I agree with Jonah that McCain did a good job of being passionate, last night. I still don't think he was "on," in a superficial way. I mean, I've seen him be more articulate. And he surely wasn't as polished as Romney. Of course, there's always a danger in appearing too polished. Did Romney cross the line? He may have been teetering ...
Maybe in tough times, you want someone who is a little ticked-off?
McCain tried several times to get off his line about how he will veto pork legislation "... and make the authors of it famous." He had a hard time fitting it in (over Chris Matthews' talking, that is).
But McCain's best line last night turned out to be the "Gates of Hell" line -- which, as good rhetoric should -- caught everyone's attention.
Interestingly, when I was with him in New Hampshire, his theme song was Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Of course, the song includes the line: "You could stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."
In a sense, the fact that there were ten candidates there last night, made it hard for any of the frontrunners to run away with the debate. I definitely think McCain held his own, and that Rudy probably took a step back (among primary voters, that is...)