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.
(But it would serve the rest of the world right to have Paul running the show for a term or two. Then they'd find out what it's like to be entirely on their own, protecting their own sea and air lanes, digging themselves out of their own earthquakes, getting invaded and nuked by hostile powers, having their computers hacked by terrorists and buying oil from the new Islamic caliphate. After eight years of President Paul, it would be generations before we'd hear a peep of anti-American sentiment again.)
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.
Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative, which means he's good on 60 percent of the issues, but bad on others, such as big government social programs. He'd be Ted Kennedy if he didn't believe in God.
Santorum may not be a big spender as far as professional politicians go, but he is still a professional politician. In 2005, one of his former aides described him as "a Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate."
The Catholic missionary was fantastic on issues like partial-birth abortion, but more like a Catholic bishop in his support for No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug entitlement program (now costing taxpayers more than $60 billion a year), and a highway bill with a Christmas tree of earmarks, including the famous "bridge to nowhere."
Santorum cites his father's admonition to put any extra money in the poor box at church to explain his wanting to use the federal government to help the poor.
You get only one or two big issues in a presidential campaign. But in the middle of the second Great Depression, Santorum is on the campaign trail saying, "The reason I ran is 'cause I think people know there is more than just a little narrow issue called 'jobs.'"Actually, this year, it's pretty much just jobs.
This is going to be a tough election, and a man with the presence of Rick Lazio is not the strongest candidate to send in against Obama. Santorum is more assistant-manager type than presidential material.
So it was a relief to see that when the first votes in the Republican primary were actually cast -- even in a caucus system ideal for zealots, fanatics and mobs -- reason prevailed. Romney won.
Not a professional politician, Romney has created a lot of jobs and also knows how to fire people, something heretofore untried in the federal workforce, except briefly by Reagan.
Having spent his life turning around companies in the private sector and not sitting on some Senate committee spending money, he'll get to Washington and be as shocked as the rest of us are at how taxpayer money is wasted even by conservative senators like Santorum.
Iowa shows that Republicans are still the party of normal people -- normal people who are determined to defeat Obama.