I’ve been a writer and and editor for 20 years. I know the process, and I know the pitfalls and mistakes that can be made. This is what I think happened to Melania Trump.
The one speech you go to in preparing for your candidate’s spouse’s introductory convention speech is the last candidate’s spouse’s introductory convention speech. And Michelle Obama’s was a good one, part of some successful rebranding that went on that remade her from the kind of sullen presence she had been previously to an attractive, smart, candidate’s wife.
So, writing for Melania, you would want to look at this speech. You probably would cut and paste a few of the better lines, thinking, Yeah, I’ll use a version of that for Melania. Change it a bunch, but what I’m seeing is good inspriration for Mrs. Trump, and she thinks along similar lines.
And then, every writer’s nightmare. You cut, you pasted, you forgot about it. You passed your version, or your portion of the speech, up the chain, and the next person had no idea of your sourcing. Certainly, Melania didn’t. And then, behold, you’ve plagiarized Mrs. Obama.
It’s relatively innocent. But it is still incompetent, and signals a campaign that is too small and too disorganized. And that’s a problem for Mr. Trump.