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Jim Webb running as a Democrat

Mac Owens on Jim Webb, Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy, running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Virginia. If he wins he would give George Allen the race of his life, Mac thinks. Some interesting insights from Mac, and a warning to the GOP. Note that Webb is also a fine novelist and author.  

Discussions - 9 Comments

Webb may well be a serious threat, and as such, he will provide an interesting test of the intelligence and health of the Republican party.

A skilled incumbent like George Allen
should be able to eke out a victory even over an excellent Webb campaign. But if it is an excellent campaign, Allen will have to thread a political needle. On the one hand, he can’t bash Webb’s character or minimize his impressive background. On the other hand, Allen will need to cut through the Democratic media and get voters to think about Webb’s poor judgement in associating himself with the Democratic party. This will entail reminding voters of what the Democratic party has become, and of the fact that an additional Senate seat strengthens people like Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy. Since Webb is not, yet, genuinely like such people, it will be a difficult sell.

Call it a test of the Republican party and of the voters’ intelligence. On both scores, Virginia is a better bet than some some states. But not one I’d be confident taking just yet.

Webb is the type of "tough guy" who has habitually flinched at every use of force since the Reagan years. And during those years, he was known for being the darling of the media, for making and printing observations that ripped the administration, and ripped "fellow" Republicans.
It’s no surprise to me that this far rightist has finally gone around the bend, and ended up in the folds of Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Gore, Kerry et al.

It was always coming.

I’ve never liked this guy. Never.

He may be a punk, but the voters will assume he’s not. Punk or not, it would helpful if he stepped in it big-time a la Wesley Clark and Admiral Stockdale.

He will, he always has, and will in the campaign, when the stress builds, and he isn’t where he thinks he ought to be, and is entitled to be. And then all of the far rightist, neo-leftist conglomeration will come out, like some infected pus from some running lesion. I remember Webb, he angered me during the Reagan years, appalled me during the run up to Desert Storm, and has only confirmed my previous opinion ever since 9/11.

And he isn’t a "fine novelist." Unless you radically ratchet down your expectations.

If Webb becomes an issue rather than a spokesman, that would be best. If there are ways in which he tends to make himself an issue, I hope Allen is prepared -- in both senses of the word -- to skilfully exploit them.

In response to Professor Owens, the fact that Webb stood up for Vietnam veterans many years ago is a historical fact, or I assume it is. But it doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about what he might contribute to the Senate. If a major part of Webb conversion to, or willingness to play in, the Democratic party was the attack on John Murtha,
he seems not to understand the far higher stakes that are at issue here.
Knocking out a conservative Republican senator and presidential hopeful is not the way to advance one’s concerns about the rise of China, important as those concerns are. Solidarity among veterans is a good thing, but clarity about our world crisis, and the Democrats’ forfeiture in recent years of any claim to leadership, is another.

In short, Webb doesn’t seem to "get it," and thereby disqualifies himself from the Senate, regardless of his history.

Webb is, and always has been, a self-promoter. He is simply using Murtha, and the very fact that is even allowing himself to spoken of in the same breath as Murtha, {a pusillanimous buffoon, a disgrace, a damn disgrace}, tells us all we need to know about where Webb is. Another thing to mention, Webb has ALWAYS struck me as a man with issues, big time. He is just waiting for the right provocation before he goes postal, full-throated postal. And this campaign, where he takes on a very popular and affable Allen is going to see him erupt. This guy is so full of himself, and always has been, that it’s scary.

It should be fun to watch. The uniform will fool some Republicans, not to mention independents and Democrats. But if this guy is as you say he is,
he will come up a little short, maybe way short, and he might also self-destruct in an entertaining manner. We shall see.

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