The case for Joe Biden

So Biden remains the cautious, more-things-to-more-people choice, and if Democrats believe Trump to be an unprecedented authoritarian threat, then the case for such caution is self-evident. One might reasonably prefer a different cautious choice, an Amy Klobuchar or one of the failed-to-launch moderates — but Biden is the only one who appears viable, the only not-Sanders candidate who still has a clear-enough path to the nomination. And with Super Tuesday upon us, for cautious Democrats there may be no alternative.

The same case for the advantages of caution applies to what a Biden presidency might bring. He will not induce Mitch McConnell to pass Medicare for All or make college free, or perform the prestidigitation on the country’s regulatory system that Warren promises. But in a world with a Republican-controlled or 50-50 Senate, he is somewhat less likely than other candidates to see his agenda gridlocked from the start, more likely to successfully jawbone Joe Manchin on health care or Pat Toomey on guns, and perhaps modestly more likely to gain a Democratic majority in the Senate after 2022.