After months of teasing, the former vice president launched his presidential campaign on Thursday with a video tweeted at an absurdly early 6:00 a.m. EST. Sure, most of America was probably still in bed, but that's just what makes Biden's timing a shrewd, agenda-setting move.
With reports already indicating that Biden would announce Thursday, it made sense that he would ditch any pretenses and get the big news out first thing. That timing meant Biden dominated news alerts and publications' morning newsletters, and that he secured a top trending spot on Twitter even as the Midwest was still waking up. It also meant Biden slid right into Trump's typical morning tweetstorm, which suggests the president sees him as a threat. Perhaps Biden even took a cue from Trump in that respect, seeing as what the president tweets during his early executive time often dominates the news cycle all day.
Before Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had the earliest announcement video drop at 7:02 a.m EST. He's also — though probably unrelatedly — falling into second place behind Biden in most polls. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) also shared announcement videos in the 7 a.m. hour. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Pete Buttigieg, meanwhile, gave in-person speaking announcements in reasonable mid-afternoon time slots.