First, if and when he declares, Biden might break precedent by promising up front that he will serve for only a single term — “one and done,” as they say in college basketball. Unlike other politicians who always seem grasping for power, Biden would have a credible argument that he is truly putting country first.

But, the critics will respond, he will automatically become a lame duck, unable to get big things done. So? It is already clear that unless we break out of today’s paralyzed politics, the next president will be badly handcuffed.

And committing to one term would also diminish the importance of his age issue. With a single term, he would step down at 81. People might accept that. But trying to go on till 85? That seems beyond the pale.