On Tuesday, Joe Biden told his advisers he wanted to give a speech in South Carolina to address, and preempt, the mounting attacks on his record concerning race and civil rights. Sources close to Biden told me he was still rewriting the draft on Saturday in the car en route to Sumter, South Carolina, where he gave the speech to a mostly black audience.

“Given the coverage we got coming out of the debate … we could die by death by a thousand cuts here,” said a source familiar with the thinking in Biden’s camp.

“So it was either you wrap it all up in a bow and you say, ‘Look, this is who I am. Barack Obama picked me, so if it was good enough for Barack Obama it’s good enough for me’ … or we could have fought each one of these battles individually.”

“This was an attempt to wrap it all up in a bow.”