PHILADELPHIA — On the second night of the Republican National Convention, actor Scott Baio took the stage. These days, the once-ubiquitous Baio may enjoy some relative anonymity, but he was still the highest-wattage star the RNC could cajole on-air, and even that was a depressing accident—Baio later told reporters he was offhandedly invited after bumping into Donald Trump at an event. The DNC, which rolled into Philly on Monday with more celebrities than it knows what do to with, does not have this problem.
On its first night, the DNC’s political lineup was generously peppered with Hollywood stars—for whatever reason, Demi Lovato opened the night with a speech and a song; Sarah Silverman took the stage with politician-celebrity hybrid Al Franken, where she went off-script to scold Bernie supporters; Eva Longoria gave a brief address; Paul Simon performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water”; and in the audience, Susan Sarandon scowled, Rosie Perez danced, and Rosario Dawson darted around the floor. Backstage, actress Chloe Grace Moretz sat in discussion with Franken, a strange meeting nevertheless promoted on Hillary Clinton’s official Snapchat account.
The second night of speakers, released this morning by the DNC, features a similar schedule of liberal celebrities happy to talk about Hillary, about Trump, and of course, about themselves. According to the lineup, the night, hosted by Elizabeth Banks, will include speeches from Tony Goldwyn, America Fererra, and Lena Dunham, who is taking a party bus to Philadelphia and sharing her experience and “fashuns” on social media. Meryl Streep—who was given the distinct honor of Bill Clinton as an opener—will close the night, followed by a performance from Alicia Keys.
In between, there are speeches of substance. On Monday, Cheryl Lankford, an Iraq war veteran who was bilked by Trump University, delivered a strong rebuke to Trump; Michelle Obama gave an impassioned speech—the best of the night, and likely the week; and Bernie Sanders implored his many unwilling supporters to stand with Hillary. Tonight, a group of black women—Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), Geneva Reed-Veal (mother of Sandra Bland), Lucy McBath (mother of Jordan Davis), Gwen Carr (mother of Eric Garner), Cleopatra Pendelton (mother of Hadiya Pendleton), Maria Hamilton (mother of Dontre Hamilton), Lezley McSpadden (mother of Michael Brown), and Wanda Johnson (mother of Oscar Grant)—will take a national stage to talk about police brutality and racism. The platform may be covered in body glitter and discarded copies of Girls Season Two, but there’s a lot of space.