Take a look at the photo here.
Clearly, Rick Hill’s lectern was taller than Steve Bullock’s, as has been much discussed. That’s a bad thing for Hill because he is a tiny man and does not want to appear diminished next to Bullock who is above six feet tall.
Certainly the Helena Independent Record, the newspaper which sponsored the debate, did not intentionally give Hill a bigger lectern. If somebody at the IR had done that, Randy Rickman, the conservative Republican publisher, would have already fired the person.
Most likely it was dumb luck that the debate facility (a middle school) did not have two identical lecterns. Hill got the bigger one.
But part of it is not luck at all. During pre-debate walk-through, a good campaign staff would have noticed this discrepancy and corrected it. Clearly Hill’s team of green campaign staffers dropped the ball.
This is campaigning 101. You have to check these things out ahead of time, sweat the details.
It’s sort of like a presidential debate in 2000, when Al Gore never tested the debate lighting with his make up on. Result? When the debate started, he looked to TV viewers like he was trying to impersonate somebody from another racial designation. His skin was dark orange–he looked like a wannabe Bill Richardson, not Al Gore.
Democrats should be emboldened. Hill is running an amateur shop, and we will probably see further screwups.