Herman Cain announced his presidential exploratory committee during the all-enveloping story of the shootings in Tucson; Tim Pawlenty is announcing his while all eyes are on Libya and Japan. You can't control the news cycle, I guess, but Pawlenty's team is doing a fine job of rolling this out. Consider!
- Around 10 a.m., Team Pawlenty starts getting the word out that there will be an exclusive announcement on the man's Facebook page at 3 p.m.
- Reporters, hustling to confirm this, first report the announcement, then confirm that it's about an exploratory committee. Ben Smith posts exclusive audio of the a.m. conference call, which is both 1) newsy and 2) four minutes of the candidate, on-message, past the media filter.
- Excitement builds for 3 p.m. News that everyone expected becomes, sort of, news.