The sober and stark speech was just one of several public appearances Biden made over the past week, including a campaign appearance in Alabama with Doug Jones, the Democrat running in the state’s special Senate election.

And in November Biden will release a new book, which means the veteran politician who somewhat regretfully passed on a 2016 bid will make many of the same media stops that Hillary Clinton did when she promoted her recent campaign memoir.

All these moves raise the question of what, exactly, Biden is trying to accomplish — a possible political comeback or simply being protective of the policies he and Obama helped implement.