The Maverick is getting another look from conservatives now that Mitt has suffered a setback in Iowa, which represents another indictment of the best conservative candidate in the race--and you know who I'm talking about (but that's another story).
McCain hasn't changed. He's still McCain. He'll never totally excite the right wing because of his floating moderation on any given issue, which leaves him in a sort of no-man's land loved mainly by the press. For instance, here are a few issues that might be troublesome:
Global warming. After being harassed by some dude dressed as a Penguin in the 2000 campaign McCain quickly warmed to the "man is entirely responsible for climate change" nonsense and has been working hard with Democrats ever since to pass mitigation measures. He once accused NOAA Chief Conrad Lautenbacher of not caring about the children, as if the vice-admiral could actually do anything to stop the warming.
Immigration. McCain claims he's seen the light on enforcement-first but does anyone really believe a president McCain with a Democrat Congress wouldn't act to legalize all illegals? Lieberman just said anyone who said says McCain called for amnesty is a liar, but I guess it depends on one's definition of amnesty, huh?
The global warming advocacy is perhaps more a wager against future scientific findings that might point more definitively towards man (and woman) as the culprit, consequently leaving the Republican Party holding the bag for not helping to "stop it" earlier. But McCain did!
Same goes for immigration reform. Every time we turn around he's shown glad handing with Lieberman, Kerry, Kennedy or some other Dem, trying to project bi-partisanship. But after his behavior on the reform bill there's a serious question of how far he'd take that as president. Will he stand for most of the conservative principles?
But perhaps the biggest warning sign is that Bill Clinton keeps mentioning him as a viable candidate. That's akin to the high defcon threat level for Repubs and probably means the Clintons have something in the can about him.
McCain would be a steady and true terror warrior (although it's not clear where he'd keep captured terrorists) but overall he seems closer to a triangulator than a straight talker. Perhaps the biggest reason Clinton wants him to face Hillary is because he knows McCain won't be able to get out the vote.