We already knew that president number 46 would be nothing like 45, but what we perhaps had forgotten is what an understated presidency looks like. Joe Biden already presents more like Bush (W.) than Reagan, more Carter than Clinton, and nothing at all like the cerebral Obama, which is welcome given the naïve assumption that Biden’s presidency would merely be a continuation of 2015. To say his presidency is just a little “blue-collar” would be neither inaccurate nor unfair. He looks to be more the grandfatherly figurehead-type with big friendly rescue dogs that haven’t been trained to snatch a journalist by the throat (which is the only way you know the previous president would have accepted hounds in his home).

Biden isn’t about to impose some ideology upon the nation but is more likely to resemble a latter-day FDR, speaking to the country from the fireside. His is a homely kind of wisdom, valued but surprisingly rare in American politics. Lincoln had it and people like Senator John Kennedy try to emulate it. With Biden, however, it is humbler in that he prefers to speak through his administration rather than dominate the cameras.