Friday, September 26, 2008
Will Obama loom over McCain in the debates?
Four words: "What about Dingle-Norwood?" If that doesn't ring a bell, you probably should read my latest guest-post at HughHewitt.com.
[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]
(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)
In an interesting article about presidential debates, WaPo staff writer Robert G. Kaiser predicts that viewers "will see, for example, that Obama towers over McCain by nearly half a foot, perhaps an unexpected visual for many voters."
Of course, Al Gore had a height advantage over George W. Bush. But as things turned out, that only made Gore look creepy and weird when he stalked over toward Dubya's side of the stage during one of Bush's turns to speak in their debate on October 17, 2000. Demanded Gore, "But what about Dingle-Norwood?" Bush did a double-take at Gore's looming figure, and then gave him a small nod — which set an otherwise well-behaved audience into laughter — and an oblivious Gore beamed self-righteously and glided back to his seat as if he'd just scored some huge coup.
My strong hunch is that Obama's handlers will have instructed him to stay behind the rostrum at all times. And certainly when they appeared together at Ground Zero during the most recent 9/11 anniversary observances, their height difference, while observable, wasn't of Mutt and Jeff proportions.
Visuals do matter, but I don't think this election will end up being much affected by Obama's height advantage — no more than by his superior accuracy from outside the three-point line.
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