Jim Webb might as well sober up, wear a spiffy suit and run for The White House. Jim Webb gives a good speech. He has a certain Cracker Soul that can resonate with the voters if they find themselves totally bored with his opposition. He’s what Joe Biden could be Mr. Biden were to gain 15 more IQ points and take some Kaopectate for his verbal diarrhea. What Webb offers is a certain charisma and gravitas that Hillary Clinton or Martin O’Malley would have to fake via $50 Million in image expenditures and lapdog media photo ops.
Thus he gives the current Democratic Party something two things that it badly needs: 1) a clue. 2) A pulse. His shtick and perhaps his raison d’etre comes from the fact that he and Vice President Biden are the last remaining Democrats who can venture out past the Beltway or the rich, coastal enclaves and find actual, working-class white people out there in the mist. Salena Zito describes his niche in a recent piece featured at RealClearPolitics.
“If he runs, it is probably because he thinks he is going to win,” said Jarding, who served as Webb’s senior adviser during the 2006 Senate race. “He is not a Don Quixote chasing windmills. Odds don’t bother him. I think that is what makes him a more interesting candidate. “This is someone who believes passionately in what he believes. He is not tied to a talking-point message — he is authentic, competent, a fighter and, if ever there was somebody who will put a mirror to their soul and ask if this is the right thing to do, it is him.”
So Jim Webb is attempting to be a Post-modern Populist Tom Watson. In so-doing, he would be uniquely positioned in a Democratic Party that probably thinks that Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinners are partially in honor of Jesse Jackson rather than Andrew Jackson. In some respects; Jim Webb is a throwback to a deeper, more intelligent generation of Democrat that was roundly booed off the stage to make way for [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] and Barack Obama.
This makes him a marginal threat to do what [mc_name name=’Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’W000817′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’S001184′ ] are not able to accomplish on a national stage. He could potentially pull votes from both The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Or he could also be rendered radioactive by a moneyed Democratic Party establishment that wants populism to be permanently divided on the fringes of both right and left so that they can continue to get what the pay for when they buy up “Man of The People” Democrats. It will take one primary where Jim Webb exceeds expectations by running to the Right of Le Duc Tho; who’s nation he fought against back in his youth, before the Hillary Machine has spin all over the landscape accusing Webb of being crypto-racist.
There is a bigger, more glaring problem with Webb than just the political calculus of running for office as a Girondist in The Paris Commune that is the current Democratic Party. I have to ask the question: What drives him? He won a VA Senate Seat in 2006 that he chose not to defend. Did this mean he felt unconfident that he would be re-elected beside Barack Obama? If so, why does he think it will be better to be a Democrat in 2016? If he couldn’t believe in what Democrats stood for in 2016, where does he think he will gather support to change them in 2016? I get that you will believe in the !TOLERANCE! of the American Liberal – or else, but I don’t believe in that tolerance and could truly care less about the or else. The people Jim Webb would need to change the Democrats and end their Visigoth Holiday mentality left that tent in 2010 and are not likely to come back just because Jim Webb
was born fightin’.
Ultimately, Jim Webb seems like a man who just misses the bright lights and the big city. He reminds me of John Riggins who once ended a contract holdout with The Washington Redskins by saying “I’m bored. I’m broke. I’m back.” That seems to pretty much be the theme of Jim Webb’s campaign. He’s all rhetoric and no program. That, and whatever paltry sum he raises from his exploratory committee will qualify him to become road kill on Jefferson Davis Highway through rural Virginia. All he has left to decide is whether his campaign slogan should be “Flat-Cat” or “Awesome Possum.” But, hey, being out on the road and meeting people will sure take care of that boredom problem. Maybe he can write another memoir about the experience.