It was a simpler time, a time before Benghazi, a time before the Obamacare computers were all kerflooey, a time when America still believed it was possible for a bright-eyed crazy lady who never quite focused on your face but could really deep-throat a foot-long corndog could become president. Actually, only rightwing loons in Iowa believed that. But it's hard to believe that it was only four short years ago when Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll, putting her on the path to the nomination, or at least several completely bizarre debate appearances and an eventual decision by the Associated Press to give up on fact-checking the insane drivel coming from her mouthparts.


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Bachmann narrowly edged out Ron Paul in the straw poll, with Tim "Zzzzzzz" Pawlenty taking third. Eventual nominee Mitt Rommey came in seventh; he didn't even campaign in Ames because he was having some work done on his servomotors and empathy module, which never did quite get fixed. And yet he edged out Thaddeus McCotter and Jon Huntsman.

Michele's big win was almost overshadowed, however, by Rick Perry's announcement that he too would be running for president of 2012. He immediately started getting attention as a more credible candidate than either Bachmann or Paul, although that was before he actually opened his mouth in the debates.

On this momentous anniversary, let's take a moment to ask: Where Are They Now?

Michele Bachmann

After a sincere, Jesus-filled farewell to Congress, Michele Bachmann is now making the rounds of evangelical radio shows, telling viewers to rejoice that Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran will bring about the End Times. Say hi to Jebus for us when you're Raptured, Shelly!

Ron Paul

In addition to maintaining a ghostly presence throughout the nation in the form of supporters' fading handmade signs pasted to grey utility poles, Ron Paul also sired presidential candidate Rand Paul, who also natters on about the magic of the Free Market, and who most recently explained that "hard work" is the only difference between rich people and poor people. Rand then tapped everyone on his father's mailing list for a donation, again.

Rick Perry

Currently in the process of running out of money, he should crash and burn any minute now, leaving at least one progressive mommy inexplicably sad and strangely unfulfilled.

Mitt Romney

Haven't heard anything from his piehole in the last week at least. Thank the lord for small mercies.

The Corn Dog

Processed by Michele Bachmann's digestive system into energy and nutrients, the remainder excreted to become as appealing as Mitt Romney, but thankfully rendered into harmless sludge at the Ames, Iowa, municipal sewage plant. Now gone forever, RIP.

The Iowa Straw Poll

See "Corn Dog." It is no more. Holy crap, do you realize what this means? No one else will ever defeat Michele Bachmann as the "most recent winner of the Iowa Straw Poll"! Congrats, Shelly.

Tim Pawlenty

Quickly vanished from 2012 Republican field, lives on as Wonkette "Zzzzzzzz" punchline, at least on those occasions when we can recall his name, which happens less and less often. Were we talking about John Kasich?

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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