Biden vs. Bernie: What two very long records say about 2020

The choice is clear

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | AP Photo/Donna Light, AP Photo/Lana Harris, Emily Barnes/Getty Images)

It's official: Joe Biden is running for president. He started in signature bumbling fashion, claiming that he asked Barack Obama not to endorse him, putting out a tone-deaf fundraising email talking about how "all men are created equal," and releasing a very awkward picture of himself with Obama.

But here we are: the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination are two elderly white men — Biden and Bernie Sanders (at least in terms of polls at this early date). Nevertheless, their political legacies are poles apart. Biden represents the old party orthodoxy, while Sanders represents a new ideological force trying to displace it. Their records make for a good illustration of the political stakes in this primary.

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