Biden's Strolls to Marine One Are a Bit Different These Days

Axios reports president now walks on South Lawn with aides around him, to distract from his gait
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2024 9:09 AM CDT
Updated Apr 28, 2024 11:55 AM CDT
Biden's Strolls to Marine One Are a Bit Different These Days
President Biden waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Tuesday after returning from a trip to Florida.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Conservative outlets closely follow President Biden's every move, seeking signs to show the commander in chief's age in a negative light. There now seems to be a new strategy by the Biden camp for dealing with that: Don't let him walk to Marine One alone. The president is seen lately strolling across the South Lawn surrounded by aides as a "visual effect ... to draw less attention to the 81-year-old's halting and stiff gait," per Axios. Advisers say they're concerned that Biden "shuffling alone" is bad optics that call attention to his age. Biden himself is said to have made the suggestion weeks ago for walking partners. Related coverage:

  • Fashion forward: The New York Times offers "the Biden guide to dressing younger," noting the "dapper" Biden "gives offhand master classes on the wardrobe tricks that distract from the inevitable predations of time." Biden may be up there in years, but his tailoring compensates.

  • In defense: Also in the Times, Frank Bruni went to bat for the president last month, detailing in an op-ed the "overlooked truths about Biden's age." Does Bruni wish Biden were a little younger? Yes. But also: "The presidency isn't a solo mission. ... It's a team effort, and the administration that a president puts together matters much, much more than his brawn or his brio." Bruni adds that although Trump is younger and "often peppier than Biden ... Biden is about 300 times saner and always more principled than Trump. That's the infinitely more important contrast between the two men."
  • Speaking of the Times: Politico reported Thursday on the "petty feud" between the paper and the White House, with one nugget standing out: One Times journalist alleges that publisher AG Sulzberger "is pissed [that] Biden hasn't done any interviews and quietly encourages all the tough reporting on his age." Per a Media Matters analysis, the Times has mentioned Biden's age "more than any other of the top five US newspapers by circulation over a five-month period last year," while not mentioning rival Donald Trump's age quite so much. A Times spokesman calls the allegation "outrageous and untrue," per Politico. (Some say Biden already has a big challenge in winning over younger voters.)

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