Some insinuate that Biden’s faux pas are merely a reflection of age. After reading through Biden’s old speeches and hundreds of pages of his Senate testimony, one can clearly see that the former senator has been passionately and confidentially saying ludicrous things for decades.

After sliding into the Senate by beating a pro-Nixon candidate on the heels of Watergate, and then tethering his ride to a series of Senate guardians, including segregationists — “sometimes even George Wallace is right,” Biden explained in a debate over a tough-on-crime initiative in 1981 — Biden owns a middling record as a politician. Obama, looking to fill the veep seat with the most non-threatening establishment type he could find, saved the old senator’s career.

Of course, being a mediocre politician doesn’t make you a bad person — maybe the opposite. Yet, I’ve never met anyone in my life who was legitimately pumped up about a Biden presidential candidacy. Those who witnessed the 2008 Denver coronation of Obama, or the rise of Trump, can attest to the importance of passion in politics. The entire foundation of Biden’s case for the presidency is series of banal considerations: his (highly overstated) time in the Obama White House, his Senate experience (though he’s tried to whitewash 40 years of votes to mollify progressives), and his electability as a supposedly moderate option.

Maybe that will be enough to put him over the top in primaries, and perhaps even into the White House. But boy, is he bad at this.