SHE SAID SHE SAID
I'd fire him.
If somebody derailed my convention and embarrassed my wife, I'd fire him.
Not the speechwriter.
The campaign manager.
This situation in which Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention included two plagiarized sections is so needless and destructive, it is such a self-inflicted wound, that you almost wonder if it was sabotage.
It is easier to imagine someone wanting to torpedo the Trump campaign than it is to think that anyone getting paid to write would be so stupid and unethical as to steal someone else's words.
Also, to be honest, it's astounding to think that a team of people hired to write a speech about a woman's admiration of her husband would need to read much less steal another person's thoughts on the subject.
For that point, why does it take a team of people to express one person's thoughts?
And how is it that something that would get a 10th-grader flunked in English class ends up being in the repertoire of a presidential campaign?
And I'm not some Democrat shill. I'm a Republican. I've been on the Trump train since Iowa. I'm going to vote for Donal Trump in November and I'm going to encourage others to do the same. I've even offered my services as a speech writer to someone speaking at the convention.
And this dumbfounds even me.
It's as if the Clinton campaign hacked the computers and inserted a couple of paragraphs as a poison pill.
But that's not what happened.
The possible future first lady of the United States seems to have misrepresented the primary authorship of her speech in an interview with Matt Lauer, and after plagiarism popped up in her speech, the campaign denied its existence and said that the criticisms were nothing more than partisan sniping.
The impact is to brand Melania Trump as a joke in the public mind. Look for a trending hashtag. That stain won't wash away anytime soon. The matter also took an entire day of the convention -- 25 percent of the whole -- and made it about this self-inflected wound. When folks woke up Tuesday morning, they didn't hear about Rudy Giuliani's tremendously provocative speech, or Marcus Latrell's touching words, or even the tears of a woman who blames her son's death in Benghazi on Hillary Clinton. The news wasn't about securing our shores or patrolling our streets, it wasn't about taking care of veterans or fighting terrorists, it was about plagiarism.
It was an embarrassment and a distraction.
The party-approved campaign manager, the almost creepy guy with the lounge-lizard affect, had screwed the pooch. This is the big game, this is the moment of opportunity, and somebody put on a suicide vest. It is just incredible.
It continues the narrative of Trump being a tone-deaf screwup. It prompts new questions about Trump's ability to manage and lead. If you can't have stability in your campaign, if you can't have consistent and appropriate performance in your operation, how the hell are you going to run the country? You say you're great at running golf courses and wineries, but what about the relatively simpler process of keeping a campaign on track?
Manafort should go.
The professional-politician hack who Trump brought on to satisfy the party bosses who hate him. He should go. It was his watch, it was his job, and he screwed the pooch.
So he should go.
Before the next bomb on this snake-bit campaign is dropped.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2016