I have been skeptical of Mitt Romney's conservatism for some time now and have been unable to understand the adulation many conservatives feel for Romney. I suspect there is a bit of "Obama Syndrome" when it comes to Romney -- some party loyalists are anxious to rally around a personable candidate and see what they want to see when looking at Romney. Each party is looking for a fresh candidate who can snowball down the hill into victory, but I think both Romney and Obama are going to have some difficulty under closer scrutiny.
Byron York at National Review (subject link) takes up the subject of "recent revelations" about Romney's lack of conservative credentials. I think these aren't so much recent revelations as that people are finally taking a close look at Romney's history; I was sounding the alarm bell about Romney's very recent "conversion" to being pro-life back in August, and others have done the same. York, looking ahead to the primaries, concludes that "...it appears Romney has some serious repair work to do in South Carolina, and among social conservatives in general."
I don't know that the "repair work" can be done. I don't trust Romney to make sound judicial nominations, given his confused history of opinions on, among other things, abortion.
And a "conservative" who would disavow Ronald Reagan for political expediency, in an attempt to win office in Massachusetts, is not the candidate for me.
As a postscript, Newt Gingrich has different baggage of his own, but I'm starting to wonder if his strategy for 2008, described today at Captain's Quarters, might not be rather smart. Let the other candidates shoot at each other in the early going, and enter the competition later when some candidates are starting to fizzle out. If you set aside personal issues (unfortunately, Newt's not the only potential candidate with a checkered marital history), who emerges as the true conservative among, say, McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and Gingrich? That's an easy answer for me.