Newt Gingrich to Make Major Announcement Thursday

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Fox News has learned former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will make a major announcement about his presidential aspirations in Atlanta on Thursday.

Washington sources close to the looming Gingrich campaign tell Fox News they have been told to be ready to travel to Atlanta Thursday when Gingrich will make an announcement about forming a presidential exploratory committee.

All signs point to Gingrich officially entering the 2012 race and these sources believe that Newt will throw his hat into the ring on Thursday by announcing that he has completed the proper paperwork to form an exploratory committee.

Fox News has learned that members of Gingrich's inner circle are in the process of changing their email address away from Gingrich's political organization, American Solutions, a tell tale sign that a campaign is on their horizon.

If any additional evidence was needed to illustrate an intention to run, one needs to only look at Gingrich's upcoming travel schedule.

He has been flirting with the idea for months and will travel to the First in the Nation Presidential Caucus state of Iowa on March 7th where he will address the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. The trip will be Gingrich's third to the Hawkeye State in 2011 and his ninth visit since 2010.

Gingrich will also make an appearance in the first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire on March 17th when he attends Bernie Streeter's Wild Irish Breakfast. The annual St. Patrick's day breakfast in Nashua is a major political event in the Granite state that typically draws both Republicans and Democrats .

Gingrich would instantly be looked at as a formidable candidate. As Speaker of the House he presided over the body when Republicans introduced the Contract With America in 1994 and when they came to a stalemate with former President Clinton in 1995, leading to a federal government shutdown. He is considered by some to be one of the strongest "idea men" in the GOP.

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor.