Steve Deace
He tried ignoring his base in the primary when it was rallying behind marriage in North Carolina and rallying behind Chick-fil-a when it was under attack, and that didn’t work. Then he tried just scaring people into voting against Obama, and that didn’t work.

Finally, Mitt Romney tried conservatism at Wednesday night’s debate—and that did.

The result was Romney – that’s right, the guy that was once named the No.8 RINO in the country by Human Events – provided the country the most teachable moment on the differences between Republicans and Democrats in a presidential election since before Al Gore invented the Internet.

No, he wasn’t perfect. He still bought into the Left’s “soak the rich” redistribution of wealth flawed premise. He still got caught lauding the virtues of government regulation. And he is still the guy that provided the blueprint for Obamacare.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day.

When Romney was on, he was really on. He invoked the 10th Amendment. When was the last time a GOP presidential nominee did that? The answer that gave him the highest marks from a CNN focus group featuring undecided voters in the swing state of Colorado was Romney contrasting our philosophy of government from the Democrats, including Romney citing our founding documents like The Declaration of Independence.

Be still my beating heart.

Romney made me forget he was, well, Romney. I found myself cheering him on for the first time since, well, ever. Why? For me it’s not about personalities, factions, or partisanship. I’m just not a person motivated to vote for any hackneyed Republican because the Democrat is so bad anymore. Been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. All that gave me was more big and immoral government and a loss of brand integrity.

The ruling class wants it to be about those petty things so it doesn’t have to provide what the American people are clamoring for—leadership. So if only Nixon could go to China and Nebuchadnezzar could praise Daniel’s God, then I’m certainly not going to muzzle the ox while it’s treading its grain. Yes, Romney’s record in Massachusetts is still heinous. And yes, there are times I trust him about as much as I trust the secondary of my Detroit Lions. But I’m also thankful that Romney chose the biggest stage in the world to defend vital parts of my belief system. Besides, given his past, it’s not like he doesn’t owe us one or a few.

Steve Deace

Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and National Review among others. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.