No, the stand is there to keep the stirrer from acting like a lid. When the stirrer was resting on the cooker, the caramel quickly boiled over. With it raised up a bit, the water evaporates faster and helps prevent boilover.
The spindle is in contact with the pot, however the stirring blades are 1/16" to 1/8" inch from the bottom of the pot. You could sand or machine the tip of the spindle to reduce that distance, but there would still probably be some gap.
I tried adding silicone scrapers to the blades. That experiment failed as the caramel still scorched. I found it more effective to simply use the stirrer til 218 degrees, then stir by hand. No more scorching, but I still saved time over stirring the entire time.
I've toyed with the idea of stacking two stirring machines to increase the power of the stir, and hopefully stir the caramel faster, thus helping prevent scorching, but I haven't sprung for another stirrer to test this.
If you try it out, please let us know how it goes.