Although Joe Biden leads in the polls, he is opposed by many of the progressive opinion-makers who exercise disproportionate influence in the press, social media, think tanks, and academia. They don’t tend to attack his electability, and only rarely discuss what he is likely to do in office in comparison to Democratic rivals. Instead, they’re obsessed with how he presents himself and his ideas, which they characterize as “problematic.”

Early on, they cited the way he hugged and kissed strangers. While not predatory, he can be awkwardly handsy and intimate, many major media outlets reported.

Last month, Biden said that while he “didn’t agree on much of anything” with two segregationist Democrats who were in the Senate when he joined it, “at least there was some civility. We got things done.” The backlash was immediate. Talk of civil political compromise with racists, even on matters other than race, isn’t the sort of thing a respectable Democrat says in 2019.