Last night’s Republican debate in New Hampshire had several surprises, but the biggest was the return of John McCain. The Senator from Arizona has physically attended the other debates, but by most accounts did little else.

His campaign has been mired in problem after problem in recent months causing him to fire almost his entire staff. The staff shake-ups combined with his unpopular stance on both the Iraq war and immigration have caused his campaign contributions to all but dry up.

Most of the political wonks in Washington and elsewhere considered his campaign about as dead as the Comprehensive Immigration Bill he continues to support.

Last night those same pundits were reminded why leaving John McCain for dead is a mistake. If anyone on earth knows how to survive it’s John McCain. McCain survived 6 years of brutal torture and captivity as a Vietnam POW in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton.” So it’s no surprise the Senator wasn’t prepared to throw in the towel over Washington politics.

McCain came out swinging last night in New Hampshire appearing to have his mojo and/or swagger back. He seemed relaxed, but still passionate and genuine. His answers were direct and sincere, and polls have revealed that viewers thought he looked the most Presidential.

Whether or not this real or perceived victory in last night’s debate will translate into a serious comeback for his overall campaign remains to be seen. The serious lack of funds is the most immediate problem that must be overcome if he hopes to be a serious contender.

The recent shift in public opinion to a more favorable view of the war in Iraq is certainly helping the Senator, but his position on immigration remains deeply troubling to the far-right of the Republican party. The biggest complaint has been his support of President Bush’s “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill,” which many on the far-right have labeled an “amnesty bill.”

However, it appears that with the prospect of a Hillary Clinton Presidency looming, Republicans may be getting a bit more pragmatic when it comes to candidates. Meaning they may be willing to accept that while they don’t agree with McCain 100% of the time, 95% is still pretty damn good.

Written By Chris Jones
The Hot Joints

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