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Mccain's Little, Jolly Band Of Mavericks

Take note of one certain passage in this morning's Post story on the return of Maverick McCain:

The surest sign of McCain's return to his "maverick" ways came when he caught wind of an effort by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) to delay Clinton's confirmation vote by a day, pushing it from Tuesday to Wednesday because he was seeking greater disclosure about foreign donors to former president Bill Clinton's charitable foundation. McCain found the objection gratuitous -- despite policy disagreements with Clinton, he and most Republicans consider her well qualified -- and said so publicly.

"I think that's indicative of the role that John McCain is going to play," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who hatched the push-back against Cornyn's gambit over dinner with McCain on Tuesday night, and who followed him to the floor to support Clinton's confirmation (emphasis mine). "He's going to play a very active role. He's going to try to forge bipartisan coalitions. And he won't shy away from controversy."

If McCain becomes a lone public GOP ally of the Obama administration on questions like immigration or faith in its appointees, that's useful. If he can rally a troupe of mavericks -- longtime devotees of his in the Senate, like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman -- that'd be very useful.

--Eve Fairbanks