Donald Trump has promised that his entertaining and "totally overbooked" Republican National Convention will be packed with "great speakers." "We have winners, we have people that aren't only political people," he said Tuesday on Fox News. "We have a lot of people that are just champions and winners." But it seems the biggest non-political name on the RNC speaker list that emerged on Wednesday night is former football star Tim Tebow. Hillary Clinton's Democratic convention, on the other hand, will include appearances by actor Bryan Cranston, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Cyndi Lauper, George Takei, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, and the band the Drive-By Truckers, according to a schedule obtained by ABC News.
The stars of screen and song aren't necessarily going to appear on the DNC main stage — ABC News only got a list of some 170 Democratic side events around Philadelphia during the convention. (Caitlyn Jenner, Kid Rock, and Lynyrd Skynyrd plan to attend the Republican convention.) But the expected list of political heavyweights endorsing Clinton — including President Obama and Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Bill Clinton — also trumps the list of Republicans scheduled to sing Trump's praises in Cleveland next week (no former GOP president or presidential nominee is attending, for instance).
"Republicans have always had a terrible star-power deficit," GOP strategist and Trump critic Rick Wilson tells The Washington Post. "The Democrats have the latest hip-hop or pop act and we've got Lee Greenwood and the Oak Ridge Boys — but now it's going to be even more pronounced. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren — they're all going to be out there swinging for the fences. But the Republicans, it'll be like a hostage video of people forced on stage."
To be fair, Trump is nothing if not entertaining, and viewers might not miss appearances from either President Bush, Mitt Romney, Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, or A-list celebrities. And it's likely that Trump has some tricks — and guests — up his sleeve. "Donald Trump's run an unconventional campaign from the get-go, and he said right from the outset he wanted an unconventional program with not the usual speakers," RNC member Steve Duprey tells The Post. "Frankly, it might stir up more interest than parading out past luminaries of a party. Maybe the Trump way will work."