Today’s Opening Day for Major League Baseball (even as tonight is the final event of what we used to accurately call March Madness). But this whole week is likely to be dotted with announcements of presidential candidacies. The reason is simple: March 31 marked the end of a reporting period for campaign and quasi-campaign activities, and as good a time as any to turn the page. And delaying into or past spring could be hazardous for the Republicans who want to preserve the opportunity to compete in the Ames–oops, excuse me, the Boone–Straw Poll in August. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton needs to extinguish any doubt that she’s actually running for president, and potential rivals need to show potential donors and volunteers that they’re not wasting their time.

The exact timing of specific announcements isn’t entirely clear, except for Rand Paul’s almost certain launch date tomorrow. HRC’s staff is said to be “on alert” for a launch with virtually no warning, presumably as the high command navigates an ever-changing calendar punctuated by competing news. But presumably writers are preparing big meaty–or fatty, as the case may be–profiles of the major candidates as they take the official plunge, and we’ll be casting a skeptical eye on them here.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.