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Hillary Clinton just announced her presidential run on YouTube

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The race heats up

As expected, Hillary Clinton has joined Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in the race for the presidential seat. In a campaign video released today, the former Secretary of State has officially declared her intention to run in 2016. The announcement confirms rumors that have been floating around for more than a year and kicks off the Democratic Party's battle for the presidential nomination.

The video wasn't quite the first official confirmation of Clinton's campaign — an email sent out earlier this afternoon by an aide to past donors from the 2008 campaign made the presidential run official. But the YouTube video is the public-facing announcement. It appeals to everyday working Americans and their families, and uses the limelight to paint the candidate as a defender of those without influence, money, or power. Alongside the video, campaign staffers published a new Facebook page for Clinton that includes a (selective) history of her life, starting from her birth in 1947. Her Twitter bio has also been updated to include "2016 presidential candidate." "Dog owner" and "FLOAR" (First Lady of Arkansas) got the boot to make space for the new title.

Clinton announced her last presidential campaign in a similar way, with a video posted to her campaign site. But this presidential election, more than the previous one, really has the candidates trying to one-up each other in terms of tech savvy-ness. Just this week Clinton poached senior Google exec Stephanie Hannon to become her campaign's chief technology officer. Rand Paul announced his decision to run on YouTube and Ted Cruz did it on Twitter. Paul has also been using Meerkat to live stream his campaign events and Snapchat to "connect" with young voters.

"I'm hitting the road to earn your vote."

After getting pushed out of the presidential race in 2008, Clinton is probably eager to reintroduce herself to the voting public. At this point, it's already very likely that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has said she will not run, and Vice President Joe Biden says he "hasn't made up [his] mind" yet. Clinton will travel to Iowa and New Hampshire to make her case to voters almost immediately, CNN reports. All in all, 2016 should be an interesting election year — as long as Rand Paul keeps Snapping.

In what is definitely not a coincidence, Rand Paul also released a ridiculously dramatic anti-Hillary ad today.

Dante D'Orazio contributed to this report.

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