Jim Webb: I’m not ruling out running for president in 2016

posted at 4:01 pm on May 19, 2014 by Allahpundit

I listened to the clip below, scratched my head, and tried to figure out which Democrats he’d theoretically be peeling away from Hillary in a primary. The answer:

Matt Lewis thinks Webb has promise if he tries to fill the Brian Schweitzer niche, running as a lefty economic populist with roots in red-state culture to appeal to both liberal and centrist Democrats. Case in point:

In the interview, he sounded the sort of populist theme on widening wealth disparity that has drawn cheers from Democratic audiences. “We have a situation in this country where the people at the very top have moved away from everyone else in terms of how they live, how much money they make and in some cases the amount of taxes that they pay,” he said. Concerns about disappearing pensions and looming student-loan debts could be addressed “by the right kind of leadership and the right kind of policies.”

Hillary’s saying the same things lately, though, as will any Democrat who ends up in the race. Ostentatious concern about income inequality is a litmus-test issue for Democrats at this point, not something that sets Webb apart from the pack. As for Webb’s advantage with rural Democrats, Hillary’s married to the ultimate red-state Democrat, of course — and more importantly, I think liberals would be rightly suspicious that Webb would govern from the left as president. Remember, this is a guy who was appointed to be Secretary of the Navy by Ronald Reagan. Shortly after Bill Clinton left office, Webb wrote an op-ed noting how happy he was that Clinton was “finally being judged, even by his own party, for the ethical fraudulence that has characterized his entire political career.” Five years later, after Webb emerged as a surprise Democratic challenger to George Allen, the left — including Bill Clinton! — embraced him in the interest of winning a seat in a purple state. He was a good soldier for the party in the Senate, but no one seriously believes that Webb’s a committed liberal in the Elizabeth Warren mode. If forced to triangulate between congressional Democrats and Republicans, there’s every chance he’d be more conservative as president than he was as a senator. And he’s a year older than Hillary. If her age is an issue, his is even more so.

Plus, which prominent Dems realistically would support Webb over Hillary? Who’s going to be the Claire McCaskill of 2016, legitimizing the upstart challenger with a big-name endorsement that instantly makes his candidacy credible? No one’s going to cross her this time. Doing so for a phenomenon like Obama, who was a historic candidate, was one thing. Doing so for an ex-senator, whose chances are dubious, is another. Webb’s better off running as an independent, where he’ll be more free to play up his red-state credentials and to take the sort of pox-on-both-houses attitude towards the Dems and GOP that’ll resonate with voters. Between that and his record of military service, if people can get past his age he’d get a serious look — maybe not enough to win, but enough to cause headaches for the two party nominees. (As a nominal Democrat, he should be more of a threat to steal votes from Hillary than from the GOP, although I’m not sure it’ll work out that way.) Like I said the other day, if we’re destined to have another Bush/Clinton election, it’s only right that there be a Perot in the race too.


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There is a groundswell beginning – against Hillary’s chances.

Just starting.

jake-the-goose on May 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM

He’s former military and worked for Reagan. He wouldn’t stand a chance in a Dem primary. The Dems are hard core Leftists now.

faraway on May 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Feminists hate Webb. He probably can’t win but he sure would draw a sizeable amount of votes.

major dad on May 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Democrats sensing Clinton weakness?

portlandon on May 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I’m going to announce my own run for president at this time. The thought of the pressure that would be put on me if I were the only person not running in 2016 is just too scary.

PersonFromPorlock on May 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Yea Jim, I haven’t ruled out running either. In fact, I’m torn between the POTUS job and the opening at the NY Times. My only problem is right now, neither job has much of a shine left on that apple. \

Seriously, who is telling this guy he’s even got a chance. Ok, maybe if Boehener is his competition, maybe. But beyond that??? Whatever…

USNCVN on May 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

But what I really want to know is: Has he ever said “macaca”?

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Jim Webb? Southern Democrat! You mean the same Democrats of the KKK and Jim Crow laws? That Democrat?

libbyscooter on May 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM

We had Reagan Democrats.

They have Ford Republicans.

portlandon on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

An old white guy is not getting the nomination.
They tried the black experiment, so now it’s time for a woman.

weedisgood on May 19, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Jim Webb, big ole amnesty-for-illegal-aliens advocate.

Lourdes on May 19, 2014 at 4:18 PM

I think for some of these guys, they just want to SAY they ‘…ran for president…’

I mean, its a cool thing to have on your resume.

Tard on May 19, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Can’t we just dust off Ralph Nadar?

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on May 19, 2014 at 4:19 PM

They tried the black experiment, so now it’s time for a woman.

Wouldn’t it be sane and responsible, for a change, an actual change, to elect the most competent person to the TASKS involved in the job of President of the USA and NOT elect someone who is trendy? Otherwise, just establish govt. as a big parent who hands out the same tshirts and pants and socks and shoes to everyone with a key to a group home and a welfare check — limited to be spendable on what we are told to eat and what we can’t — and let us all live in mud huts, because:trendy.

