“One of Biden’s greatest strengths as a person, and as a future president, is his empathy,” said one senior party strategist working on big-money efforts to oust Trump. “And I think that’s on full display” with this strategy to cut back his negative ads and messaging over the weekend, instead just wishing the president well, he said. “The election was always going to be a referendum on Donald Trump, and since March it was always going to be on Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. That doesn’t mean that Biden shouldn’t give people a reason to vote for him and not just against Trump — he is, absolutely, doing that. But a lot of this is [proving] he’s the steady, responsible alternative to the chaos in the White House and the irresponsibility of Donald Trump,” the strategist continued…

To people close to Biden — and to many other Democrats supporting him — the Democratic nominee is on safe ground by simply modeling adult behavior these days, before he goes on the attack again later this week. “Doing things responsibly is, itself, a message,” said the strategist. “Just wearing a mask. In the debate, being a normal person and looking calm in the face of whatever Trump was doing is providing a contrast on its own.” On Monday evening, Biden made clear that he had no intention of becoming part of the story of Trump’s illness itself, and that he had bigger concerns. When given the opportunity, he refused to criticize the president’s doctors.