Like everyone else on earth, Obama notices that Biden looks like a much stronger candidate than Warren in a matchup against Trump. Warren might well be Hillary 2.0: She’s off-putting. She’s smug. She’s . . . a she. Polls show Democrats are extremely worried that the American people won’t accept a woman president. The more she uses words like “My Daddy” and ostentatiously drinks beer, the less relatable she is. It’s hard to imagine the American people are thinking, “Yes, this is the voice I want to listen to every day for the next four years.”

So there would be risk involved in backing Warren. But from Obama’s perspective, there’s also risk involved in Biden’s becoming president and embarrassing him every day. Maybe even, in his dotage, Biden might let what’s left of the Obama legacy slip away. If Obama thinks like most Democrats, he probably believes that nonsensical hullabaloo about email servers, not Hillary Clinton’s deficiencies as a candidate or sexism, was what cost her the presidency.