But whatever the verdict, conservatives can appreciate the way Romney conducted himself throughout the campaign. If one reviews the primaries, it is hard to imagine that the other rival candidates would have done as well as Romney has the last eight months. He ran against overwhelming odds that might have stymied others — a biased, sometimes vicious media, the Candy Crowley debacle, suspect polls that sought to create Obama momentum as much as sample voters, incumbency, and a $1 billion negative ad-based Obama campaign that sought to portray him as a near-felon and veritable killer of the innocent.

Through it all, he worked incredibly hard, blew the supposedly mellifluous Obama away in the first debate, and appeared far more presidential than the incumbent in the second and third. Even in areas where some of us thought he should have emphasized Libya more, or sought to have presented a holistic agenda to offer a new contract for all Republican candidates, both congressional and state, his own centrist approach may well have been the politically wiser.