John McCain was smiling, not scowling. That's a good sign. John McCain's speech in front of the Conservative Political Action Conference was a good first step to make amends with the McCain haters out there.
He seemed jovial and optimistic, not dour and serious. The McCain camp has been telling me for months now that John McCain has a conservative record to run on. His speech Thursday hit all the main points. As you go down the list, McCain does seem to have some major issues that line up with conservatives: cutting wasteful spending, less government, strong national defense and security, conservative judges, etc.
The questions and complaints with John McCain have always been that he seems to revel in his role as maverick and loves to play the spoil within the Republican Party. The key going forward is whether or not McCain will say or do something between now and November 2008 to tick-off potential on-the-fence McCain voters. They don't trust him to begin with and they'll be looking for anything, something. The last thing McCain needs is a bunch of conservatives who sit on their hands during his General Election run.