‘Napgate’: NY Times report on Biden’s pre-debate schedule raises eyebrows

The fallout from last week’s debate over President Biden’s cognitive decline is showing no signs of relenting, nor have the burgeoning calls for the geriatric 81-year-old president to step aside for another candidate to head the Democratic ticket in November.

In a stark reversal of their usual role of propping Biden up, even the media is beginning to accept what appears to be inevitable after a dismal debate performance. In a damning Axios report, White House aides claimed that Biden was only “dependably engaged” a few hours out of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. There was even a sudden change in coverage from the New York Times, with the editorial board calling for Biden to drop out of the race on Friday, saying it was plain to see that he “is not the man he was four years ago.”

On Tuesday, the Times reported that the president’s “lapses appear to have grown more frequent, more pronounced and, after Thursday’s debate, more worrisome.” The article also detailed Biden’s schedule during six days of debate prep that, according to a source, included an afternoon nap each day.

“Mr. Biden was drained enough from the back-to-back trips to Europe that his team cut his planned debate preparation by two days so he could rest at his house in Rehoboth Beach, Del., before joining advisers at Camp David for rehearsals. The preparations, which took place over six days, never started before 11 a.m. and Mr. Biden was given time for an afternoon nap each day, according to a person familiar with the process,” the newspaper reported.

Interestingly, Biden fell back on those trips as an excuse for his performance while speaking Tuesday at a fundraiser in McLean, Virginia.

“I wasn’t very smart,” he told donors, according to several reporters in the room. “I decided to travel around the world a couple of times, going through I don’t know how many time zones — for real I think it [was] 15 time zones… I didn’t listen to my staff.”

“And then I came back and nearly fell asleep on stage,” Biden said before adding, “It’s not an excuse, but an explanation.”

The problem with this “explanation” is that Biden returned from those trips on June 15, which is twelve days before the debate:

It’s beginning to look like Biden is finished. The mad scramble over who will replace him is reportedly already cranking up and could get ugly. There is one report that black women are threatening to “blow up” the party if a white candidate is chosen over Vice President Kamala Harris — a timely CNN poll just came out suggesting Harris fares better against Trump than Biden.

Social media is really piling on at this point, understandably so — here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story, as seen on X:

Tom Tillison


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