It's a crisp afernoon in Prescott Park in Portsmouth, N.H. There's a small crowd waiting for Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., to make his "official" announcement that he's running for president. I thought the crowd would be bigger -- it's a few hundred I would guess. The folks running the show are filling time until the senator arrives. The chants of "McCain! McCain!" are echoing out as far as you can see. I have to believe the staff hopes for more energy when their candidate arrives.
A lot of people in the crowd are comparing the McCain of 2008 to the one of 2000, who burst on the scene as the maverick outsider and won the primary here in decisive fashion. New Hampshire likes candidates with attitude and independence. Some are wondering if McCain still fits that billing. It's important to say he leads in many of the polls here. He has a big, experienced staff. His supporters dismiss the national story, saying he needs a fresh start. The Straight Talk Express just pulled up -- they've cranked up the music -- U2's 'Beautiful Day.' That means it's showtime. Gotta go!