It begins: Ted Cruz, as widely predicted, became the only major candidate officially running for president shortly after midnight with a tweet announcing: "I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!" The conservative Texas Republican will make a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., this morning, reports the AP. What you need to know:
- Bad timing? The senator is the first in what's expected to be a crowded field, but although time is on his side, history isn't: A Bloomberg analysis of records going back to 1952 found that no first announcer ever won the presidency, and only two—Democrats Adlai Stevenson and George McGovern—secured their party's nomination.
- Or not: At NPR, Ron Elving sees five "good reasons" for Cruz to have made the early move. Per Elving, Cruz faces some formidable challenges (the need for cash, an "expanding GOP field") that he can now start to tackle. Further, "Real men needn't horse around with exploratory committees," right? Cruz's move frames him as the "straight-shooter" he wants to come across as. And 'the sooner Cruz gets in, the longer his long-shot candidacy will last," writes Elving, who suggests Cruz could rack up some media exposure, exit the field, then angle to get the No. 2 spot on the ticket.
- The logistics of it: Politico explains Cruz is taking advantage of a bit of a window: A two-week Senate recess begins next week and runs through April 10, offering "an incentive for candidates in federal office to formally announce."
- Who will follow? Potentially no one this month. Politico expects Rand Paul to announce April 7 and Marco Rubio to also announce in April.
- What Cruz is in for: At HotAir, Jazz Shaw predicts the media will "open up with both barrels and hit Cruz with everything they've got." Shaw is beginning to think Cruz may just be able to withstand that, and if he does, "the wavering donors who aren’t feeling all that comfortable about Jeb, Christie, or Walker may see a new place to invest."
(Read more Ted Cruz