I was at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for only part of the first day, but I think Politico.com writer Jonathan Martin's characterization of CPAC attendees as gloomy about the crop of 2008 hopefuls to be a little over-dramatic.
Caroline Daniel of the Financial Times, on the other hand, had a less dramatic view in her March 3 article, "Conservatives search for presidential candidate."*
Daniel reported that many attendees feel no one candidate captures all that they are looking, but noted in closing "some conservatives are willing to overlook" socially liberal stances from candidates like Giuliani if they are solid on the War on Terror.
That sounds about right given the results of the CPAC straw poll available for download at CPAC.org. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) were the top three vote-getters at CPAC for first choice for president, with 21, 17, and 15 percents respectively. Giuliani and Romney were also in the top three vote-getters for the who-is-your-second-choice-for-president question on the poll.
* The print-edition headline was cheekier: "Conservative activists ask: 'Dude, where's my candidate?"