Trump would also provide cover for another often-discussed Biden drawback: the overly familiar mannerisms that seem terribly out of place in the #MeToo era. Next to Trump’s “Access Hollywood” tapes and the litany of sexual misconduct charges levied against the president, Biden’s hands-iness barely registers.

The bigger issue is whether there’s a place for him atop the Democratic Party that’s taking shape after the ruinous 2016 election cycle. This new iteration is unsentimental and unforgiving, and Biden has more than a few conspicuous Senate votes that demand a reckoning in the Trump-era Democratic Party.

One of them is the bankruptcy reform bill that he championed for years, until it finally passed in 2005. The political taint from that law—favored by credit card companies because it made it harder for consumers to get debt relief through bankruptcy—shows no sign of subsiding on the left. It surfaced as a thorny issue during Biden’s vetting as Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008, and reappeared nearly a decade later to haunt Hillary Clinton during her 2016 Democratic primary.