President Joe Biden has once again given an inadvertent glimpse of a “cheat sheet” step-by-step guide for how to conduct himself.
Earlier this week, leaders from some of the world’s largest economies descended on Bali for two days at the G20 Summit, where they were welcomed by their host country’s president, Joko Widodo, to gather under the theme of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.
The US commander-in-chief held talks throughout the summit with fellow leaders from economic powerhouses, but the meetings were briefly interrupted after a wave of Russian strikes on Ukraine led to an explosion in Nato member state Poland which caused two deaths.
An emergency meeting was quickly summoned between UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Mr Biden and other Nato-alliance leaders – including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Japan’s premier Fumio Kishida and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
While that startling upset during the otherwise calm summit is perhaps the most unpredictable occurrence, there’s now a story getting picked up from the conference – albeit with far less nuclear fallout potential – that is proving to be the zaniest report from the two-day gathering.
Recent headlines have begun to seize upon a closeup from one of the wire photographs of Mr Biden, in which he appears to be holding a detailed guide for an event.
The booklet includes detailed instructions for delivering his opening remarks at the G20 conference and also includes a note placed at the top and the bottom of the pages to turn to the next page for additional details.
“YOU will close the event alongside YOUR co-hosts,” one line reads, while another pointedly directs the president where to take his seat – “YOU will sit at the center’ – and another line queues him up for when he’s expected to speak – “YOU will deliver opening remarks.”
The picture of Mr Biden flipping through the painstakingly detailed notes arrives amid growing concerns about the Democratic leader’s age, particularly as he prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday at the end of the month.
Should Mr Biden decide to run for a second term in office, a decision he says he will make should he remain in “good health”, then he would become the oldest president in US history, as he would finish his second term at 86 years old.
This is hardly the first time that Mr Biden’s mental capabilities have been placed under the magnifying glass, as just last summer a similar cheat sheet was accidentally flashed to the press which gave similarly explicit and basic directions of when and where to sit.
“YOU take YOUR seat”, “YOU give brief comments”, and “YOU depart”, were among the directions seen in images after the 79-year-old US president’s notes were snapped by photographers after Mr Biden held the sheet backward while addressing a meeting with wind industry executives.
And then again, in the springtime, Mr Biden was spotted carrying a cheat sheet with talking points relating to his comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin, which contained notes printed on a small piece of paper, titled “Tough Putin Q&A talking points”.
Outside of the gaffes, concerns around the president’s mental facilities have been raised by members of his own party in recent months, with a New York Times/Siena College poll indicating recently that 64 per cent of the Democratic voters surveyed believed the party should nominate a different candidate for president in 2024. And of that group, 33 per cent cited Mr Biden’s age as their primary reason, while a separate 32 per cent cited his job performance during his first term.