“John Kerry was one of those candidates that folks got behind precisely because of the electability argument. And yet,” said Rebecca Katz, a Democratic strategist who worked for John Edwards in the 2004 primary and has praised Biden’s 2020 rival Elizabeth Warren. “John Kerry was a flawed candidate, but much sharper in ’04 than Biden is today.”

At a town hall in Nashua, Kerry reminisced about the 2004 campaign that he narrowly lost, though he insisted that wouldn’t happen to Biden.

“In November of that year, we turned New Hampshire blue again. Carried Michigan, carried Wisconsin, carried Pennsylvania. We came within one state” of winning the general election, he said. “I know that Joe Biden is the person who can beat Donald Trump and bring this country back together.”