I thought Senator McCain, who became the mortal lock for the Republican presidential nomination with the suspension of Mitt Romney's campaign today, gave a strong, meaningful speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference today.
It was no stemwinder and the Senator isn't a naturally gifted speaker but it was a success because he was forthright but conciliatory, didn't flip-flop, attacked both Senator Clinton and Obama and struck the right notes in terms of how differently he or either of his opponents would lead America.
Opening with a quote from Edmund Burke that liberty was bestowed by the Creator and protected by the government rather than the opposite was a nice touch. So was describing himself as a 'foot-soldier of the Reagan Revolution' (though I am told this has been a staple)
What McCain needs to do now is assemble the coalition and get folks like James Dobson on board because he'll need every vote in November, especially if his opponent is Senator Obama. Romney would not be bad as economics czar and possible Secretary of the Treasury. And on the short list of VPs, a solidly conservative, well respected, well connected governor like Haley Barbour of Mississippi might be just the ticket. (You heard it here first.)