In this “O.K. Boomer” moment of younger Americans’ disgust with the income inequality, social injustices and climate change that older Americans have bequeathed them, he has claimed a generational perspective that separates him from his rivals for the Democratic nomination. He notes that he was still in high school when the Columbine massacre happened; that he had just started college when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred; and that he’ll be living with America’s failures longer than his older rivals will.

He also makes the case that people of Biden’s, Warren’s and Sanders’s age have had their chance to fix things. Shouldn’t someone with an arguably fresher outlook — someone from outside Washington — take a turn? With that reasoning he frames political vulnerabilities as political virtues.

“You know the stat about three of the last four presidents emerging from the summer of 1946?” he asked, referring to Trump’s birth in June 1946, George W. Bush’s in July of that year and Bill Clinton’s in August. “It means that one generation has been in charge for a very long time.”