Alex Thompson reports that President Biden is working on a critical project for his re-election bid: Make sure he doesn’t trip. Thompson’s Axios scoop runs under the headline “Biden team’s don’t-let-him-trip mission.”
The Biden team is worried that one more public tumble might convince voters that Biden is not up to the job. I believe that voters already come to that view, and with good reason. The physical manifestation of his senescence corresponds with his visible limitations of speech and understanding. He makes 80 look like the new 100.
Thompson’s scoop has more than enough material to work up a Saturday Night Live routine:
With a physical therapist, Biden has been doing exercises to improve his balance as far back as November 2021.
Since his stumble in June, he has been wearing tennis shoes more often to avoid slipping — and using the short stairs on Air Force One, entering the plane on a lower deck than before….
Democrats, including some in the administration, are terrified that Biden will have a bad fall — with a nightmare scenario of it happening in the weeks before the November 2024 election.
Zoom in: Some senior Democrats privately have been frustrated with Biden’s advance team for months, citing the [Air Force Academy] sandbag incident and noting that the president often appears not to know which direction to go after he speaks at a podium.
Often without context [Ed.: Give us the context, Alex] Republicans have used [Ed.: isn’t the term of art “pounced on”?] video clips of Biden looking confused about where to go after speeches to raise further questions about his age.
Biden’s balance difficulties are likely the result of what his physician has diagnosed as “a combination of significant spinal arthritis” and “mild post-fracture foot arthritis.” [Ed.: Do you think the physician is telling us everything? By the way, how does Biden do on the Medicare cognitive test?]
Biden works out many mornings with physical therapist Drew Contreras, who also worked with former President Obama.
Obama was working on his jump shot. Biden is working on maintaining an upright position while walking.
Thompson laces his scoop with a little humor:
Biden’s doctor has recommended exercises for balance, which he called “proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers.”
What the maneuvers entail is unclear.
“I have never heard the term ‘proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers.’ It is not a clinical term in standard use,” said Professor James Gordon, associate dean and chair of the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California.
Whatever you do, don’t ask the old man if he can say “proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers” or if he has followed up. It may set him off.
I would suggest that Biden take up ballet. It would do wonders for his balance and give him the kind of up-close-and-personal social opportunities he loves.