President Biden tripped up the stairs of Air Force One while departing Poland on Wednesday, providing an ironic visual contrast with the triumphant message of resolve he delivered during a tour of Europe in support of Ukraine.
Biden began his tour with an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Monday, before traveling to Poland, where he delivered a major speech pledging the West's unwavering defense of "democracy."
"One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv," Biden said. "Well, I just came from a visit to Kyiv, and I can report Kyiv stands strong."
Biden's speech in Poland was without notable gaffes -- an improvement over last year, when he told U.S. soldiers stationed in the country they were going to Ukraine.
But, being Biden, he couldn't quite complete his latest PR tour without at least one succinct reminder of his....capacities.
Biden infamously tripped up the Air Force One stairs in March 2021. The viral clip of the incident has been replayed countless times on Fox News and social media and has come to symbolize, for Biden's detractors, the unmoored state of the country under his leadership.
At the time, Biden's staff blamed the fall on windy weather, but Biden's challenges with balance have continued to draw headlines, including a bike fall in June.
At 80, Biden is the oldest president in American history, and many would say it shows, between his stiff gait and his frequent moments of confusion and verbal incoherence.
Biden was once again declared "vigorous and fit" to execute his duties by his doctor after receiving his annual physical exam this month. However, the exam conspicuously did not include a cognitive exam.
Despite abiding concerns about his age and fitness, Democrats are rallying behind Biden as their best chance to defend the White House in 2024.
Biden is expected to announce a re-election bid soon -- in fact, his tour of Europe was denounced by Russia as little more than a campaign warm-up.
"Biden in Kyiv started his election campaign in the most heroic surroundings in order to prove to everyone that he can still ‘do it just like in the good old days’,” senior Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said.
The trip indeed received rapturous coverage in the U.S. media, where Biden was portrayed as some kind of hero boldly venturing into danger.
Quite a contrast, that, with the prosaic reality of a weak and doddering old man.