Some Republicans, we were led to believe, would only be satisfied with angry denunciations of Obama as a Kenyan colonialist and demands for Barack Obama's birth certificate -- without ever spending five minutes of calm contemplation to see that he had already produced it.
And if there's any place for a zealot to shine, it's in a caucus state like Iowa.
But Romney won -- in a razor-close finish with another plausible candidate, Rick Santorum.
So the fact that the Iowa caucuses avoided giving the gold to Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul or some other sure-to-lose candidate shows that Republicans are dead serious about beating Obama this fall. Even in Iowa, the only Republican with a chance of doing that won.
Conservatives are naturally suspicious of any candidate deemed "electable" on the grounds that the mainstream media always anoint the most liberal Republican, preferably pro-choice, as the "electable" one. And then that guy goes on to lose.
But just because liberals misuse the word doesn't mean there is no such thing as "electable."
Michele Bachmann was not electable as president because she is only a congresswoman, which is why she has now dropped out.
Newt Gingrich is not electable for many reasons including that he, too, was only a congressman; he took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac (his latest excuse is that he got only $35,000 of that money and the rest went to "overhead" -- there's a great fiscal manager); he cut a global warming commercial with Nancy Pelosi; and because he cheated on, not one, but two wives.
Ron Paul is not electable as president for several reasons, including that he is only a congressman, is bad on illegal immigration, favors drug legalization and is off the charts on foreign policy.
Rick Perry is not electable as president for three reasons: First, he seems too much like Bush; second, he gave illegal immigrants in-state tuition; and, third, uh, oops ... I can't remember the third reason.
As a two-time senator from a light-blue state, Rick Santorum is not as obviously unelectable as the rest. But don't leap too fast, Republicans. Remember how Rick Perry broke your heart