It wasn’t the best set-up for a presidential pitch: a rainy Friday night, right before Passover and Easter, and right after the release of the Mueller report.

Still, California Rep. Eric Swalwell drew a capacity crowd of a few dozen people to his appearance at Jewell Town Vineyards in South Hampton, right across the border from Massachusetts. And when he began speaking, he went straight at the news of the day.

“I wrote legislation a year ago … that would put a duty to report on any candidate, candidate’s family member, or candidate’s campaign team: If you’re approached by a foreign agent, you have to tell the FBI,” Swalwell said.

“I think that should be in stone — something that’s always been a part of the honor code, but that should be in stone,” he added.

That proposal elicited applause from the audience. So did Swalwell’s suggestion that Attorney General William Barr resign — because, he argued, Barr is acting like the president’s lawyer rather than the country’s.

Which brings up my first Swalwell takeaway: He is a hawk when it comes to Trump and Russia, making that particular story line a central part of his campaign.

“If we lose free markets and free ideas, we lose the freedom to dream,” Swalwell said in South Hampton. “We look more like Russia, where only those in the top floor do well and everyone else gets the crumbs. So that’s what’s at stake. That’s why I’m running for president."

(For the record, though, Swalwell hasn’t yet called for Trump’s impeachment, though he has said, “We’re on that road.”)

Another takeaway? Swalwell is strikingly aggressive on a second topic that might seem politically risky — namely, gun control.

“If we’re going to get rid of the fear that children have in their classrooms, if we’re going to get rid of the carnage that we see in mass shootings, we have to ban and buy back the 15 million assault weapons,” Swalwell said — adding that anyone who refused to participate would be subject to prosecution, and eliciting still more applause from the crowd.

That particular proposal might sound like a recipe for pulling anti-gun control voters to the polls in droves. But Swalwell explained that, after campaigning for pro-gun control candidates in the 2018 midterms and watching many of them succeed, he’s concluded that the conventional wisdom on gun control is wrong.

“I’m convinced … this is not a divisive issue at all,” Swalwell said. “That we’re actually told it’s a divisive issue to keep us from doing anything about it. A tactic to make us negotiate down."

Swalwell floated other policy ideas in South Hampton, including offering Medicare to anyone who wants it, and dropping the interest rate on student loans to zero. As he did, he repeated the same slogan over and over again.

“Offer a vision that goes big on the issues we take on,” he said. “Be bold with the solutions we offer, and do good in the way that we govern and treat each other. ... Go big, be bold, do good.”

Which brings me to my third and final Swalwell takeaway: The former prosecutor is an overtly moralistic politician — imbuing pretty much every point he makes with a very earnest sense of what he thinks is right and wrong.

Afterward, as Swalwell met the press, I caught a glimpse of how might respond when those convictions are questioned. Recapping the just-concluded audience Q and A, a reporter said, “You also were asked about how to win back some of those uneducated white male voters” — at which point Swalwell bristled.

“I should’ve said this: never call them uneducated,” he told the reporter. “Just because you don’t have a college degree doesn’t make you uneducated. My mom didn’t get a college degree but she raised four boys, she was really good at arts and crafts, she ran a business, she worked as a bookkeeper, she works today as a senior admin assistant. She’s a lot of things, but she isn’t uneducated.”

“Fair enough,” the reporter answered.

It was an exchange that could make Swalwell seem defensive — or, conversely, convince Democrats that he’s just the sort of messenger they need in 2018.