Last weekend was the Iowa Straw Poll, which is, of course, the early August not-very-predictive precursor to January's wildly non-predictive Iowa caucus.

Last weekend was the Iowa Straw Poll, which is, of course, the early August not-very-predictive precursor to January's wildly non-predictive Iowa caucus.

The idea is that presidential candidates set up tents, and in those tents the candidate offers to pay an individual's $30 Straw Poll entrance fee. In return, the individual promises to cast their vote for said candidate, all while both parties pretend this rather corrupt transaction in no way affects either party's inherent heartland folksiness.

It's just good old-fashioned, down-home country vote buyin' - all the fun of a poll tax with none of the consequences.

So clearly the key to winning the Iowa Straw Poll is not having the best platform and message, but the most kick-ass tent. And, dare I say, no one can pitch a tent like Michele Bachmann.

"Come from nine to five. We have an air-conditioned tent. We have chairs, and we've got country music legend Randy Travis live we're also going to have a petting zoo for the kids," Bachmann said last Friday.

She got Randy Travis, and I can't believe she gave him second billing to chairs. We got chairs and Randy Travis!

So the pimped-out tent bidding stands at chairs, petting zoo and Randy Travis. Who can top it?

Tim Pawlenty had Mike Huckabee performing. So, nobody. Look, Huckabee is fine, but it's not a good sign for you when your musical entertainment could probably do better than you in the Straw Poll.

Still, Huckabee has a constituency, and if he's throwing his whole support behind Pawlenty that could have meaning.

But that's not the case. Huckabee also joined gospel singer and presidential candidate Herman Cain on stage. That's right, Huckabee double-booked the Ames Iowa Straw Poll.

Rick Santorum was also there, and his tent boasted Rick Santorum's Summer Dance Party - which, by the way, was the lowest-testing BET pilot ever.

Hi everybody ! W ho likes to cha-cha?! Remember to save room for Jesus.

If summer dance parties aren't your thing, maybe you'd like some of Rick Santorum's peach jelly. Man, Santorum must really be trying to change the search results that come up when people Google "Santorum and jelly."

Rick really needed to bring something different to his tent. Instead, he had Huckabee performing as well.

Mike Huckabee, I never thought I'd say this to you, but you are a slut!

So whether the Straw Poll is predictive or not, the media focused on this story, which could only mean one thing - Sarah Palin popped up.

Yep, the Fox News contributor's previously suspended Greyhound of freedom tour miraculously reconstituted in the Hawkeye State. Why?

She's not on the ballot and not a declared candidate for president, but she went to Iowa because she said she wanted to be part of the debate.

Well, not part of the debate, but just close enough that her presence drowns it out. She's not running for president; she's running to be the mayor of C--kblockington.