Mort Kondracke (prominent moderate political pundit and one of the "Beltway Boys" from Fox News) said the following as a lead in to his recent opinion piece (which focused mostly on Mark Warner . . . the Dems best moderate chance for winning control of the Oval Office):
Probably the best chance America has for escaping endless partisan warfare and for getting its big problems solved is for both parties to nominate moderates in 2008 and have them argue over issues, not ideology.
Like Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) on the Republican side, versus former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner on the Democratic.
Romney and McCain are busy identifying themselves as "proud conservatives" these days to maintain credibility in the GOP, and Warner, too, told me, "I desperately try to reject" the terms "moderate" and "centrist" because "they seem weaker rather than stronger on the issues" whereas he wants to be "bold."
Still, these prospective candidates have proven records of independent thinking, problem solving and bipartisanship.
I think Romney definitely has shown that he is all of these things . . . definitely an electable candidate in a general election . . . but probably just conservative enough on hot-button social issues to pull out a GOP nomination over McCain.