Michael Avenatti lacks the resume of a typical Democratic presidential contender. He’s a bit out of his depth — more hat than cattle — and of course he’s an opportunist. What attorney isn’t? But he strikes me as a highly intelligent, relatively decent fellow. He’s tough, well-organized and and well-phrased, and has never stumbled in all the interviews I’ve seen him do. His domestic political views are basically compassionate and humanist. I don’t see a huge problem.

From Maggie Astor’s 8.10 N.Y. Times story: “[Yesterday] Avenatti used his first big speech as a prospective presidential candidate to call on the Democratic Party to reject Michelle Obama’s oft-quoted advice about President Trump and his allies: “When they go low, we go high.”

“The hard-charging lawyer who represents the pornographic film star Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, did not mention the former first lady in his keynote speech Friday night at the Democratic Wing Ding, a party fund-raiser in northern Iowa. But there was no mistaking his meaning.

“’We must be a party that fights fire with fire,’ Mr. Avenatti said to cheers from the audience, his voice rising. ‘When they go low, I say hit back harder.’

“He received a thunderous ovation at the end of his speech, notably louder than the applause for the night’s other speakers, including Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio as well as Representative John Delaney of Maryland, who is running for president.”