Washington (CNN)Joe Biden is the White House's No. 2 -- and while his political future is ambiguous -- he joked Wednesday he's not looking to be "demoted."
Joe Biden makes 'demotion' joke ahead of 2016 decision
"We need to move," he said as he wrapped up his remarks before exiting the state at the Workers' Voice Summit in Washington. "If I don't move I'll be demoted to secretary of state or something like that."
The joke was a knock on the job once held by Hillary Clinton, his potential Democratic rival. Perhaps aware of how his remark would be interpreted by a tea leaf-reading media, Biden quickly followed up.
"That's a joke! That's a joke! That's a joke! Thank you," he said.
Biden and Clinton both ran against President Barack Obama in 2008 and served side-by-side in the first term of his administration.
Pundits and strategists are parsing every utterance of Biden to learn whether he will launch a third bid for the Democratic nomination. People close to Biden have said he's weighing a potential 2016 bid while still grieving the loss of his son, Beau, with a decision expected soon. Sources told CNN he is expected to make his decision after a "family conversation" this weekend in Delaware.