Dave Barry

Do we have a story to tell you about Melania Trump — but you’ve heard it before

Melania Trump and Michelle Obama convention speeches back-to-back

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman denies reports that Melania Trump lifted language from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech for her 2016 Republican National Convention speech in Cleveland on Monday night. Reporters noted th
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Donald Trump’s campaign chairman denies reports that Melania Trump lifted language from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech for her 2016 Republican National Convention speech in Cleveland on Monday night. Reporters noted th

In a shocking development, an outbreak of actual news has broken out here. This almost never happens at political conventions. Usually they’re so boring that the TV networks employ men with cattle prods to periodically jolt the anchors awake.

The big story of course concerns Melania Trump, the Slovenian-born former model, who gave a prime-time speech in which she endorsed Ted Cruz.

No, seriously, Mrs. Trump declared her support for her husband, Donald Trump. Initially Mrs. Trump’s speech was well-received by media analysts, because these analysts are mostly males and she is hot. But within minutes some disturbing facts came to light:

▪ A passage in Mrs. Trump’s speech was suspiciously similar to one from a speech delivered by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver, specifically the part where Mrs. Trump said, quote, “It is so nice to be here in Denver in 2008.”

▪  Mrs. Trump’s legal name is actually “Betty.”

▪  It turns out that there is no such place as “Slovenia.”

Asked to explain these apparent inconsistencies, the Trump campaign issued the following statement: “We are going to have such an unbelievably great explanation, that we can tell you.”

Mrs. Trump (or whoever she really is) was preceded on the podium by a series of people speaking on the theme “Make America Safe Again,” which the Republicans chose to contrast their party with the Democrats, whose convention theme is “Let’s Make America Even MORE Dangerous.” Among the speakers on the topic of American safety were former teenager Scott Baio, former male underwear model Anthony Sabato Jr. and terminally hairy Duck Dynasty person Willie Robertson. But without question the highlight of the night was former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had the crowd on its feet and roaring when he delivered a fiery anti-terrorism speech and concluded it, dramatically, by strangling a live camel.

Meanwhile outside the security perimeter, Cleveland is swarming with media people, police, protesters and random loons. The epicenter of the action is Public Square, a big downtown plaza. I was walking through there when I passed a group of maybe 10 anarchists. The anarchists are the badasses of the protest community; they’re generally young people who dress dramatically in black and often cover their faces with scarves to protect their Secret Identities from the police, or maybe their parents.

So anyway, as I was walking past the group, one of them, a young man with everything but his eyes covered, asked the others, “Has anybody seen Britney?” This actually made me laugh out loud, because “Britney” just does not seem like an appropriately intimidating name for an anarchist. It’s hard to picture an anarchist leader, in the heat of some anti-capitalist protest action, shouting, “Put your face scarves up, everybody! We need to help Britney and Tiffany throw rocks at the Banana Republic!”

This is assuming that anarchists have leaders.

Fortunately, so far (this may have changed by the time you read this) there has been little violence in the streets here, according to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, who held a press conference with the mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson. I attended it, and afterward I approached Mayor Jackson. After identifying myself as a columnist from Miami, I asked him a question that I am sure is on the minds of many, in these troubled times.

“What can we give you to get LeBron James back?” I asked.

“Nothing,” said Mayor Jackson.

To be honest, he didn’t seem to take the question seriously. It’s almost as if he felt he had more important things to think about. If you can imagine.

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