Romney saved the House of Representatives from reverting to Nancy Pelosi’s rule. A bad enough showing from the GOP nominee, or even an uninspired replay of 1996 or 2008, would have left dozens of House freshmen dangling. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions runs a great operation, but the top of the ticket inspires or deters the base from turning out. Mitt Romney got the base together and motivated. And thank God he did.

Romney also assured the succession of the party’s leadership with his choice of Paul Ryan. Had he gone with Tim Pawlenty (my choice) or Rob Portman (many others’ choice), there would be a very complicated primary ahead in 2015-2016. Now we know the GOP is going young. We don’t know if Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, or which of the other bright young stars of the conservative movement will emerge as its leader, but Romney delivered his party to the next generation of pro-freedom, pro-growth, pro-family and pro-life leaders.