Joe Biden, the former vice president, said of Trump’s treatment of women this year, “If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.” Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who is also considering a run, told a crowd in Iowa, “When they go low, I say we hit harder.”

Or as Sean Clegg, a longtime Democratic strategist in California, put it: “When they go low, we kick ‘em in the nuts.”…

Clegg called Michelle Obama “almost a perfect public figure,” and recalled in “We go high” a “gorgeous speech that really spoke to me in the moment.” But he added that “I think [Michelle] Obama would be the very first person to acknowledge … that what we faced in 2007 and 2008 was a wildly different world, and a wildly different media environment.”

Now, he said, “When they go low, we go high: To me, that’s not the formula to beat Trump … Ultimately, what I think Democrats are going to want in a nominee is, ‘Is this person tough enough to stand up to him?’”