Midnight tweet by Cruz rings bell for 2016 fight

With a midnight tweet and a video, Senator Ted Cruz became the first declared candidate of either party to run for president of the United States.  "I'm running for president and I hope to earn your support," he wrote.

Cruz will open his campaign at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA this morning.

The Hill:

By announcing his bid first and doing it at a campus within driving distance of Washington, Cruz will maximize attention from the national media. His campaign team made rounds of calls to reporters on Friday to advertise what they described as a can’t-miss speech. 

There's a symbolic element to the date for the freshman senator too: Cruz’s official campaign rollout will come on the fifth anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed on March 23, 2010.

It’s a resonant reminder for the Tea Party star, who jumped into the national spotlight by waging a 21-hour filibuster to protest the law and later led a conservative revolt against its implementation that resulted in a 16-day government shutdown. 

First elected in 2012, Cruz has positioned himself as a conservative gadfly and antagonist of GOP leadership since coming to Washington. Many Republican colleagues were upset over the role he played in the fall of 2013, spurring House conservatives to oppose any government funding bill that allowed the implementation of ObamaCare to go forward.

More recently, he criticized Republican leaders for passing a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that failed to reverse Obama’s executive order granting work permits to millions of illegal immigrants. 

He hopes to lock down his party’s conservative base ahead of the first contest of the 2016 primary. His choice of venue at the prominent Christian college founded by the late Jerry Falwell is an early attempt to reach out to conservative values voters. 

Born in Calgary, Canada, in 1970 to a Cuban émigré father and an American citizen mother, Cruz's supporters say he is, nevertheless, eligible to run for president because he was born a U.S. citizen.

He served as Texas’s solicitor general from 2003 to 2008 before waging an insurgent Senate campaign in 2012 against the state’s heavily favored lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, who was backed by the GOP establishment. Cruz ran as a Tea Party conservative and won in a runoff by about 10 percentage points.

Cruz aims to be the "Last Conservative Standing" and challenge whichever establishment candidate is still in the race after the initial slew of primaries.  Since the conservative vote will initially be splintered, it isn't likely that a candidate from the right will be the frontrunner.  The Texas senator is hoping that most of his conservative rivals will drop out early, clearing the field for his final push.

Oddsmakers currently have him at 12-1 to win the GOP nomination and 33-1 to win the presidency.  Those odds are likely to change once the field takes shape.  But given Cruz's shocking Senate win in 2012, it would be foolish to count him out.

With a midnight tweet and a video, Senator Ted Cruz became the first declared candidate of either party to run for president of the United States.  "I'm running for president and I hope to earn your support," he wrote.

Cruz will open his campaign at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA this morning.

The Hill:

By announcing his bid first and doing it at a campus within driving distance of Washington, Cruz will maximize attention from the national media. His campaign team made rounds of calls to reporters on Friday to advertise what they described as a can’t-miss speech. 

There's a symbolic element to the date for the freshman senator too: Cruz’s official campaign rollout will come on the fifth anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed on March 23, 2010.

It’s a resonant reminder for the Tea Party star, who jumped into the national spotlight by waging a 21-hour filibuster to protest the law and later led a conservative revolt against its implementation that resulted in a 16-day government shutdown. 

First elected in 2012, Cruz has positioned himself as a conservative gadfly and antagonist of GOP leadership since coming to Washington. Many Republican colleagues were upset over the role he played in the fall of 2013, spurring House conservatives to oppose any government funding bill that allowed the implementation of ObamaCare to go forward.

More recently, he criticized Republican leaders for passing a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that failed to reverse Obama’s executive order granting work permits to millions of illegal immigrants. 

He hopes to lock down his party’s conservative base ahead of the first contest of the 2016 primary. His choice of venue at the prominent Christian college founded by the late Jerry Falwell is an early attempt to reach out to conservative values voters. 

Born in Calgary, Canada, in 1970 to a Cuban émigré father and an American citizen mother, Cruz's supporters say he is, nevertheless, eligible to run for president because he was born a U.S. citizen.

He served as Texas’s solicitor general from 2003 to 2008 before waging an insurgent Senate campaign in 2012 against the state’s heavily favored lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, who was backed by the GOP establishment. Cruz ran as a Tea Party conservative and won in a runoff by about 10 percentage points.

Cruz aims to be the "Last Conservative Standing" and challenge whichever establishment candidate is still in the race after the initial slew of primaries.  Since the conservative vote will initially be splintered, it isn't likely that a candidate from the right will be the frontrunner.  The Texas senator is hoping that most of his conservative rivals will drop out early, clearing the field for his final push.

Oddsmakers currently have him at 12-1 to win the GOP nomination and 33-1 to win the presidency.  Those odds are likely to change once the field takes shape.  But given Cruz's shocking Senate win in 2012, it would be foolish to count him out.