Just last week, Abbott was the headline speaker at the FreedomWorks Texas summit in Austin, where he boasted of suing the federal government 25 times since President Barack Obama took office.
He hasn't declared a run for governor, but hasn't ruled it out either.
Prof. Jon Taylor, who chairs the Political Science Department at the University of St. Thomas, says Abbott is positioning himself just in case.
"He is trying to lay the groundwork. The question is whether or not he actually will run. Gov. Perry said before, publicly, that Abbott wouldn't run against him. The thought is he probably is repeating what's been said in private. That said, the attorney general's doing things that makes him look very gubernatorial lately."
Taylor calls Abbott the anointed successor to Gov. Perry and says the two men are friends and political allies. He says if Perry decides not to run for re-election, Abbott is the most obvious replacement.
"His story is a compelling story, politically and personally. And I think that helps in terms of conveying that to Texas voters. He's also just a different, different face, a different persona than Rick Perry and I think it would be a nice break in this regard, politically. He can say, 'Look I'm not Rick Perry. I'm not Rick Perry's guy. At the same time this is my vision for Texas.'"
As for whether he'll get to run in 2014, Taylor says that depends on what Perry decides to do, and Perry likely won't announce his intentions until after this legislative session.