By this time in the last presidential cycles, 14 candidates had declared their presidential runs. But this year, even though there's only one party with a primary field, zero have declared. What gives? The Internet demands entertainment!

Slate's Dave Weigel puts together a list of the candidates who had made it known — either with official kickoffs or just confirmations to the press — that they were running by this time in the 2008 cycle:

April 17, 2006: Mike Gravel (announcing a full-on campaign at the National Press Club)

October 30, 2006: Duncan Hunter (announcing he'd retire from Congress and run for president)

November 9, 2006: Tom Vilsack (announcing a full campaign)

November 13, 2006: Rudy Giuliani

November 15, 2006: John McCain

December 4, 2006: Sam Brownback

December 7, 2006: Bill Richardson (telling Fox News "I am running")

December 15, 2006: Tommy Thompson

December 19, 2006: Jim Gilmore

December 26, 2006: John Edwards

January 3, 2007: Mitt Romney

January 7, 2007: Joe Biden (announcing his intention to create a committee, on Meet the Press)

January 11, 2007: Chris Dodd (announcing a full-on run on Don Imus's show), Ron Paul

So why have none of the Republican candidates this cycle, even the clear failures who want to get early media attention in desperation, confirmed their runs? Because there's no pressure to start this early, we'd guess, when there's no favorite that other candidates would have to position themselves around. Rich donor people don't know where to put their money yet, and no candidate with a chance of winning wants to run out of money by summer (as John McCain very nearly did). But this shouldn't be a problem for Mitt Romney. He'll spend $100 million of his own money. Please declare right now, Mittens? You're fun, and we'd be happy to focus on you for a while.

[Image via AP]