UPDATE: After Melania Trump gave her speech, it emerged that substantial portions of it appeared to have been lifted from Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. See here for more details.
CLEVELAND—Melania Trump's brief speech at the opening night of the Republican National Convention was the most the country has heard from her since Donald Trump first declared his candidacy more than a year ago.
"When it comes to my husband, I will say that I am definitely biased—and for good reason," she said Monday. "I have been with Donald for 18 years, and I have been aware of his love for this country since we first met."
The speech didn't offer much insight into Trump's inner life, but Trump's own speeches don't really do that, either. (Megyn Kelly, in her softball reconciliation interview, asked Trump if anyone had ever "wounded" him emotionally. He didn't answer the question, but said he could "certainly" think about it.)
After a brief biographical detour into Melania's childhood in Slovenia—"a small, beautiful, then Communist country"—and a reflection on learning to work hard from her father and appreciate fashion from her mother, she returned to familiar Trump territory: he loves America, he works hard, and he will work hard for America.
"Donald wants prosperity for all Americans," she said. "We need new programs to help the poor, and new programs to challenge the young."
Trump is gifted, she added: "Now is the time to use those gifts as never before for purposes far greater than ever."
The spousal convention speech is a particularly odd kind of political theater. They're supposed to humanize the candidate and reveal a side that only a spouse would know. In 2012, Ann Romney spoke about falling in love with Mitt Romney. That same year, Michelle Obama talked about her deepening bond with her husband over the course of their relationship.
The formula goes something like: If this person loved this other person—who is now a presidential candidate—enough to marry them, then shouldn't Americans make them their president?
I mean, no?