At a tribute to former vice president Walter Mondale on Tuesday morning, Joe Biden said this:

It really matters when people know you are speaking for the president and you have his confidence ... I will get sent to go to speak with Putin or speak to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan or go speak to whomever, and it's because the secretary of state -- and we've had two great  secretaries of state -- but when I go they know that I'm speaking for the president.

Um, okay. This is the same Joe Biden who is currently in the final days -- we think -- of making up his mind about running for president. And the same Joe Biden who, if he got into the race, would be running against, wait for it ... former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to take Biden's comments about the closeness of his relationship with Obama and the authority that his job conveys as anything but the sort of thing a guy who has made his mind up to run says.  Biden has been around politics for a long time and knows what he is doing. And just in case you might miss what he is doing, he decided to pull in a random mention of secretaries of state -- that could be anyone! -- for good measure.

I have no inside information about what Biden is going to do or when he will announce what he is going to do.  But it sure feels like his comments today amount to placing a marker on who will be the heir to the Obama legacy (and organization) in a race that Biden allegedly has yet to make his mind up about.