Melania admires Michelle? What Donald should learn from that

Melania Trump, wife of presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, addresses delegates on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Republican Party opened its national convention, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as its presidential nominee.  / AFP / Robyn BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Speechwriter takes blame for Melania Trump's speech
02:23 - Source: CNN

Editor’s Note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for civic engagement and voter registration at the Democratic National Committee. A nationally syndicated columnist, she is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of “Cooking With Grease: Stirring the Pots in America.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

Story highlights

It turns out Melania Trump admires Michelle Obama, according to a Trump staff writer

So. now is a good time for Donald Trump to stop questioning the Americanness of the Obamas, writes Donna Brazile

CNN  — 

In taking responsibility for lifting much of two paragraphs from a speech by Michelle Obama, Trump campaign staff writer Meredith McIver did more than uncover her own part in the drama surrounding Melania Trump’s convention speech. She also inadvertently highlighted the unfair and frankly hateful way Donald Trump has treated the Obamas.

Donna Brazile

It seems that despite her husband’s open contempt for the first family, Melania Trump found much to admire in Michelle Obama. McIver, in her statement, said,

“In working with Melania Trump on her recent first lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples.”

Bless Melania’s heart, I do feel bad for her and the spot she was put in, but I think Donald Trump and his campaign should take it to heart when she says she admires Michelle Obama, and was moved by her American upbringing and the values the Obamas raise their kids on.

That’s because so much of his campaign, and so much of this convention, has been about impugning the Americanness and legitimacy of the Obamas — and that is just not where the American people are.

The thing the American people admire most about President Obama is that he is a good family man. They love the first lady. The kind of hate directed toward President Obama that Donald Trump has relied on for the last five years, in part by his championing the “birther” cause that disputed whether the President is truly a citizen of this country, is never going to be embraced by a majority of the American people. That’s the lesson the Trump campaign should take away from all this.

In the brief time before the plagiarism surfaced, Melania Trump’s speech was hailed as a breakthrough moment for the Trump campaign. It still can be — if they listen to what she was saying.