New Report Shines Light On Biden’s Event Preparation: ‘Walk To Podium’


A new report is shining a light on the preparations President Biden goes through before public events and speeches. White House Staffers provide the president with photos complete with large, printed text that include instructions on how to perform basic tasks, including how to find the podium.

In the days following President Biden’s abysmal debate performance, the Democratic Party has been gripped in an intense debate over his political future. There has also been a debate over the president’s pre-debate prep work and what led up to such a disastrous performance.

While speaking with ABC News on Friday, Biden conceded that he performed poorly and realized things were trending south roughly 30 minutes in. “It was a bad episode,” Biden said. “No indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing and — and a bad night.”

The president partially blamed his disappointing performance on his pre-debate prep, claiming that his team focused on details and statistics rather than speaking firmly and clearly.

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“Did you ever watch the debate afterwards?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Biden. “I don’t think I did, no,” the president said.

“Yeah, look. The whole way I prepared, nobody’s fault, mine. Nobody’s fault but mine. I– I prepared what I usually would do sitting down as I did come back with foreign leaders or National Security Council for explicit detail. And I realized– partway through that, you know, all– I get quoted the New York Times had me down, ten points before the debate, nine now, or whatever the hell it is. The fact of the matter is, what I looked at is that he also lied 28 times. I couldn’t– I mean, the way the debate ran, not– my fault, nobody else’s fault, no one else’s fault,” Biden continued.

According to a report from Axios, Biden is routinely presented with a short document that shows him how to perform basic tasks, including a clear path to the podium, before any public event. “I staffed a simple fundraiser at a private residence, but they treated it like it was a NATO summit with his movements,” one person who recently staffed a Biden event told the outlet.

Prior to presidential events, White House staffers send event staffers a document to emulate when presenting their own materials to the president. One template contains one large picture of the event space on each page, accompanied with large text that reads: “View from podium,” and “View from audience.”

The five-page document also includes full-page instructions such as “Walk To Podium.”

“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,” the event staffer told Axios.

One White House official told the outlet that such materials are routine when preparing any president. “If individuals are not accustomed to seeing advance teams work, that would be a common reaction, whoever the principal is.”

Two former Biden staffers added that preparations documents used during their tenure were different and were delivered through on-site diagrams.

Commonly known as “Advance Work,” presidential events are always preceded by detail-focused preparation. “Presidential movements are planned down to every footstep in ways that the movements of a vice president often are not,” Axios reported.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told Axios that “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.”

Vice President Kamala Harris’ spokesperson Kirsten Allen offered a similar comment. “These documents are standard logistical briefing materials and photos for any principal, including the vice president,” she said.

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