New Gingrich made the official step today of formally announcing his intention to run. Legally his team is working out how to sever his ties from his private political operations before he can swing into a full blown campaign.

Video of Gingrich’s announcement from CNN:

His new 2012 website is located here.

More explanation from Slate on his private political dealings and how it plays into this announcement:

The ballyhooed Newt Gingrich news that would win Thursday afternoon turned out to be the launch of NewtExplore2012, a quasi-exploratory committee for his presidential campaign.

Why quasi? Because he hasn’t filed paperwork with the FEC and started the campaign officially. Why hasn’t he? Because doing that would require him to restructure his existing empire of organizations, and his American Solutions 527. It can’t be too long until some good government group — CREW, I’m looking suspiciously your way — complains about this. Right now Gingrich is under some restrictions but does not have to report fundraising totals.

So Newt is in now for the long haul. I’ll be looking for Mitt Romney to likely make the next move in terms of their announcement.