Last week, we took a break from chronicling the lives of your presumed 2012 candidates because all anyone wanted to talk about was the crazy Friday night near-shutdown of the federal government. That's okay, it was as good a time as any to take a week off.
Of course, having been away for a week, we returned to find the whole 2012 situation in grave disrepair. Did you know that Donald Trump is somehow his-last-naming the entire GOP field at this point? It's true! That is the price you pay when you raise the curtain on the 2012 campaign season four months before any of the major players want to throw their hat into the ring.
And so, it comes as no surprise that at the beginning of the week, a large portion of America's population was actively "dreading" the upcoming election.
And so, some people made some cautious moves. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney advanced themselves to the "presidential exploratory committee" stage. Tim Pawlenty made an important hire, and for a brief, mad moment had people convinced that he was making a formal announcement candidacy. Mike Huckabee made a few tentative steps that his backers have been begging him to make, Mitch Daniels allowed some new speculation to form around his intentions, Ron Paul began testing the waters and Fred Karger -- the only person who has actually formally announced his intention to run -- started to gain a little more traction, and started to get a little more aggressive.
Nevertheless, this campaign season continues to move by inches -- mainly downward, dragged ever further into the depths by Donald Trump. For all the things you need to know, and some things you'll wish you could forget, please enter the Speculatron for the week of April 15, 2011.