Biden can’t even raise much money, despite his deep-pocketed connections from a career as a handmaiden for the corporations that use Delaware as a flag of legal convenience. As of mid-October, he had less than a third as much cash on hand as Bernie Sanders — which probably prompted Biden to abandon his pledge to not accept support from corporate-baked outside super PAC groups, drastically undermining a decade of organizing effort to get Democrats to stop taking corporate money at a stroke. Even the pipsqueak Buttigieg has raised vastly more money, perhaps because even some big establishment donors are reportedly alarmed by Biden’s weak campaign.

Biden has no explanation for why he is suitable to lead a party whose base is rapidly moving leftward, given his history on the center-right of the party. Why should a guy who voted for the Iraq War, financial deregulation, and bankruptcy reform; who was a key architect of rolling back school integration; and who is implicated in dozens of other historic atrocities be appropriate for the Democratic Party of 2019? He has not even addressed the question — on the contrary, he continues to promise an utterly impossible return to bipartisan compromise, and to boast about his friendship with segregationist Dixiecrats.

On the specific politics of 2020, Biden has not even bothered to come up with a persuasive answer to his son Hunter’s involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which has dominated media coverage for months by way of the Trump impeachment inquiry.