Virginia Democrat and former senator Jim Webb has created an exploratory committee as the first stage in a 2016 presidential run. Via Politico:
“I made this decision after reflecting on numerous political commentaries and listening to many knowledgeable people. I look forward to listening and talking with more people in the coming months as I decide whether or not to run.”
The Vietnam veteran added, “A strong majority of Americans agree that we are at a serious crossroads. In my view the solutions are not simply political, but those of leadership. I learned long ago on the battlefields of Vietnam that in a crisis, there is no substitute for clear-eyed leadership.”
Webb, who was Ronald Reagan’s Navy secretary and who has held centrist views on a number of issues, has been bolstered by progressive news outlet The Nation as a potential challenge from the left to Hillary Clinton, the dominant front-runner who hasn’t yet said if she will launch a second national campaign.
The possibility of having a viable candidate challenge the perceived inevitable candidacy from the left (deja vu of 2008 again) is obviously a selling point when the only other possibility is the, in my view, fatally flawed Elizabeth Warren:
The 14-minute monologue suggests Webb’s message to Democratic voters could have a working-class, progressive bent. In the video, he described the Democratic Party as a group that used to be defined by a “vital, overriding belief that we’re all in this together and the system is not rigged.”
The phrase — that the system, or game, is “rigged” — echoes a common tagline by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the popular progressive who has said repeatedly that she is not planning on running for president, despite appeals from the left.
Jim Webb may be our next president but the odds are that this is the last we’ve heard of him on the national stage. While Webb looks good on paper — combat veteran, former Senator, from a purple state — it is really hard to see who his constituency is or where the donor cash necessary to mount a campaign comes from IF, IF, Hillary Clinton decides to stay in the race. If Hillary declines to run, and I am unconvinced that she like work enough for her to undertake that challenge, Webb could grasp an additional 15 minutes of fame.
…then we will get to hear more about the romance with pedophilia exhibited in his novels that was an issue when he ran against George Allen.