Conservatives lukewarm about John McCain’s 2008 presidential run are likely glad to see that current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has not rushed to enlist McCain’s help for the 2012 campaign. Newsweek‘s Howard Kurtz probes the Romney-McCain relationship in the latest issue.

[T]he bigger problem may be that Romney—and the Republican Party -itself—has moved to a very different ideological place than McCain has. The senator is careful not to betray any hint of dissatisfaction with Romney. “He asks me for advice and we have good conversations. He certainly listens to me,” McCain says. Yet there is mounting evidence that his suggestions are incompatible with the image Romney is trying to project.

In terms of the image Romney wants to project, John Hood reminded us recently that the former Massachusetts governor still has plenty of work to do.

Because President Obama’s job-approval ratings have stayed below 50 percent for months, he is certainly vulnerable. Most Americans think the country is on the wrong track, and disapprove of the president’s record on the economy and health care. However, most Americans also know relatively little about Mitt Romney and aren’t confident that his programs for economic growth and health care reform will be any better.