A stick-figure US politician in XKCD asks if he is standing behind a 'podium' or a 'lectern'. As I live in a country were 'faire podium' means to be one of the (as is traditional in western europe) top 3 in an athletic competition — recognized by standing in a stereotyped arrangement, with their feet on the podium — the answer is obvious.
- the tradition is so strong that at higher levels, even wheelchair athletes have a podium; theirs are just equipped with more space and ramps
- the invention and use of the teleprompter probably means that career politicians are unused to using a lectern to hold their notes for reading
- or possibly, the winner-take-all nature of US elections means it is easy for politicians to confuse 'a competitor in an ongoing race, standing behind a lectern' with 'one of the top performers in a completed race, standing on a podium'.