Bumbling Biden Needs ‘Visual Instructions’ To Enter and Exit Rooms: Report

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
July 8, 2024

President Joe Biden’s event staffers prepare detailed documents, including enlarged photographs of his exact path to the podium to chaperon the octogenarian president at public events, an Axios report reveals.

The report shows a document with images of a backstage hallway labeled "walk to the podium" to familiarize the president and his staff with the route to the stage. The document was sent to other staffers as a template for future event preparations.

(Ben Kew/X)

Despite the White House’s assurances that the documents are standard practice for all presidents, micromanaging Biden's precise backstage movements underscores worries about the 81-year-old president’s mental acuity. Biden has faced intense scrutiny after his disastrous debate performance. At least 10 House Democrats have called for Biden to step down in both public and private remarks, including most recently Rep. Don Beyer (D., Va.), who said Biden should "step aside now." A pair of swing district Democrats predict Biden will lose to former president Donald Trump.

The step-by-step instructions for walking to a venue’s stage bewildered some Biden staffers.

"It surprised me that a seasoned political pro like the president would need detailed verbal and visual instructions on how to enter and exit a room," a staffer who helped with the fundraiser told Axios.

"I staffed a simple fundraiser at a private residence, but they treated it like it was a NATO summit with his movements," according to another Biden staffer.

White House officials have attempted to downplay the significance of the documents as a standard practice. "High levels of detail and precision are critical to presidential advance work—regardless of who is president—and these are basic approaches that are used by any modern advance team, including the vice president's office and agencies," White House spokesman Andrew Bates said.

Such efforts to direct the president aim to prevent Biden from appearing lost and disoriented. Last month, while posing for a photo at the G7 summit, Biden appeared to wander off and stare aimlessly before Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni corralled him. The White House quickly deemed the videos "cheap fakes."