It is quite extraordinary what the rumpled, unpretentious 76-year-old OB/GYN has already achieved. Many Republicans now agree: If the GOP listened to Paul on domestic and economic issues, their "brand" would look a lot better.
My family and I have spent over a week in Iowa. We were expecting the normal cold, snowy weather, and bought boots, wool socks and sweaters the week before Christmas. We packed up soon after Christmas and flew to Des Moines. Four family members, 8 checked bags (double my initial goal -- bulky snow boots and sweaters).
As the results of the Iowa caucuses dribbled in, Americans got to see how the GOP candidates greeted victory and defeat. Top vote-getter Mitt Romney was gracious toward Rick Santorum, who came in second by eight thin votes, but uninspiring as he pledged to get America back to work.
It's been a mixed week for Mitt Romney's campaign. On one hand, Romney won Iowa, but on the other, he was endorsed by John McCain.
Much of the conservative punditocracy has declared that Mitt Romney is the consensus conservative candidate. If he is, he's the least consensual consensus candidate in modern political history -- the man can't break 25 percent with a sledgehammer.
At long last, real voters cast real votes on behalf of real candidates. One down, 49 to go and that doesn't include American Somoa, Guam, the District of Columbia and other U.S. holdings.
The Iowa caucuses may not have much predictive value, but they did a wonderful job of unmasking both elitist whingers on the left and incompetent whiners on the right.
"I don't think Ron Paul represents the mainstream," says Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich, another of the Texas congressman's opponents in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, uses stronger terms, declaring, "Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American."
In a ridiculously close Iowa Caucus result, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum came out in a statistical dead heat.