There are rumblings of a great hero's return in the Senate. An old legend has been dusted off after years spent lurking in the shadows, forgotten and abandoned in favor of newer, flashier political personas. After a long wait, people are calling Sen. John McCain the "maverick" again.
You may have noticed John McCain at the forefront of every major Senate fight over the last few months. He helped broker the bipartisan Gang of Eight immigration reform bill that passed the Senate, and was a key hand in drumming up the 14 Republican votes required to help it pass. He was in the middle of the "nuclear option" negotiations to avoid a filibuster fight. And he won, too. On Sunday, during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, McCain called for a review of "stand your ground" laws and praised the President's impromptu Friday speech about Trayvon Martin and race.
This recent round of McCain politicking has op-ed writers clamouring over themselves to declare that the old John McCain is back, finally. The Chicago Tribune's Jules Whitcover says "that the old maverick is back," after the Arizona senator turned into a staunch conservative to earn the 2008 Republican nomination. "The maverick is back, and this is good for America, good for the Senate and good for Republicans if they have the sense to know it, which some do but many do not," writes The Hill's Brent Budowsy. Other have noticed, too, like National Journal's Chris Frates, who says "the fun, moderate, maverick is back."