by S-Q @ 9:53 AM MDT
Trouble is, no one doubts Mr. McCain's commitment. But recent polls show the public is increasingly doubtful of the prospects of winning the war. And that, in turn, may be undercutting Mr. McCain's chances of winning the nomination.
In short order, John McCain has gone from Republican presidential front-runner to political death watch. On Wednesday, the Arizona senator kicks off a month of high-profile events, seeking a resurrection of sorts.
He badly needs it. Mr. McCain just reported raising $12.5 million for the first-quarter -- behind Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, as well as Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. Most analysts won't go so far as to bury Mr. McCain, citing his Republican rivals' own baggage: Both Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani are suspect among social conservatives for their records supporting abortion and gay rights, and gun control. But the one-time GOP front-runner clearly had a very bad week.
It began with reports of the heavily guarded senator shopping at a Baghdad market and declaring "things are better," and it ended with a New Hampshire poll showing Mr. McCain, the longtime leader in that first-primary state, now in a dead heat with Mr. Romney. Sandwiched in between were the stories of his money woes.