Believe it or not, I am--like most Americas--watching this on TV. And from this perspective those "Temple of Obama" columns don't strike me as excessive at all. In fact most of the close up camera shots feature these sort of black doors with soft golden lighting, almost--says a friend--like a geisha house.
That said you definitely get a clear sense of the massive crowd, there is no minimizing the basic scale of this event.
Gore's speech struck me as solid, if not spectacular. Shouting out to young voters specifically seems like a fine idea, although the convention viewership slants heavily to the 50+ crowd so one also has to be cognizant that the fogeys don't think they're watching Woodstock.