Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both white-haired septuagenarians with decades of experience in Washington. Yet the two front-runners represent opposite ideological poles in a packed field of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.
They offer voters a stark choice that mirrors a struggle inside the party over whether to pursue incrementalist or transformative policies. Biden is an establishment Democrat with a long record of bipartisan deals ranging from budget accords this decade to a now-maligned 1994 crime bill. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, was an early adopter of ideas including single payer health insurance and a $15 federal minimum wage, that have rapidly gained traction in the progressive base.