"I wanted my friends and supporters to know we are now seriously considering the race," Vitter said, adding he wasn't trying to prematurely clear the field.
Given how much Vitter has enjoyed fiddling with state government and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration in the past, it's a safe assumption that he'll be ripping a page from the playbook of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who spent the run-up to the 1983 election second-guessing every move then-Gov. Dave Treen made, forming coalitions and raising money on the back of it all.
As for how that might play out, it's unclear. Vitter said the Committee for a Republican Majority, which he helped create to elect members of the Legislature, is still active, but decisions are being made by a panel and he didn't express any serious interest in getting behind an early effort.
He said he'll be keeping an eye on the 2014 session as well, but hasn't identified any policy issues he might chime in on.
"I'm interested in the future of Louisiana and the state Legislature no matter what, whether I'm a senator or running for governor," he said.
While Vitter is unlikely to take campaign supporters on an eight-day tour of Versailles and Monte Carlo like Edwards did in the '83 race, he will be setting precedents of his own. Mainly through the Fund for Louisiana's Future, a Super PAC that was created to support his efforts.
A couple maximum $100,000 donations have already been dropped into the kitty, but the PAC's lawyers are asking the Ethics Administration to lift the cap based on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling. It's likely to happen and could result in million-dollar donations.
Vitter can't have a say in how the Super PAC spends its tally, now approaching $800,000, but he will have his own state campaign account, to be established after his final decision is announced this month, he said.
Sources in D.C., however, contend he's already talking openly about the run. And his actions there speak louder than words, as he continues to burn bridges and push unpopular amendments-unpopular inside the rails, that is, but they resonate well with his base back home.
For example, Vitter's not letting up on his provision to put members of Congress on the Obamacare exchanges. There's no vehicle identified yet for his next push on the issue, but it's coming.
"We look from week to week for every opportunity," he said.
Should Vitter decide against running for governor, there could be an opportunity for him to move up in the Senate leadership. He's currently the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee. But if the GOP takes control of the upper chamber and Vitter sticks it out, a chairmanship could be in the stars.
"Every Republican stature would move up," he said. "But there are a lot of moving pieces. I can't be sure."