Here was the man who'd stood with Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat, on campaign finance reform; with Edward Kennedy, on immigration reform and a patient's bill of rights; who'd denounced Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as "agents of intolerance"; who'd voted against Bush's proposed amendment to outlaw gay marriage and played a leading part in normalizing relations with Communist Vietnam ...; the man who brokered a bipartisan Senate compromise that doomed three of President Bush's most conservative judicial nominations ....; who was disparaged as McKerry, on the suspicion that he'd briefly entertained John Kerry's proposal four years ago that he join the Democratic ticket; who, even as the delegates were ;packing to come to St. Paul, had them worried that he was going to try to shove Al Gore's hitherto pro-choice Democratic running mate, Joe Lieberman, down their throats as this year's Republican nominee for vice-president ...Oh, that guy. Remember him?
Source: Joseph Lelyveld, John & Sarah in St. Paul, New York Review of Books 10-14, 10, Oct 9, 2008.
Update: Charlie Cook also remembers another and different McCain:
There was a time when McCain could speak intelligently and persuasively on a multitude of subjects, but it would seem that his tunnel vision on Iraq, some might even say obsession, has considerably narrowed areas in which he can speak authoritatively. In short, he has become a Johnny One-Note, and that note isn't the one that people seem to be listening for right now.
--From Cook's email newsletter "Off to the Races" for October 7, 2008.