Emails obtained by Citizens United through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and released on Tuesday suggest that walking around a stage may have been a challenging burden for Hillary Clinton as early as 2009.
In a 2009 email exchange between top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Clinton Global Initiative employees Amitabh Desai and Ed Hughes, Abedin revealed that Clinton could not walk around the stage like her husband Bill Clinton and would need a podium for an upcoming address.
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“Just want to make sure someone has coordinated with you on hrc speech set up,” Abedin wrote. “She won’t be able to give it in the round like [Bill Clinton] does walking around with microphone,” she explained. “Are we able to set it up so shes speaking at a podium [sic]?”
Hughes told Abedin that a high table that doubles as a podium would be on the stage for Clinton’s use, but also noted that “the room is set ‘stage in the round’ with the circular stage in the center of the round, audience all around in concentric circles … similar to some of last year’s campaign rallies with public in the background.”
Interestingly, even that raised a red flag for Abedin. “I’m worried that will be an issue for her. Can we do a half round or something?” she asked. The exchange suggests that Clinton not only may have trouble physically walking around a stage, but also some trouble focusing with the presence of a crowd behind her.
The email’s release comes on the heels of a leaked email provided by WikiLeaks that also suggested Clinton regularly needs to use a podium as a literal crutch.
In that email exchange, Abedin responded to Dan Schwerin’s drafts of a potential Clinton press statement following the Benghazi hearings. “I would make it shorter only because it’s a bank of Mics and no podium,” she said.