Not the first time that the former Vice President of the United States has fantasized about taking the current President of the United States and kicking a knot in his ass, if only somehow time travel were possible. Is that just “Joe being Joe”?

The last time he said it was during the 2016 campaign, so this must be Joe just being Joe. Although…

“When a guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,’” Biden said. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’”

Biden made another jab. “I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life. I’m a pretty damn good athlete,” he said. “Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest SOB in the room.”

Taking a tough-guy approach to Trump isn’t a bad macro strategy for 2020. It scratches Democrats’ anti-Trump itch; it panders to women by presenting Biden as their valiant defender; it appeals, in theory, to the working-class voters who responded to Trump’s alpha-male swagger last time; and it distinguishes Biden from a Democratic field whose most formidable candidates are shaping up to be women. Unless Bernie Sanders runs again, the big three among current officeholders in 2020 might be Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Could be that Biden’s trying to brand himself as the most ferocious “fighter” by, ah, posturing literally as a fighter. Although many would dispute it (and some who don’t would be loath to admit it), it may be that a woman nominee is an especially risky match-up for Trump because they’re already battling a stereotype that women leaders aren’t as tough as male ones are. With Trump that problem is magnified because so much of his own persona is based on “toughness” and “strength.” Did that contribute to Hillary’s razor-thin deficits in the Rust Belt two years ago? No way to tell, but *if* there’s a problem for Dems in being seen as too soft, nominating Fightin’ Joe might solve it.

Or maybe Biden’s just trying to bait Trump cronies into responses like this:

Ah well. In an alternate universe, on Earth 2, Trump said this about Biden first and CNN is doing round-the-clock concern-trolling about a holder of high office proposing violence as an answer to disfavored speech.