President Joe Biden is reportedly bothered by the media making constant references to his age, and has lashed out against them privately to friends.
"Who knows what the fates have in store for someone who just turned 80 a few weeks ago (Sorry, Mr. President!)," Politico's Jonathan Martin wrote recently, for example.
"You think I don’t know how f***ing old I am?" Biden reportedly vented to one ally recently as the press frequently wonders whether he will run for a second term and how he will fare if he does so.
Biden turned 80 last month, and often appears frail or confused in public. If he is re-elected in 2024, he would be 86 by the end of his second term.
He has not yet filed official paperwork to run for a second term, nor has he made a formal announcement that he is running.
He has repeatedly said that he intends to run, but has also made other comments that cause observers to question his intentions.
In late November as he was thanking reporters during comments, he responded to shouts of "Four more years!" by demurring, "I don't know about that."
Top Democrats seem confident that Biden could be re-elected, particularly against former President Donald Trump, who is currently the only Republican running in 2024.
Trump continues to face declining support and legal troubles that may make it hard for him to be re-elected despite his solid policy performance as president in his first term.
Biden's strategy of minimal appearances worked for him against all odds in 2020, and he is likely to try the same strategy in a 2024 bid. It remains to be seen whether such a strategy will work in a largely post-COVID world where people are gathering in similar numbers to before the pandemic and may expect more face time with a candidate.
While the public seems generally unhappy with his policies, particularly on the economy and immigration, Democrats have not seemed inclined to change their voting patterns amid the turmoil.
The devil they know seems preferable to any other alternative, it seems, at least in high-profile elections that get intense media attention and ad saturation.
Given the decline we have already seen since he took office two years ago, I'm doubtful he would make it through another six years in office.
We should expect an announcement about his intention to run in 2024 after the holidays, according to his chief of staff Ron Klain.