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Did McCain Miss His Shot?

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Earlier today I wrote about Romney holding strong over the weekend, and now I find a column from Joe Klein talking about McCain potentially missing his chance to land a legitimate deathblow in favor of personal jabs.

Is a meme emerging?

From TIME:

Meanwhile, McCain was nowhere. His answers lacked zing. He seemed tired. He was unable to make a vigorous case for himself as a leader–even his references back to his days in the military didn’t cut it with this Republican audience. McCain won here in 2000 because independent voters found him far more compelling than the independent alternative on the Democratic side, Bill Bradley. This time, he’s competing with Barack Obama for independents in a state decidedly more blue than it was in 2000…He may still have enough heft to win this thing. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see the race tighten or swing toward Romney over the next few days.

Exactly. He hasn’t given people a reason to vote for him besides the fact he’s not Romney or Huckabee. Big deal. Not a very compelling argument for the always testy Independent crowd. They’d much rather cross over to the Dems and vote for Obama. That’ll leave Romney wide open to pull in the hardcore conservatives and snake a strong second out of New Hampshire. And if he does that, he’s back.

Mark my words, if McCain’s campaign fails to catch on you’ll be able to point back to Saturday’s debate as the point where it stalled.