Veronica Roberts

August 12, 2011, Ames, Iowa]----Eight Republican Presidential candidates are gearing up for a big weekend of entertainment and big tents while trying to separate the leaders from the 'laggers.'

Ames Iowa is the place to be starting August 13 to witness or participate in the six hour long voting at the 'Iowa Straw Poll' which is the first litmus test for Gop Presidential candidates.

The Congresswoman from Minnesota Michele Bachmann promises a raging good time, with seats and air conditioning in her comfy tent, a petting zoo and funnel cakes, topped of by celebrity talent for the singing entertainment, country singer Randy Travis.

Not to be outdone, Tim Pawlenty, who is lagging behind in popularity, announced his entertainment would be none other than Mike Huckabee. Only to find out that Huckabee has booked himself up for 2 other candidates as well--Rick Santorium and Mr. Pizza king himself, Herman Cain. Talk about 'two-timing or should I say 'serial-two-timer?'

Huckabee was one many thought would be a favorite but he declined to run. The high paying cushy contributor deal he has with Fox and Friends apparently trumped his political ambitions.

Mitt Romney's 'Ken doll' good looks use to be an asset, for everyone though he looked Presidential. Unfortunately, he also has Ken's stiff 'inanimate personality' and this is beginning to showcase as a weakness rather than a strength. It was painfully obvious in Thursdays shouting match he had with some constituents on whether he was going to raise taxes. Let's just say it didn't go well and the Mattel doll smoothness did not help poor Romney.

Participants in the poll must purchase a $30 ticket. A 'pay-to-vote' sort of system. Not very democratic but has all the earmarks of sound capitalism, the cornerstone of the good 'Ole U.S.A.'

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, who is still playing that coy game of not really answering anyone's question of whether she will be throwing her hat into the presidential race, rolled into town on her bus nonetheless.

Claiming she was not there to hog the spotlight, she promptly went about doing just that. The ex-Governor of Alaska turned Fox Contributor, seems to want to avoid all the debates that goes with the beginning process of choosing a frontrunner but wants to be close to the action to still be seen as viable. Talk about Machiavellian!

Then there is Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose critics say has barely a sixth grader understanding of economics and got Ds and Cs in college--has managed to create a buzz without actually being in the race officially. He reportedly plans to make the big announcement on Saturday in Alabama. But if GW sat in the White House for two terms, Perry's popularity is not surprising.

Thursday's debate saw some heated exchange between Bachmann and Pawlenty, while Ron Paul exceedingly animated argument for America's withdrawal from our two and a half wars abroad was the highlight of the debate for me. Romney and others continue to bash President Obama.

Someone referred to this weekend as "part circus, part politics, so let the games begin. Something tells me it is going to be "mighty interesting."


UPDATE: 8.13.11

After the talent went home and the big tents were folded, the Congresswoman for Minnesota, Michele Bachmann stood victorious as the winner in Saturday's GOP Iowa Straw Poll, with 4,823 votes. Followed by Senator for Texas, Ron Paul with 4,671. Below is the rest of the poll results:

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty: 2,293 votes

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.): 1,657 votes

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain: 1,456 votes

Texas Governor Rick Perry: 718 votes

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney: 567 votes

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: 385 votes

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman: 69 votes

U.S. Rep Thad McCotter (R-Mich.): 35 votes