From our distant vantage point on the other side of the world, it can be hard to understand why the Democratic Party's voters chose Joe Biden, of all people, to be their presidential nominee.
Most of Biden's rivals for the nomination were more eloquent, sharper mentally, or more knowledgeable about policy issues.
Several of them would have been historic choices – the first black woman atop a presidential ticket, or the first Hispanic man, or the first openly gay man.
Instead, voters picked the 77-year-old white guy who had been in national politics for decades, routinely stumbled over his words, occasionally screwed up when recounting details of his own life, and had long been known as one of America's most gaffe-prone politicians.
There is a reason Donald Trump keeps questioning whether Biden is in full possession of his mental faculties. The man keeps giving him fodder.
There's also a reason Biden failed to win a single state in his two previous runs for the Democratic nomination. He is, quite simply, not a particularly impressive candidate.
But despite all his obvious weaknesses, there is one notable thing Biden had going for him this time; something his rivals lacked. And it's not just the obviously beneficial fact that he served as Barack Obama's vice president.
To illustrate it, I want to take you back to the end of February, and the night of the South Carolina primary – otherwise known as the night that revived Biden's seemingly dead campaign.
South Carolina was the fourth state to vote for its preferred nominee.
Biden, for so long the presumed Democratic frontrunner, had come a surprisingly weak fourth in Iowa, an abysmal fifth in New Hampshire, and a very distant second behind Bernie Sanders in Nevada.
Rival campaigns were writing him off. In one particularly colourful quote, one of them said Biden had "taken on the stench of death".
The former vice president desperately needed to win in South Carolina, having spent weeks insisting the state was his "firewall". And he did, by a massive margin.
"All those of you who've been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign," Biden said when he took the stage.
"Just days ago, the press and the pundits had declared this candidacy dead. Now, thanks to all of you, the heart of the Democratic Party, we've just won and we own big.
"We are very much alive."
The moment I want to highlight came a little later in Biden's speech, when he shifted away from the usual talking points we expect from politicians, and got personal.
He spoke movingly about the grief he and his wife Jill had endured after the death of their son Beau in 2015, and how the people of South Carolina had helped them heal.
When the Bidens visited South Carolina in 2015, the state was mourning its own tragedy – the Charleston church massacre, which left nine people dead. They were struck by the strength of those who had lost their loved ones in the shooting.
"Through all that pain, all that grief, they forgave," Biden told the crowd after his primary win.
"Six weeks earlier, we had lost our son Beau. And we needed to be healed too. We needed to be healed. I really mean this.
"We needed whatever they were exuding. And with every season that's passed, they've gotten up and found purpose to live life worthy of the ones they lost. Worthy of the blessing to live in this remarkable country.
"We left here, having arrived in overwhelming pain, thinking we can do this. We can get through this.
"It's no small reason why I'm in this race. People like all of you here tonight, all around the country. The days of Donald Trump's divisiveness will soon be over."
At that point, Biden took a moment to wipe away a tear.
"This multi-ethnic country we call America can't survive unless we focus on our goodness," he continued.
"We can build a more perfect union, because the American people in the last few years have seen the alternative.
"No, think about it. They've seen how utterly mean, selfish, lack of any sense of empathy or concern for anyone else. A President who not only has horrible policies, but the way he mocks and makes fun of other people.
"Let's get back up. We're decent, we're brave, we're a resilient people. We're better than this President. So get up, take back our country."
It wasn't a particularly eloquent speech, and it certainly won't be recorded in any history books, but it demonstrated Biden's core appeal – perhaps even his sole appeal – as a politician.
Shaped by a lifetime of tragedy – he also lost his first wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter Naomi to a car crash in 1972 – he comes off as genuine, vulnerable and empathetic.
Biden isn't an ideological firebrand like Sanders, a policy wonk like Elizabeth Warren, a soaring orator like Pete Buttigieg, or a formidable debater like Kamala Harris. On all of those counts, someone else in the Democratic field had him well beaten.
His strength is that he's a relatively normal human being who appears to give a damn about other people.
Does that mean Biden should be president? Not necessarily. There are plenty of reasons to vote against the guy.
But it does offer a flattering contrast with Trump, who has spent three-and-a-half years seeming to care a heck of a lot more about his own media coverage than about the people he was elected to serve.
Biden's campaign clearly understands this, because it has made empathy a centrepiece of its argument against Trump.
Just look at the first speech Kamala Harris gave after being chosen as the Democrats' vice presidential nominee this week.
"Ever since I received Joe's call, I've been thinking about the first Biden that I really came to know. And that, of course, is Joe's beloved son – one of his beloved sons – Beau," Ms Harris said.
"In the midst of the Great Recession, Beau and I spoke on the phone practically every day, sometimes multiple times a day. (We were) working together to win back billions of dollars for homeowners from the big banks of the nation, that were foreclosing on people's homes.
"And let me just tell you about Beau Biden. I learned quickly that Beau was the kind of guy who inspired people to be a better version of themselves. He really was the best of us. And when I'd ask him, 'Where'd you get that? Where did this come from?', he'd always talk about his dad.
"And I will tell you, the love that they shared was incredible to watch. It was the most beautiful display of the love between a father and a son."
Reporters in the room said Biden "fought back tears" as Harris spoke about his son.
"Beau talked about how Joe would spend four hours every day riding the rails from Wilmington (where they lived) to Washington so he could make breakfast for his kids in the morning and make it home in time to tuck them in bed each night," she continued.
"All of this so two little boys, who had just lost their mum and their sister in a tragic accident, would know that the world was still turning.
"That's how I came to know Joe. He's someone whose first response when things get tough is never to think about himself, but to care for everyone else.
"He's someone who never asks, 'Why is this happening to me?', and instead asks, 'What can I do to make life better for you?' His empathy, his compassion, his sense of duty to care for others is why I am so proud to be on this ticket."
Harris didn't mention any of Biden's policies in that monologue, and you'll notice I haven't mentioned any in this article either.
That's not because he doesn't have any. Like any other candidate, Biden has a long list of things he'll supposedly do as president, some of which are more plausible than others.
It is not because they don't matter either. Over the next 80 days, Biden's policies should face harsh scrutiny.
The point I'm making is that those policies have little to do with Biden's appeal, or with the rationale his campaign is offering voters.
It wants the election to be about the personalities and character of the candidates – a contrast between empathy and decency on the one hand, and self-obsessed callousness on the other. Biden keeps describing it as a battle for "the soul of America".
That argument clearly resonated with Democratic voters. Now we'll see whether it works on the rest of the country.