He’s gone this route before as prep for a presidential run, first with his Commonwealth PAC and then as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, whose biggest contributions had a curious habit of going to key primary states like Iowa, Michigan, and Florida. Didn’t do him much good last time. Second time’s a charm?

According to two Republicans with knowledge of his plans, Romney, at some point during the next few weeks, intends to establish a new political action committee to help elect Republican candidates.

“We’re thinking about what new entity can be created to allow Governor Romney to remain politically active so he can raise money and campaign for Republicans, and advocate for the issues he cares about,” Eric Fehnrstrom, Romney’s long-time aide, said in an e-mail message…

Other Republicans close to Romney said that Romney was looking for ways to position himself as the ideas factory for the Republican party over the next four years, contributing policy to John McCain, if he’s in the White House, or to Republicans in Congress, if McCain is not.

That’s the best thing he could do to convince conservatives that his metamorphoses on abortion, immigration, etc, are bona fide and not just creatures of expedience — although it’ll be interesting to watch whether and how, assuming the political landscape shifts left (which is likely no matter who wins in the fall), Mitt recaptures some of the “nuance” of his previous, more centrist positions on those issues. Exit question: Huckabee’s got the same problem Romney does in convincing conservatives his tack to the right this year is for keeps. What’s his move?