President Joe Biden concluded his three-day European trip with just that: a fall down the stairs as he boarded Air Force One in Warsaw to return to the United States.
The 80-year-old is alien to embarrassing moments on the plane steps, but he’s also following in the footsteps of several modern presidents.
Presidents Barack Obama and Gerald Ford each struggled with the steps of the presidential plane, while former President Donald Trump boarded the plane with a piece of toilet paper taped to his shoe.
Biden’s latest spill on the stairs – the second of his presidency – comes as questions surrounding whether he will run for re-election, and after Republican presidential nominee Nikki Haley called for political candidates over 75 to submit to “competence tests” ‘.
President Joe Biden fell short as he climbed the stairs to board Air Force One Wednesday as he left Warsaw after a three-day trip to Kiev and the Polish capital
When he turned 80 in November, Biden became the first president in history to celebrate that birthday at the White House.
Biden’s latest fall followed a spill up the stairs in March 2021, just two months into his tenure, during a windy day at Joint Base Andrews, and a fall from his bike in June 2022 while traveling to Rehoboth Beach.
Biden had cycled over to say hello to a group of onlookers and his foot got caught on his toe clip, knocking him sideways.
He got up immediately after the Secret Service came to his rescue.
The president also recovered quickly from his Air Force One stair fall.
The stumbling blocks have added to the narrative that Biden is prone to blunders.
Despite being a college athlete, Ford also had a reputation for being clumsy.
The most memorable example came on June 1, 1975 when the Republican president fell down the slippery stairs of Air Force One upon arriving in Salzburg, Austria.
The late President Gerald Ford is helped by a military aide after he disembarked from Air Force One on June 1, 1975 during an overseas trip to Salzburg, Austria, and fell down the stairs.
President Gerald Ford is helped to his feet after falling down the steps of Air Force One during a trip to Austria in 1975
Former Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer recalled another incident, this one from the 1976 campaign trail.
He remembered the news that Ford tripped, missed the door, and then hit his head trying to exit the back platform of a train in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
There were also several stories of Ford falling while skiing.
Decades earlier, Ford almost fell overboard while serving as a World War II navigation officer on the USS Monterey.
A wave had hit the ship’s deck. Ford was saved because his foot got caught in a grate, or so the story goes.
That moment was commemorated in a statue of Ford that can be seen on the USS Ford when the ship is not deployed. according to Insiders.
If you look closely, you can see that one of the statue’s feet is stuck in a grid.
Former President Barack Obama briefly stumbled on the stairs of Air Force One on March 30, 2015 as he returned to Washington from a golf trip in Florida
Former President Donald Trump is seen with toilet paper taped to his shoe when boarding Air Force One to Minneapolis in 2018
Toilet paper can be seen on former President Donald Trump’s shoe as he walks to Marine One as he departs New York on Nov. 12, 2019
Ford’s awkwardness also became part of his pop culture persona, with Saturday Night Live cast member Chevy Chase using it in his presidential bits of the time.
When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he was the youngest president in the country.
Specifically, he turned the White House tennis court into where he would play his basketball games with staffers.
Still, Air Force One’s moves became a challenge to the Democratic leader.
He tripped on the stairs on March 30, 2015 while returning from a golf trip in Florida.
Former President Donald Trump had no significant falls, but that didn’t keep the attention off his toes.
There were at least two instances where he was found to have toilet paper stuck to his shoe.
In October 2018, he boarded Air Force One to Minneapolis and a white sheet appears glued to his left shoe.
And when he left New York in November 2019, it looks like some toilet paper got stuck again.