the foundational mode of reasoning devised by the 14th century scholastic theologian William of Occam. According to Trump’s Razor: “ascertain the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts” and that answer is likely correct. Last night ran very late at TPM thanks to the Melania/plagiarism debacle. As I was walking to my apartment well past midnight I started considering the implications of Trump’s Razor and I shuddered and recoiled at what it told me. To phrase the principle in Occam’s terms, it tells us ‘the stupidest scenario is always to be preferred’. And what was the stupidest possible scenario? Right: Melania wrote the speech herself.

    • Enheduanna says:

      I actually find this a little sexist. If Melania is dumb enough to crib the lines outright, and we know Trump would have looked at the speech, then who is the dumber one?

  14. Jslat says:

    Dak you’re on fire! You’ve kept me busy reading😀

  15. bostonboomer says:

    While the grieving mother was speaking at the RNC, Donald Trump was calling in to Fox News. When asked about this early this morning, Paul Manafort did not know it had happened.


  16. pdgrey says:

    I went to the dentist today, (dying here). But no way was I going to miss reading the links and comments today!
    Thanks everyone!

  17. Fannie says:

    So Alaska comes out at the convention, and give 5 votes for Rubio, 11 for Trump, and 12 for Cruz, and they took all 28 votes and gave them to Trump. How’s that work with the rules committee?

    Listen to this friggin shit. District of Columbia, 10 votes Rubio, 9 Kasich, 0 Trump….19 went to Trump. Trump didn’t get a single damn vote.

    You know how they get up on their high horse about states rights? In the case the Republican Committee trumps the states right for this convention. The District of Columbia came out and said this is why people are leaving the Republican party.

    • NW Luna says:

      What Trump is, however, is a would-be authoritarian ruler. And, as we’ve discussed, authoritarian rulers require violence and disorder because it is their justification for rule.

      Frighteningly true. Good article; thx for posting it.

    • janicen says:

      Really excellent piece. Thank you.