Guy Benson
Yesterday we told you about a rumor that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was preparing to announce a presidential exploratory committee within ten days.  Now ABC News and National Journal are reporting that Team Newt's announcement will come by week's end:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will launch a presidential "exploratory" campaign this week, becoming the first big-name GOP candidate to take a formal step toward a White House bid.

A senior Republican official confirmed the news, first reported by ABC, to National Journal.  Gingrich already has planned two trips this month to states where the first presidential contests will take place next year: He's scheduled an appearance in Iowa on March 7 and one in New Hampshire on March. 17.

I spoke with a source close to Gingrich today, who confirmed to me that "a significant announcement" is coming on Thursday.  "The full [exploratory committee] may not be in place by then," but "expect an announcement." 

Now that this cat is entirely out of the bag for all intents and purposes, it will be interesting to see how other rumored candidates respond.  Will Newt's de facto entry into the race open the floodgates as others follow suit, or will most other camps continue to keep their powder dry?

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography