Greek gods, a birthday billboard and other Denver nuggets
And the Obama campaign thought their biggest worry was getting the right mix of substance and style in tonight’s big speech. Not so much.
The task now seems to be either: a) recapturing the attention of 15,000 journalists busy Googling the difference between Doric and Ionic columns, or b) attacking McCain’s lack of global experience because his campaign is mixing up the Romans and Greeks.
Someone should have put a primer on Classical Architecture and History in the DNC convention guide.
The controversy of course is the unveiling of preparations for Obama’s speech at Denver’s massive football stadium, Invesco Field, which has been transformed into what the McCain campaign has called “The Temple of Obama.”
A stage featuring huge plywood columns painted off-white to look like marble has been set up at the 50-yard line of Invesco Field, and Obama is expected to stride out from between the columns to address some 75,000 supporters — all choreographed for a massive prime-time American television audience.
If the clean white columns were supposed to evoke Washington’s Capitol building or even the White House — some generic presidential-like setting — they have instead sparked a (Roman?) fountain of jokes about Greek Gods and Roman ruins.
A snarky memo from the McCain campaign betrayed the difficulty critics have when faced with such a juicy target — deciding on a single funny nickname for the venue seems as hard as picking a vice presidential nominee that won’t offend the Republican base.
“Today, workers at Invesco Field are putting the final touches on the newest wonder of the modern political world — The Temple of Obama (“The Barackopolis”),” Deputy Communications Director Brian Rogers noted in an e-mail to “interested parties”.
Rogers went on to advise a dress code for the event, complete with photos of various toga styles from “the Nobleman” to “The Senator”. Instructions on how to “wrap your toga” were included.
“Nothing says ‘out of touch with regular Americans’ like Greek columns,” lamented the Huffington Post, urging the Obama campaign to tear down the columns before it is too late.
With the speech just hours away, the columns will likely stay. Historically inaccurate jokes about togas, chariots and Icarus will flourish.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are scrambling to refocus reporter funnybones on the imminent celebration of John McCain’s 72nd birthday on Friday.
Invitations are out for a “More-of-the-Same Birthday Party” in Dayton and Youngstown, Ohio, to coincide with the expected announcement in that state on Friday of McCain’s vice presidential running mate.
The events will feature a “mobile billboard” of McCain, Bush and a birthday cake. And yes, they’re promising 72 candles. No word on the dress code, but flame-retardant clothing may be advised.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Bourg (Obama does a late-night walk through at Invesco field where he will give his acceptance speech.)