The poor munchkin didn’t want to be seen as small, then didn’t want it pointed out that he was afraid to be seen as small, and then had to rely on his own inadequate stature for his acceptance speech. That’s priceless. And holy crap that's a big box he's standing on. Did he think nobody would notice that he'd grown a foot? Or that his arms were disproportionately short for his newfound height? Kind of like a tyrannosaurus rex?
In late 1986, as Kimball gained ground on McCain in the Senate race, the candidates agreed to debate on television.
Because McCain was shorter than the lanky Kimball, he stood on a riser behind the podium. At one point, Kimball called him on it, saying McCain was "standing on a soapbox" to make himself look taller.
McCain was angry but kept his cool. Jay Smith, his political guru, later told a writer that McCain at that moment "wanted to kill" Kimball. The next day, he got mad all over again when he saw himself standing on the riser on the front page of The Republic.
While the debate was mostly a draw, McCain enjoyed a huge fund-raising lead, outspending Kimball nearly 4 to 1. On Election Day, McCain steamrolled Kimball, 60 percent to 40 percent.
"Far from being the marquee race everyone looked forward to when Bruce Babbitt was the presumptive Democratic candidate, my first race for the Senate was pretty close to a foregone conclusion," McCain remembers in Worth the Fighting For. "I led in the polls from start to finish. . . . (Kimball) was not the first-tier candidate that the Democrats had hoped to field."
McCain went to a downtown hotel for his acceptance speech, an event chronicled in Timberg's book.
Smith accommodated McCain with a riser from which to deliver his acceptance speech.
"Arriving at the hotel shortly after McCain, Smith saw reporters and well-wishers huddle together on the stage," Timberg wrote. "From the midst of the throng, he heard a familiar voice floating upward, thanking the voters for sending him to the Senate. Familiar but disembodied. McCain had seen the riser and kicked it aside. (McCain) had become the Invisible Man."
McCain stands 5’7”, which isn’t that much shorter than the average American man (last I heard that was about 5’9”), but he’s in trouble when he has to stand next to Obama, a strapping 6’1”. That six-inch difference—plus McCain’s resemblance to a leprechaun or a munchkin—won’t help his public image.