Alex Massie

Star Quality

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So the Republican convention gets back on track tonight though not quite as initially planned. George W Bush for instance will address the convention via satellite, not in person. One thing that has changed since 2004: back then it was the GOP convention that had star quality. In addition to the President, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger highlighted a convention that dwarfed anything the Democrats could offer.

This time around? Not so much. Who else is speaking tonight? Fred Dalton Thompson and Joe Lieberman. Hold me back! Whatever one may say abut Lieberman - and there's lots one could, little of it polite - when it comes to speaking he's no Zell Miller. And Thompson? A man so lethargic  he couldn't inject any life into his own campaign, let alone McCain's. These are yesterday's men.

Sarah Palin's speech tomorrow is something to look forward to, for sure, but in general terms one can't help but feel that the GOP feels tired and spent. Whatever one thinks of the Clinton psychodrama, Bill and Hillary at least provided a frisson of excitment in Denver last week, before Obama took to the stage in front of 85,000 people at the Mile High stadium.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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