Diana West

Can't wait what to see what effect Vladimir Putin has on it. But I digress. The fact is, your Ben Afflecks, your Josh Brolins, your Annette Bennings came to Denver, but "mostly kept a careful distance from the main arena and Michelle Obama" because they feared "their presence could be detrimental." The paper continued: "Oscar-winner George Clooney, an avowed Obama supporter, even took the unusual step of issuing a statement to deny he was in regular contact with" Obama. "I have never texted or e-mailed Sen. Obama," the Telegraph quoted Mr. Clooney as saying.

Must have been a slow news day. Of course, celebrity sensitivity and Temple Obama could be connected. Maybe in its efforts to ditch the celebrity image, the Obama campaign thought up the idea for Obama to strike a super-statesmanlike pose on a super-serious set -- Ancient Greece or Rome or whatever. Who are you calling a vapid celebrity now?

But this has left Obama with another problem: Having chosen to accept the nomination for president of the United States in a setting more suited to a Roman emperor if not the oracle at Delphi, what will his fellow citizens -- still not subjects, after all -- think?

Frankly, what the tank ride did for Michael Dukakis, the plywood Parthenon just might do for Obama. Then again, this entire event, seemingly a miscalculation of epic proportions, could have been an example of perfect political acumen. For example, before becoming transfixed by Temple Obama, I was reading up on Obama's relationship with ex-Weather Underground member and unrepentant Capitol- and Pentagon-bomber William Ayers -- news of which the Obama campaign has been eager to downplay if not squelch entirely. I was also trying to unravel the ties between Obama, Obama's unsavory fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, and Rezko's unsavory money source Iraqi-British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. (This is another story journalists are being pressured not to cover, as Andrew Walden at Accuracy in Media has shockingly and extensively documented, in this case by Auchi's legal eagles.) And who knew Obama's veep nominee Joe Biden had Rezko connections through a longtime associate named Joseph Cari Jr., who admitted involvement in a Rezko kickback scheme? And on it goes.

But then, suddenly, Temple Obama went up, and with it, like incense in the fire, all patience for hard news. Maybe this comes under the age-old Roman heading of bread and circuses. Eureka! All Hail Barackus Husseinus Obamaius.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).