President Biden has introduced a change to his White House departure and return routine: Instead of walking across the South Lawn to and from Marine One by himself, he’s now often surrounded by aides.

Why it matters: With aides usually walking between Biden and the press’ camera position outside the White House, the visual effect is to draw less attention to the 81-year-old’s halting and stiff gait, Axios’ Hans Nichols and Alex Thompson report.

Some Biden advisers have told Axios they’re concerned that videos of Biden walking and shuffling alone — especially across the grass — have highlighted his age.

Weeks ago, the president told aides that he’d prefer a less formal approach, a White House official told Axios. He suggested that they walk with him.

White House staffers and reporters alike noticed the sudden change in Biden’s walk routine beginning in mid-April, after more than three years in which he’d typically walked solo.

Senior aides — including deputy chiefs of staff Bruce Reed and Annie Tomasini, and close adviser Mike Donilon — are among those who’ve walked with the president across the lawn to and from the helicopter.

Since the change, some advisers think the images of Biden’s walks to and from the helicopter are better, and they expect him to continue to have aides join him.

By the numbers: In March, Biden’s five walks to and from Marine One at the White House were by himself, or with family members.

Starting April 16, Biden was joined by staff or lawmakers nine out of 10 times he walked to and from Marine One.

The big picture: Biden’s team has focused on changing voters’ perceptions about his age in recent months.

The earlier funnier Saturday Night Live would have gotten loads of material out of the above news – assuming the president had an (R) after his name, of course. Unfortunately, they’d much rather now play the palace guard than actually risk being funny.