Old Speechwriter Muses On Melania’s Copycat Speech

One of my career duties was writing speeches created for top insurance company execs to deliver at conferences. They were typically 30-minute inspirational rants to audiences of several hundred company sales staffers in resort hotel auditoriums.

While it’s laughably obvious that Melania Trump’s speechwriters stole Mrs. Obama’s words, the copycat incident is not unusual. When I worked up speeches, I often used quotes by everyone from Shakespeare to P.T. Barnum. It added drama and emotion to otherwise mundane words about getting out there to peddle those damn insurance policies.

I assume former fashion model Mrs. Trump, who looked spectacular, was sober when she recited the words in her second-language English. As I listened, it brought back old memories of when I had to fret backstage while my speeches were being delivered at the podium.

Our conference sessions were in the morning, and most company execs had spent the night before drinking. They enjoyed the free-flowing booze provided by the hotel and their unlimited expense accounts. I still get angry remembering those drunken guys, with paychecks at least ten times higher than mine, slurring my inspirational words. Therefore, I quote:

Hamlet: Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines.

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