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Biden Staffers Micromanage His Every Move, Use Documents With Large Print And Photos To Guide Him Just Like Parents Do With 3 Yr. Olds


(Axios) For his events, President Biden’s staffers prepare a short document with large print and photos that include his precise path to a podium, according to an event template the White House sends to staffers.

Why it matters: Since the June 27 debate, some Democrats who’ve attended and helped set up Biden events have wondered whether his team’s focus on minute details were to obscure the 81-year-old president’s limitations — rather than just a reflection of a meticulous staff.

  • “I staffed a simple fundraiser at a private residence, but they treated it like it was a NATO summit with his movements,” according to a person who staffed a Biden event in the past 18 months.

Driving the news: Before a presidential event, the White House sends event staffers a document to emulate when preparing their own materials for the president.

  • One template — a copy of which was obtained by Axios — is short and simple, with one large picture of the event space on each page, accompanied with big text such as: “View from podium,” and “View from audience.”
  • In the five-page document, two pages are separate pictures of, “Walk to podium.”

The staffer who helped with the fundraiser told Axios: “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 White House official told Axios: “If individuals are not accustomed to seeing advance teams work, that would be a common reaction, whoever the principal is.”
  • Two former aides who worked with Biden during his vice presidency said that at that time his preparation documents were different, and more often relied on site diagrams.

Reality check: Organizing presidential events — often called “advance work” — is intensive and detail-focused for every commander-in-chief.

  • Presidential movements are planned down to every footstep in ways that the movements of a vice president often are not.
  • Advance documents also have evolved since Biden was vice president, including the increased use of smartphone photographs.

Other prominent principals in the Biden administration use similar methods for plotting his movements, sources told Axios.

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