These days the announcements are carefully orchestrated PR events, timed for maximum exposure (Edwards chose the slowest news week of the year) and driven by the need to get a leg up on fundraising. Edwards, ever the populist, made his announcement in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward and returned to his well-worn "two Americas" theme that helped make him his party's vice presidential nominee in 2004. Following the announcement he made the standard rounds on the morning talk shows.
But in 2008, no one is going to be caught off guard by a rogue web-savvy campaign (see Howard Dean). As part of the whole shindig Edwards released a YouTube video and sent out an email overnight to his supporters, and was live blogging on his site from New Orleans. And yes, conveniently you can contribute right there on his web site. Those politicians really catch on quick huh?