Joe Biden will be 86 by the time he finishes his second term in office. God willing.
Would it be better if he were a younger man? Sure.
But is that enough of a reason for him not to run, or for others to challenge him?
Biden has done what he said he would do as president.
He has restored America's leadership globally.
He has restored a sense of integrity and decency to the White House. He has actually managed to accomplish a great deal despite the open hostility of the Republican Party and the ugliness and divisiveness of our politics.
He deserves a second term.
It's not a coincidence, or an accident, that he faces no opposition from within the Democratic Party, notwithstanding his age or his lagging poll numbers.
That's a reflection of just how well Biden has done the job, has done his politics, has managed expectations.
When he first took office, the assumption of many was that he would be a one-term president. That assumption has been turned on its head, which is a triumph for the Biden team.
There are plenty of ambitious Democrats, and they are all holding their fire.
It's not because Biden's poll numbers are so high.
It's because he has done his politics so well.
He has left no room for a challenger, and that is a singular accomplishment for any politician, let alone one who started out where Biden did when he took office.
Indeed, one of the great frustrations, surely for the Biden team, must be that the president is not more popular at home, despite his accomplishments, a reflection of the deep divisions in politics that the administration has not been able to bridge.
Both the president and the vice president lag in the approval ratings, and they continue to do so, barely more popular among voters than Donald Trump is.
The big question for 2024 is compared to whom.
If the question is an 80-something-year-old Biden compared to Trump, then the answer is likely to be Biden.
Among Democrats, at least, the betting is that Trump is the candidate Biden is most likely to beat.
Bring on the rematch!
There are ways to deal with the age issue with a candidate.
I remember when Alan Cranston was running for Senate in California — and questions were raised about his age and his vigor — and his ads showed him running, being vigorous, answering the subliminal doubts.
It can be done.
An older candidate can be shown to be vigorous, energetic, at the top of his game.
I was at the debate when Ronald Reagan turned the age issue on his opponent, Fritz Mondale, at their second debate, turning it into a joke — saying that he wouldn't make an issue of his opponent's youth and inexperience.
For better or for worse, the issue went away with that one-liner. Again, it can be done.
The real question is not whether Biden is too old, but whether Trump is too damaged. Or whether it will be Trump at the other podium.
If it is, there will be many issues, but age will not be the most important.
Susan Estrich is a politician, professor, lawyer and writer. Whether on the pages of newspapers such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post or as a television commentator on countless news programs on CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CBS and NBC, she has tackled legal matters, women's concerns, national politics and social issues. Read Susan Estrich's Reports — More Here.