Joe Biden pardons the national Thanksgiving turkey, Liberty, during a ceremony at the White House on Monday Photo: AFP
Last year White house planned the Biden family wedding to divert press attention from the president's momentous 80th birthday, but not entirely successfully.
The American media took the opportunity to note that Joe Biden was born in 1942 before the death of Hitler, the dumping of the atomic bomb bombs or even the use of microwaves. Barack Obama and Kamala Harris were just children when Biden won his first Senate race in 1972.
The White House is expected to largely ignore Biden's birthday this year and hopes the rest of America will do the same.
The focus will instead be on Liberty and Bella, the two turkeys pardoned at the White House on Monday in what has become an annual tradition.
The development comes as Biden's approval ratings have fallen to historic lows. 40 percent, the lowest figure of his presidency, with voters spooked by his age and increasingly irritated by his approach to the war between Israel and Hamas.
Frank Luntz, one of the most famous American pollsters, who has known Biden for many years and worked with his administration, believes that the president is “ready to ignore the polls.”
Mr. Luntz believes White House aides will arrive with a so-called “rose garden strategy” for the 2024 campaign – essentially maximizing the Oval Office's opportunities for media coverage rather than “traveling the country.”
Between However, officials appear to be making significant efforts to mitigate the consequences of grueling work for the man, who is now in his ninth decade.
That's partly because the president's team carefully manages his schedule: Most of his public appearances occur between noon and 4 p.m., according to U.S. media analysis.
Mr. Biden spends most weekends at at his beach house in Delaware. or at Camp David, the president's retreat.
Mr. Biden spent about 40 percent of his time away from the White House, according to the Washington Examiner, prompting the paper to brand him a “vacation boss.” “.
Mr. Biden and Mrs. Biden walk along the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Photo: KENT NISHIMURA Skipping dinner
During grueling trips abroad, Biden sometimes chose to skip dinners at international meetings and miss opportunities to engage in soft diplomacy with others world leaders.
He missed dinner at the G20 summit in Indonesia last year and then again for the summit in Japan in May.
He also skipped a dinner with other NATO leaders at the summer summit in Vilnius, which presidential aides candidly admitted was due to his busy schedule and the need to prepare for a speech the next day.
Biden's aides carefully prepare his public appearances.
During speeches, the President is often given a hand-held microphone, which he must hold near his mouth (even when standing behind a lectern with a microphone) to enhance his voice, which has become noticeably softer with age.
It has been observed that he relied on cue cards, including during a trip to Downing Street in July.
Biden used cue cards during meeting with Rishi Sunak in July. Photo: Paul Grover
Allies noted that Biden is not the only president to rely on cheat sheets. Donald Trump has been photographed repeatedly holding cue cards, including one that prompted him to say “I hear you” when meeting victims of gun violence.
Hidden from the press
The most notable difference between Mr. Biden and his recent predecessors are so little prepared to interact with the media.
Mr Biden's verbal errors have become a hallmark of his long political career – along with the difficulties associated with his childhood stutter, he is a self-described “imposter”. machine for gaffes.”
But his gaffes underscored concerns about the president's age, and the White House imposed strict restrictions on his interactions with the media.
He has given far fewer interviews than Trump or Barack Obama, abandoning traditional prime-time television. appearances, such as the Super Bowl, and did not give an interview to a major US newspaper at all.
His solo news conference following his meeting with Xi Jinping in San Francisco last week was only his third this year, and he took just four questions from pre-selected reporters.
Vigorous workout regimen
The President was provided with a detailed daily exercise regimen, regularly sees a personal trainer as well as a physiotherapist to improve his balance and try to reduce the number of falls in public.
During the week, he reportedly wakes up around 7 a.m. and starts his day with a workout, either lifting weights or riding a Peloton bike at the White House. Before arriving in the Oval Office at 9 a.m., he reads most of the major American newspapers in detail.
Biden falls to the ground after , as approached by members of the public during a bike ride in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Photo: ELIZABETH FRANZ
Jill Biden, the first lady, is also reportedly taking steps to increase Mr. Biden's diet with fish and vegetables to keep him in good shape as he prepares for a challenging re-election campaign.
Sleep apnea machine
Earlier this year, the White House said Biden slept with an air mask to treat sleep apnea after photographers captured dents left by the device on Biden's face.
Marks left by continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine straps seen on Biden's face in June. Photo: JONATHAN ERNST
Deputies said the marks were caused by a CPAP machine, a motorized medical device that prevents interruptions in breathing at night.
Sleep disruption can be potentially serious, and age is one of several factors that increase associated disruption sleep. risk of sleep apnea. Patients may feel tired even after a full night's sleep.
Officials say Biden recently began using a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, machine to improve the quality of his sleep.
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Mr. Biden is also more often photographed in sneakers and increasingly uses shorter strides to board Air Force One after numerous trips while boarding the plane.
The more traditional exit and entry point at the front of the plane requires a set of 26-plus steps that are trucked to the plane door and can often be wobbly.
Eagle-eyed White House reporters noticed that Biden used a staircase that folds into Air Force One and is often closer to the asphalt, about 14 steps.
The White House has publicly denied claims that the change is due to mobility issues.
Despite the White House's best efforts and Mr. Biden's determination, even prominent Democrats are questioning whether the president should concede to a new generation of candidates.
Mr. Obama's Chief Strategist David Axelrod recently publicly urged Biden to weigh his decision carefully. The president reportedly responded by calling Axelrod a “jerk.”
Andrew Young, who ran for the Democratic nomination in 2020, noted that recent polls show the president “is now an underdog” compared to Trump in elections in 2024.
But claims that Biden can “turn things around,” he argues, “ignore the obvious—it’s difficult for an 81-year-old candidate to energize a campaign.” “It may be better to choose another candidate,” Mr. Yang said.
Mr. Luntz, a Republican but who has informally advised Mr. Biden in the White House, said he believes the administration will focus on depicting the president as “as engaged and engaged as possible” with footage of White House action but away from the public.
“This is all a strategy to show Biden at his best and accept his limitations,” he said Mr. Luntz. . With Donald Trump facing 91 felony charges and still ahead in the election, he's not confident it will work.
And yet, according to Mr. Luntz, Mr. Biden ” seems determined” to seek re-election. “I thought he would refuse, so now I've learned to take him at his word,” he said.