Invesco Field ‘Temple Of Barack’ Reveals Pathological Pretension

“Senior Democratic officials are expressing serious concerns about the political risks posed by Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High tonight,” the Politico article begins.

There’s a bunch of reasons for the worries: potential weather issues at an open-air stadium, and the tendency of stadiums to produce echoes that may be great at a football game, but would render a speech a comic farce unless precisely controlled by technicians.

But the biggest worry is the presentation of the event itself.

At the Brandenburg Gate event, Obama spoke to tens of thousands of Germans.  But the event was a dud back home, and Obama began to see his poll numbers slide as the McCain event used footage from the event in a, “Here’s Paris Hilton, here’s Barack Obama” ad.  And, why yes, they both do seem to have that same haughty shake of the head.

And it turns out that the set designer who put together Obama’s “Mt. Olympus stage” actually put together Britney Spears’ stages, too.  And you thought that McCain ad was just spoofin’.

Cheering crowds and a rock-star aura aren’t necessary a good thing for a politician.  After all, Britney Spears garnered huge cheering crowds all the time, and who would really want her in the Oval Office, making life and death decisions for the nation?

The metaphor of the entire event tonight may be in the setting: a background of white Grecian columns.

According to the Obama camp, the Invesco Field setting was intended to allow “the common man” to be able to take part in the Democratic Convention even as they take part in the Obama phenomenon.  And the columns were supposed to allude to the columns of buildings in Washinghton, DC.

But…

“It’s likely that the campaign would do it differently if it had to do it again because the decision was made before the European trip,” said a senior Democratic elected officeholder who has worked closely with the Obama campaign.

The GOP narrative of Obama as celebrity took root during that trip, where the Illinois senator played to large crowds of adoring Europeans.

Obama campaign officials acknowledged the apprehension Wednesday.

But the event becomes yet another opportunity handing “Republicans a chance to drive home their message that the Democratic nominee is a narcissistic celebrity candidate,” the Politico story says.

[T]he Invesco Field speech, with its massive expected crowd and the celebrity-style imagery it could evoke, is already being teed up by Republicans eager to hammer home the celebrity theme.

The McCain campaign Wednesday released a memo mockingly titled, “Proper Attire for the Temple of Obama (The Barackopolis),” a reference to the classical stage design in place for his speech. The campaign is already prepared to pull the trigger on ads spun out of the Invesco Field event.

The problem is that Obama has played into the narcissistic celebrity narrative again and again.  Every new event merely serves to confirm the narrative.

Obama didn’t consciously intend to come across as a pompous rock star.  But it’s like a vain and pretentious woman who tries to do something nice for a friend but ends up tarnishing it with gaudiness that makes it all about her; pretension is such a part of her that she’s pretentious even when she doesn’t mean to be.  She simply can’t help herself.

It’s not that Obama wants to be pretentious; it’s simply who he is.

Barack Obama has been said to be reworking his speech to lower the profile, transforming it into more of a “workmanlike” speech that provides concrete policy steps and introduces who he really is to the American people.

The speech may be very good.  Obama is very good at reading canned speeches from teleprompters.

But in that giagantic stadium (even without the echoes), with all those pretentious columns in the background, and with all those cheering people, even a humble speech will come across with the aura of one of those vain but petty dictators talking to the people while wearing one of those fancy dress military uniforms with  the big shoulder board epaulettes.

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