In 1984 in Texas then First Lady Nancy Reagan brought down the house with a speech that might have made more sense for Melania Trump to borrow from — if only she could. (If you’ve been under a rock, you may not know that Mrs. Trump’s 2016 RNC address had some similarities to the one given by Michelle Obama in 2008, a fact that may say more about a spouse’s role in a campaign than about Trump.)
But if Melania Trump was going to borrow — and borrow liberally, in every sense of the word — why didn’t she source a more conservative woman, for GOP’s sake? Nancy Reagan’s 1984 speech, which you can view here, had plenty of nuggets to mine. Well, actually, in a bit of political magic-making Reagan doesn’t say much — for the last eight and a half minutes. But the crowd goes nuts anyway. Plus the speech shows a textbook example of how to get a giant live video of the candidate interacting with the crowd and his spouse. (How could Donald Trump have resisted?) Mrs. Reagan says thank you for all the support and kindnesses. And then she says let’s win one for the Gipper! That’s pretty much it. Reagan won in a landslide, of course. But the speech couldn’t be plagiarized.