Templum Obamicum

Barack Obama is now officially the Democratic party’s nominee for President of the United States. Which is good. Nice that Senator Clinton moved to have his nomination passed out of the convention floor by acclamation, which avoids a roll call vote. This was not, of course, a spontaneous expression of support and party unity but rather a tightly-scripted move to present the appearance of being a spontaneous expression of support and party unity.

But as I’ve observed before, he is not yet President. It is a little bit presumptuous for an aspirant to the office of President to surround himself with the trappings of that office. Erecting the “Temple of Obama” in Invesco Field at Mile High — one that, as you can see, is reminiscent of the off-white neo-classical columns and colonnades famously located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is as much jumping the gun as was the once-used, never-seen-again faux seal trotted out to much derision at the National Democratic Governors’ Conference in Chicago two months ago.

However, it is less pretentious than “vero possumus,” the Latin insignia on Obama’s faux seal. Hey, I dropped my share of cryptic Latin after Gladiator was a popular movie too. Difference is, I got over it, realizing that heraldry is only very occasionally appropriate.

Obama is still the odds-on favorite to actually be elected. Once he is President, the use of the heraldry, symbols, and images associated with the Presidency will be appropriate. But it’s a bit premature yet to set up photo-opportunities in front of a life-sized mock-up of Air Force One, which is currently parked outside the football stadium in Denver.

Hat tip to Sister Toldjah, who defends the use of a more subtle architectural reference to the White House at the 2004 RNC because George W. Bush was actually President at the time. Photo credit to Congressional Quarterly by way of its flickr site.

UPDATE: See more of the Temple of Obama here, starting at about 3:50 into the video. A conservative friend sarcastically asked me if it looked more Greek or Roman to me. My response: neither. In the video, it reminds me nothing of so much as the east face of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. But the orange and blue soundproofing screens are a nice touch — it is where the Broncos play, after all.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

One Comment

  1. I have to admit this bothers me. As did the crazy-person faux presidential seal.It’s not the fact that some idiot staffer would come up with this. Idiot staffers are always with us in every campaign. It’s that Obama didn’t look at these plans, laugh and say, “Dude, what am I, Mussolini?”It’s a judgment thing. Reminds me of Nixon’s effort to create a sort of Prussian-uniformed White House guard. Fortunately we were wrong about Nixon: nothing weird about him at all. Nope.

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