Melania Knavs Trump; or Melania Knauss Trump.
No, Melania did not stand out there alone speaking words of another in ignorance. Three are responsible: Melania herself, who proposed the words after rejecting a speech prepared by hired professionals for the purpose; a staffer, Meredith McIver, who included her recollection of them in requested revisions, without seeking backup review, as well as Donald Trump for failure to supervise, stay informed, plan, grasp context and issues.
It turns out that Melania justifiably bears substantial responsibility for the inclusion of the words of Michelle Obama, the First Lady,in Melania's speech. Events are laid out now, so far, in letter of admission of role from staffer Meredith McIver, at http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/politics/trump-staffers-apology-letter-for-melania-trumps-speech/2091/
- Melania had received a proposed speech from professional speechwriters hired by the campaign. That proposed speech contained no words of Michelle Obama.
- Melania sought revisions, and turned, not to the professionals hired for the purpose, but to a campaign staffer, Meredith McIver. Bio: See Who is Melania Trump's Speech Writer Meredith McIver?, Time Magazine article by Melissa Chan 7.20.2016,
- For the desired revisions, Melania had researched words of Michelle Obama, whom she admires. Others? She proposed to Ms. McIver the words of Michelle Obama for inclusion, no information as to further directions.
- Staffer Meredith McIver listened to Melania read the words of Mrs. Obama over the phone, as I understand it, then put her own recollection (McIver's) of those words in the revised speech for Melania.
Melania is well regarded. See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/us/politics/melania-trump-slovenia.html?_r=0 Here is the big problem:
It is the candidate's failure to protect, failure to keep his own wife safe. And this in a time of putting safety first. Safety takes anticipation of issues, preparation, execution of a plan to protect. He failed.
Accordingly, it is that the candidate himself, by failure of organization and perspective and taking steps to avoid this elementary politically predictable pitfall, did not protect his wife before or after. He did not prepare her for the issues that any spotlight on words brings here; did not control his staff and set parameters.
Why don't you speak for yourself, Melania, echoing Priscilla to John Alden in our early colonies.
Addendum 7.20.2016: Whose is the greater fault in this fiasco of plagiarism? Donald and MM --the M&M's: Melania and McIver.
First, Donald Trump. Negligent supervision, negligent delegation, willful ignorance, failure to plan, failure to assess, failure to set systems in place to avoid predictable disasters stemming from loose cannons.
Second, Melania Trump. Theft of merit. Theft of reputation. Theft of our consent, our right to informed consent in whether to support her or her husband or not. Is there such a right? Add to the platform. Gross negligence where she had a duty of care to all of us and the campaign, is that so?Melania knew or should have known that holding out the words of Michelle Obama as Melania's own is a false representation, a stealing of something of value. She was not acting out of ignorance. She herself proposed the words. Anyone an look up plagiarism.. See What constitutes plagiarism? Using sources, Harvard University.
Legal recourse? Not appropriate at all. A consequence can be its own punishment.
Third, Meredith McIver. Last clear chance. Duty of care again. She knew or should have known that no speech should be given in this setting without backup approval. She knew or should have known that Melania would rely on her revised speech and may not seek backup approval elsewhere. Negligent contracting? Is there such? She accepted work for which she knew or should have known she is not qualified; how to deal with source material, see internet source above. Quiz on Friday. Failure of judgment, reflecting the risks of loose-cannon campaigning, see Donald Trump, above.
[DELETE] I see no-one casting aspersions directly or substantially on Melania Trump for plagiarism. She, as any politician's surrogate, was put in this position unawares. She more likely received a prepared speech, altered this or that, and delivered it. Point fingers not at her, but at the speech preparers, who did not keep connected the source of research on similar speeches (so hers would be effective as well) with the snippets apparently lifted and pasted. Without advance warning of questions, she noted that she wrote the speech, spontaneously, but that can be walked back if inaccurate, and should be if so.
There are aspersions, and substantial aspersions at this point, all justified.
DELETE] It is not the speechwriter who can be Fired for a YUUUge mistake prejudicing the politics du jour against the candidate and his wife.
Yes, under the facts, she can, for her role as it is now known. She has offered resignation [see letter of admission] and is still retained.