Well, according to Red State, not Mitt Romney…

I think I’m done with the campaign of Willard Mitt Romney. I’m tired of it. His campaign and the potential for his nomination has jumped the shark. No Republican candidate for President has ever more deserved the title “Multiple Choice Mitt.” […]

I’m tired of running into these stories. I’m tired of the hedges. I’m tired of the dodges. And I’m tired of the caveated nuance. So let me put this straight and bluntly. I’m more than happy to support my man Mitt if he is the Republican nominee. But, like Hillary Clinton, he is a political opportunist who I increasingly see as someone without principle, only a weather vane.

Ahh, the flip-flopper meme used against one of their own. In the broader political spectrum, what’s with these Massachusetts politicians, eh?

So yes, it appears that the GOPers don’t like candidates who change their minds on abortion, campaign finance reform, taxes, gay rights, etc. Romney is right in the partisan crosshairs and is quickly being labelled a political opportunist.

A similar purity theme is revealed in a recent NY Time article about McCain. Apparently, some Republican Arizonians favor Romney over McCain because Romney is more conservative?

Try that one of for size…

No doubt about it, Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who would like to be president, is a popular man in his state, having won re-election in 2004 with about 76 percent of the vote.

But a vocal slice of the state’s most conservative Republicans, reflecting concerns about Mr. McCain held by some conservatives nationwide, are agitating against him in a way that they hope might throw off his incipient presidential campaign. […]

“Arizona is one place where we are very well organized,� said Kevin Madden, a spokesman for the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican and former Massachusetts governor.

This quest for ideological purity in the GOP, it’s puzzling…especially when they think McCain is less conservative than Romney. Honestly, do they even know what the hell a conservative is anymore? And for that matter, I’d say that the only candidate who’s more moderate than Romney is Giuliani. John McCain has a much more consistent conservative record than either of the aforementioned two, but he simply doesn’t fall lock step with the GOP. In short, big deal GOPers…just roll with it.

And about Giuliani…the recent polls among conservatives may surprise you

Regarding the Republican race, for many months commentators have said that when the Republican base learns the facts about Rudy Giuliani’s personal life (an annulled first marriage, a messy divorce, then a third marriage) and views on social issues (for abortion rights, gay rights and gun control, in each case with limits), support for him will evaporate. But such commentary is becoming self-refuting. The insistent reiteration of it during Giuliani’s coast-to-coast campaigning is telling activist Republicans – the sort of people who read political commentary – the facts about Giuliani. And so far those facts are not causing a recoil from him: According to the USA Today/Gallup poll, his lead over John McCain has risen from 31-27 in November to 40-24 today.

Sure, we’re still a long way from the primaries, but even one contributor to highly partisan Townhall.com is impressed with Rudy

If I thought the most important task the next American President would face would be dealing with abortion policy or protecting second amendment rights, a Giuliani candidacy would not arouse my interest. Because I will be looking to the next President first and foremost to address issues of foreign policy and national security, though, Giuliani is a candidate I am enthusiastically considering.

And so it goes. The GOP is trying to find their guy (no gals seem likely this time), and it seems like it’s going to be a messy, partisan affair. Will the Dems have the same problem? Perhaps, but as of right now the standard is pretty much 1) are you against the Iraq war?, 2) are you pro-universal health care?, and 3) will you repeal all of Bush’s WoT civil rights violations?

But then again…that’s a blog for a different day…

Politics Who Is The Fairest Conservative Of Them All?