Clinton, who has also appeared on SNL, may have learned from this aspect of the show as she readied her June 2 trial run as a political humorist. If you boil down her 40-minute speech, she was calling Trump silly and out of his depth. “I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his attraction to tyrants,” she said in one thrust. In another: “It’s clear he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.” In yet a third: “Being interviewed on the same episode of 60 Minutes as Putin was is not the same thing as actually dealing with Putin.” This was good, biting stuff.

To get there, the New York Times reports, her staff spent weeks reviewing attacks by Trump’s GOP rivals over the course of the primary season; they were in search of what hadn’t worked against him. From there, Clinton speechwriters produced a five-star selection of rhetorical wallops, really a bare-knuckled political sketch, which she delivered in her natural style—flat but earnest, an approach that packed a punch precisely because no one had ever heard her speak that way, at least publicly.

“He also says, ‘I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.’ You know what? I don’t believe him,” Clinton said.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll of likely voters conducted May 30 through June 3, thus including at least a day of calls after the speech, showed Clinton clawing her way well ahead of Trump. Clinton had the support of about 46% of those surveyed, and Trump 35%; a month ago, the same poll had them tied.

There is no national poll as yet conducted only after the speech. But there is also no point in extrapolating these figures as far as November. Trump, too, has shown himself to be rhetorically agile, tough, and above all surprising. He certainly won’t stand still, but Clinton now intends to cut him down with her new, light touch.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.