What's very sad is that most of the media types trying to explain what's happening in Rome just don't get it. Certainly Hewitt's comments (www.hughhewitt.com) today say as much.
Portraying the "issues" facing the Church in terms of a political agenda (abortion, women priests, contraception, and the whole rest of the litany) just doesn't strike anywhere near what the Cardinal-electors are focused on. They're concerned about the meta-issues, not the controversies.
If I were in Rome as a Cardinal today, I'd be looking for conversations about the following: love of people and inner empathy with their condition, powerful intellect, adminstrative competence, ability to communicate and understand/use the media, visibly prayerful quality and excellence as a liturgical presence, ability to see the whole picture, ability to subordinate narrow loyalties to a universal view of the Church, "built-in" diversities (someone with more than one background, culturally and socially), deep knowledge of and faithfulness to the Scriptures as a whole, and faithfulness to the existing body of the Church's teachings. Add to these a charismatic presence and zeal for teaching and exemplifying the Gospel for the current age, and you've really got something.
What you don't have (Deo gratias!) is someone who will jump up one day and say to all those who want extensive doctrinal and pastoral reform that they've been right all along and their wishes are granted. Won't happen and shouldn't happen.