When it comes to presidential debates, appearances matter.
Back in 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon faced off in what was the first televised presidential debate. Despite the fact that the debate would be televised for the first time, some voters opted to listen to the debate over the radio instead. Interestingly enough, those watching on TV perceived the victor to be JFK, while those listening on radio thought Nixon outperformed. Why? Because JFK appeared young, athletic and poised. Meanwhile, Nixon came to the stage with a five-o-clock shadow, no makeup, a tired appearance, and sweaty. He also had been especially pale and thin following a recent hospital visit due to the flu.
Here’s another interesting fact about appearances: the taller presidential candidate tends to win. Since 1900, the taller candidate has won the presidency 19 times, while the shorter candidate has won only eight times. As Donald Trump (6’2″) towers over Hillary Clinton (5’4″”), Trump has an advantage when it comes to appearances. Because of that, Hillary is looking to get a boost in more than just the polls.
As the Daily Caller reported: Before Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton debate each other Monday, Clinton’s podium needed some adjustments.
Trump is a towering 6’2″ and Clinton is only 5’4″. To even the height field, Clinton’s podium now has plywood placed in the middle, according to WABC Radio Host Rita Cosby. The WABC journalist gained exclusive access to the podiums, which not only show Clinton’s is now a bit larger than Trump’s, but that there is also a small box Clinton might stand on.
Clinton’s campaign did request for a step stool to stand on, but that request was denied.
Here’s a photograph of the two podiums, courtesy of the New York Daily News:
In all fairness, any advantage this may give Hillary will likely be reversed by whatever pantsuit she decides to wear during tonight’s debate.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]