It’s getting harder to disguise especially when interactions like the one below happen.
— HARRISFAULKNER (@HARRISFAULKNER) July 18, 2023
When President Joe Biden embarked on his recent European trip, an odd detail about his boarding processes was brought to light. Reporters traveling with him have noticed that he increasingly avoids the typical boarding entrance and has opted to use the easier-to-maneuver retractable stairs.
Politico is reporting that the White House is making “subtle accommodations” to keep Biden from looking frail.
During Biden’s New York trip three weeks ago, Bloomberg reporter Justin Sink asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the apparent change in boarding methods. Jean-Pierre began to respond that “I don’t have any decision process to walk through,” referring to the protocol used by Air Force One.
The President has used the lower set of stairs on various domestic trips such as those to Rocky Mount, N.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia and overseas trips to London, Vilnius and Helsinki. On these trips he has typically used the larger stairs to descend when hosting a formal greeting ceremony, but not for his ascent back onto the plane.
Biden has also been seen wearing sneakers because of his difficulties walking.
One person close to the president said Biden used to always resist wearing anything other than dress shoes, believing that any other footwear look was unpresidential. But he has eased up on that stance in recent months. Moreover, the person said that Biden — whose gait has noticeably stiffened, to the point where it was noted by his doctor in his annual physical — is also at times still bothered by residual soreness from the foot he broke while playing with one of his dogs during the transition more than two years ago.
“Satchel Paige famously said about age: ‘It’s mind over matter — if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.’ But this does matter to voters,” said Rick Ridder, a longtime Democratic strategist told Politico. “And Biden’s physical fragility complicates his effort to convince voters that re-electing him is a vote for stability. Because it’s hard for anyone to embody stability at 80 years old.”
It has also been reported that Biden will use his home in Delaware as headquarters for his campaign.