How Tall Is Hillary Clinton? The Podiums At The Presidential Debates Are Tailor Made

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Frontline Outreach and Youth Center September 21, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

As the first presidential debate begins, a lot of viewers might notice a pretty big difference between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republic presidential nominee Donald Trump's podiums when they step up to them — a 10 inch difference, to be exact. This was no accident; the podiums were tailor-made based on the nominees' heights, to remain visually consistent on camera. But if there's a full 10 inch difference, then how tall is Hillary Clinton, and how tall is Donald Trump? 

According to Trump's doctor's note, he stands at 6-foot-3, and according to The Washington Post, Clinton stands at about 5-foot-5 or 5-foot-4, but the disparity between the two podiums seems to confirm the latter. Their heights aren't remarkable in and of themselves (the average American woman stands at 5-foot-4, and the average American man stands at 5-foot-10), but as Vox points out, this is the largest height difference in the history of televised presidential debates. It isn't that surprising, then, that the podiums were built to accommodate this disparity. 

This, of course, is one of a seemingly infinite number of little details attended to in televised debates. For instance, according to NBC, each nominee has a personalized air conditioning unit directly above their podium — a reminder of the debate in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, where Nixon infamously wiped away sweat and lost favor with voters who watched the televised version over the radio version. Now that we're all much better-versed in the trials and triumphs of television (in HD!), rest assured that everything is set up to make sure that the candidates are on an equal playing field during the live broadcast — at least, certainly in terms of the audience's physical perspective of them on their screens. 

As for what would happen during the live, nonstop 90-minute debate if somebody has to pee? Well, let's hope we don't have to find out! Tune into the broadcast on ABC, YouTube, or Facebook Live, live on Sept. 26 from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET. 

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