He would be wise to invoke Obama only regarding health care. Like the other so-called moderate candidates running, Biden has real disagreements with Medicare for All as fiscally unsustainable and politically self-defeating. Yet none of these candidates, including Biden, has made an affirmative case for protecting and expanding Obamacare.
Biden is uniquely positioned to do that. In the minds of Democratic primary voters, Obama is the most successful Democratic president in living memory. If the Affordable Care Act was good enough for Obama to embrace the colloquial moniker Obamacare, Biden ought to say it’s good enough for him and commit to fighting for it. He should argue against throwing the baby out with the bathwater in chasing a dream that would kick 150 million people off their health care and potentially hand another term to President Trump.
Perceived electability is Biden’s core strength. That message appeals to it. Uncle Joe has lost a step or two and may not have the ability to deliver this message even if he decides to do so. But continuing to haphazardly invoke Obama from a defensive crouch would further alienate the Democratic-party elites who still have fond feelings for Biden.