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John McCain derides Barack Obama's 'Barackopolis'

August 28, 2008 |  7:57 am

Reporters covering Barack Obama are getting style tips from an unexpected source: the McCain campaign.

John McCain spokesman Brian Rogers on Wednesday sent out an illustrated "style guide." It includes detailed directions of how to select and properly wrap a toga -- yes, a toga -- as well as instructions on where to don one: Obama's nomination acceptance speech, which he'll give at Denver's Mile High stadium tonight. 

Why the sudden interest in Classical haute couture? Hint: It's not about attire but satire.

The McCain campaign, which has delighted in recent weeks in mocking Obama's "cult of celebrity," is now accusing him of stoking a "cult of personality." It says the setting of tonight's event -- Obama will speak from a podiumImage005 in front of a backdrop featuring neo-classical columns -- should be called "The Temple of Obama"

(or “The Barackopolis”).

"The toga may have gone out of style centuries ago, but after Obama's temple speech . . . they’re sure to be flying off the racks," Rogers said.

But the McCain campaign seems to be in need of a lesson in the Socratic method. Because even though the spoof might have brought harried campaign reporters a smile or two, it wasn't the

most logical attack.

For one thing, George W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination in 2004 on a set with a strikingly similar neoclassical theme. Like Obama's set, it featured a background with an American flag buttressed by lots of columns.

And besides, what's so bad about contemporary politicians emulating the ancient Greek ones? Remember Pericles?

Greek culture may have spawned strange fashions, but it also gave birth to democracy -- a heritage more politicos might want to honor.

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo: McCain campaign

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