Samuel “Joe The Plumber” Wurzelbacher – After Obama used the words “spread the wealth around,” in answer to Wurzelbacher’s campaign stop question, Republicans breathed a great collective “Gotcha!” The third debate between McCain and Obama that year pretty much revolved around the question of Joe the Plumber. Obviously, he wasn’t the silver bullet some hoped he’d be. Nevertheless, it was enough to give Joe a few years of work in the professional conservative activist circuit and run for Congress where he lost by by a gazillion points.

Dr. Ben Carson – The famed neurosurgeon made one speech in front of President Obama, and happened to say some very critical things about Obamacare and political correctness. He has no other political achievements or experience. That didn’t stop the “Draft Ben Carson” movement from gaining steam. Wouldn’t you know, he’s running for President now. And there are people with ‘Ben Carson 2016′ bumper stickers already. There’s no way this can end badly!

Holly “Hobby Lobby” Fisher – This rando from West Virginia posted a picture on Twitter during the Hobby Lobby case and it went viral as did a subsequent photo of her with a gun and bible posing in front of a flag. As near as I can tell that was sufficient to grant her rising-star status in the conservative movement, as she was invited to speak on a Heritage panel along with Stephen Moore and was the subject of profile by The Daily Signal.