Biden’s shift toward a harsher tone and his evolution on impeachment was born out of circumstance, necessity and personal animus. It came after days of privately huddling with advisers. The steady stream of new revelations and incendiary statements from Trump made it almost impossible for Biden not to take a more fiery stance.

Aside from the daily drumbeat of news about Trump’s conduct, Biden also fielded incoming complaints from donors and supporters who wanted to see more aggression out of Biden against the president.

“I believe he’s heard from a lot of people, because I have, that it would be good for him to be stronger against Trump,” said Sheila Nix, who’s on Biden’s national finance council. “It would be beneficial for him to take charge and define himself and not let Trump define him.”

While Trump’s attacks over the past two weeks haven’t shown much of a dent in the Democrat’s poll numbers, there has been no tangible sign of a rallying effect either.