It isn’t a real time machine. It’s just a tattered copy of the August 18, 2011, Newsweek, but it’s almost as good. What it did for me just this morning was take me back to those scary days when the race for delegates in the Republican Presidential nomination was poised to begin with the Iowa caucus, and who knew what it was going to come up with?

There was the Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, for instance. The Tea Party was riding high in those days, just before that test of strength that was the Iowa caucus, and Bachmann was something close to their poster politician for her take-no-prisoners rabble-rousing speeches. Newsweek gave Bachmann its front cover with the caption “The Queen of Rage” for an article that summarized her strengths. Strong Tea Party support. Strong religious favor for her born-again Christianity in a state loaded with evangelical Christians, and besides, she herself was a native Iowan. What then was she doing as a Congresswoman from Minnesota? Why, her husband’s career had taken him there, and as a good, God-fearing wife she had gone where her husband chose to go.

She looked to Newsweek like a strong contender But, the editors cautioned, she was up against some other strong contenders, like former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who was already in the race, and the even stronger opponent, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who seemed about to declare. Would one of those be our next President?

Not very likely. You see, that was then.

This is now, and six months have brought changes. Bachmann, Pawlenty, Perry. Mention any of those names in conversation these days. and the response you get is furrowed eyebrows and the question. “Who?” And so I return my Newsweek time machine to the recycle bin I pulled it out of.

How quickly things do change.


  1. Robert Nowall says:

    Many’s the time events have happened, and I’ve gone back to old newspapers and news magazines, looking to see if there was some clue that should have warned me something would happen. Sometimes there was (there were some clear indicators in the leadup to Saddam Hussein’s takeover of Kuwait), but, mostly, there’s nothing.

    On the other hand, I have picked up on a couple of things. A short note in Science News gave me almost a year’s jump on the seriousness of the AIDS problem…while Time Magazine went on about herpes being the new Scarlet “H.”

    However…you may be hearing from some of these names the next time around in 2016, maybe.

  2. Shakatany says:

    Hopefully this time next year it’ll be who’s Romney.

  3. TAD says:

    Doesn’t Michelle Bachmann look like a deer caught in the headlights? I remember before the Iowa caucuses when she was proud to say as a native Iowan that her campaign was going to take Iowa … and then she didn’t win a single precinct. She was as out of touch as any of the others….

  4. john miller says:

    Hmm, I’m not sure whether it’s the crazy eyes or the rictus grin, but something makes me want to hide behind the sofa…

  5. john miller says:

    P.S. john miller is 57 years old, so on the basis that advanced age makes you less fearful (I bet Fred’s not afraid of anything…) that really shows how scary is Michelle.

  6. John Traylor says:

    I seem to recall reading that Bachmann’s family took farm subsidy dollars for their farms (or something like that)funny how wealthy people are so anti-goverment but still take handouts from it.

  7. H. E. Parmer says:

    Actually, rather than a deer in the headlights, that picture of Bachmann makes me think of these lines from a certain famous movie:

    And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living… until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white …