Melania Hailed as Day's Best Speaker

But some parts of her speech sounded very familiar
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2016 11:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – It was the biggest speech Melania Trump has ever made—and if the former supermodel had stage fright, she didn't show it. The Quicken Loans Arena emptied rapidly after Melania—introduced by her husband, in a departure from convention tradition—made her speech, leaving analysts to declare her the best speaker of Day 1 of the GOP convention even as guests, including Sen. Joni Ernst, were still waiting to speak. A roundup of reactions:

  • Melania was "the most effective speaker of the evening" because she managed to do something most others failed to do, according to Glenn Thrush at Politico: "Deliver a concise message about her husband's character and compassion without straying from the script or lapsing into rambling self-indulgence." She managed to soften Trump's image and add a rare note of inclusiveness on a "strident evening," Thrush writes.

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  • With lines like, "As the citizens of this great nation, it is kindness, love, and compassion for each other that will bring us together—and keep us together," Melania at times sounded more like Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, according to Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times. "Maybe the wrong Trump is heading the ticket?" he wonders.
  • Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post found Melania to be "warm, likable, and genuine" and he declares her one of the day's winners, though "the bar was not terribly high." "It was hard for me to imagine that anyone would leave her address feeling anything but more favorably inclined toward her husband," he writes. "That's a big win for Team Trump."
  • Melania added a much-needed softer tone to Trump, but her 15-minute speech "lacked [a] personal anecdote or insightful story that voters could latch on to as they formulate a fuller opinion of the presumptive GOP nominee," writes Ali Vitali at NBC News. But it appears Trump has at least gained a "new messenger," writes Vitali, who notes that Melania would be the first foreign-born first lady since John Quincy Adams' English-born wife, Louisa, nearly 200 years ago.
  • TPM reports that parts of Melania's speech were almost identical to parts of Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech. See examples of the alleged plagiarism here.
Click for more from the RNC, including Scott Baio's big line. (Read more Republican National Convention stories.)

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