The Second Life Of John McCain

Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., answers a student's question at a University of Pennsylvania campaign stop Monday, Nov. 19, 2007. McCain's talk at the University was the last stop in a day-long campaign tour of the northeast. (AP Photo/Mark Stehle)
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

The rumors of his demise may have been premature. There were a few snickers a week or two ago when the union leader up in New Hampshire endorsed McCain for the primary election there next month. Then Sunday the Des Moines Register endorses McCain, too. And out trots Joe Lieberman, wraps his arms around the Arizona senator and says he's my guy.

Last summer McCain's campaign was in ruin. Money spent foolishly. Lousy managers. And a candidate who quite frankly looked like his heart wasn't in it.

Well the air is cold; there's snow on the ground. And the straight talk express looks like it may be developing a head of steam.

McCain has been good in the last few debates. There's no questioning his experience. And depending on your perspective, he's been right about the surge. He has also been acting much more like the John McCain who captured the voters' imagination seven years ago. No longer kowtowing to the White House.

Perhaps John McCain is John McCain again.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.