Lourdes on May 19, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Feminists hate Webb. He probably can’t win but he sure would draw a sizeable amount of votes.

major dad on May 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Non-feminists, too.

Lourdes on May 19, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I think if he does get the nomination, I do think there will be a Dem from far left that will be pushed to run or possibly a leftist 3rd party candidate. He’s too much of a centrist to win for the Dems

ConservativePartyNow on May 19, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Isn’t he the same guy who used to go to the Confederate Memorial to ‘commune’ with his dead Confederate ancestors?

The Confederate Memorial has had a special place in my life for many years. During the bitter turbulence of the early and mid1970′s I used to come here quite often. I had recently left the Marine Corps and was struggling to come to grips with my service in Vietnam, and with the misperceptions that seemed rampant about the people with whom I had served and what, exactly we had attempted to accomplish. And there were many, many times that I found myself drawn to this deeply inspiring memorial, to contemplate the sacrifices of others, several of whom were my ancestors, whose enormous suffering and collective gallantry are to this day still misunderstood by most Americans.

I used to walk the perimeter of this monument, itself designed by a man who had fought for the Confederacy and who, despite international fame as a sculptor, decided to be buried beneath it, and I would comprehend that worldwide praise can never substitute for loyalties learned and tested under the tribulations of the battlefield. I would study the inscription:
NOT FOR FAME OR REWARD, NOT FOR PLACE OR FOR RANK, NOT LURED BY AMBITION OR GOADED BY NECESSITY, BUT IN SIMPLE OBEDIENCE TO DUTY AS THEY UNDERSTOOD IT, THESE MEN SUFFERED ALL, SACRIFICED ALL, DARED ALL, AND DIED — words written by a Confederate veteran who had later become a minister, and knew that this simple sentence spoke for all soldiers in all wars, men who must always trust their lives to the judgment of their leaders, and whose bond thus goes to individuals rather than to stark ideology, and who, at the end of the day that is their lives, desire more than anything to sleep with the satisfaction that when all the rhetoric was stripped away, they had fulfilled their duty — as they understood it. To their community. To their nation. To their individual consciences. To their family. And to their progeny, who in the end must not only judge their acts, but be judged as their inheritors.

And so I am here, with you today, to remember. And to honor an army that rose like a sudden wind out of the little towns and scattered farms of a yet unconquered wilderness. That drew 750,000 soldiers from a population base of only five million-less than the current population of Virginia alone. That fought with squirrel rifles and cold steel against a much larger and more modern force. That saw 60 percent of its soldiers become casualties, some 256,000 of them dead. That gave every ounce of courage and loyalty to a leadership it trusted and respected, and then laid down its arms in an instant when that leadership decided that enough was enough. That returned to a devastated land and a military occupation. That endured the bitter humiliation of Reconstruction and an economic alienation from the rest of this nation which continued for fully a century, affecting white and black alike.

I am not here to apologize f or why they fought, although modern historians might contemplate that there truly were different perceptions in the North and South about those reasons, and that most Southern soldiers viewed the driving issue to be sovereignty rather than slavery. In 1860 fewer than five percent of the people in the South owned slaves, and fewer than twenty percent were involved with slavery in any capacity. Love of the Union was palpably stronger in the South than in the North before the war — just as overt patriotism is today — but it was tempered by a strong belief that state sovereignty existed prior to the Constitution, and that it had never been surrendered. Nor had Abraham Lincoln ended slavery in Kentucky and Missouri when those border states did not secede. Perhaps all of us might reread the writings of Alexander Stephens, a brilliant attorney who opposed secession but then became Vice President of the Confederacy, making a convincing legal argument that the constitutional compact was terminable. And who wryly commented at the outset of the war that “the North today presents the spectacle of a free people having gone to war to make freemen of slaves, while all they have as yet attained is to make slaves of themselves.”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/09/29/251416/-Jim-Webb-and-the-Confederacy

Maybe, Mrs Caroline Meade, Aunt Pittypat and Miss Mellie, as the governing committee of the Association for the Beautification of the Graves of Our Glorious Dead, will cut some campaign ads for him.

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Neither am I, and we both have the same chance of winning.

corona79 on May 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Feminists hate Webb. He probably can’t win but he sure would draw a sizeable amount of votes.

major dad on May 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Maybe. Once a sizeable number of voters get past “Jim who?”.

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I’m from Virginia and I’m saying, “Who?” What in the world makes him think anyone would be even slightly interested in him?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Webb/Nader — 2016

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Under the 22nd Amendment, Jimmy Carter can still run again. Just saying.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on May 19, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Didn’t he write some pornographic literature, too? That should get him some votes.

/

Ward Cleaver on May 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

They tried the black experiment, so now it’s time for a woman.

weedisgood

Michelle? Twice as black as Barak!

Wander on May 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Democrats sensing Clinton weakness?

portlandon on May 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Yup.
It’s as obvious as (no pun intended) the elephant in the room.

itsnotaboutme on May 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

I’m from Virginia and I’m saying, “Who?” What in the world makes him think anyone would be even slightly interested in him?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:27 PM

No one had heard of Carter or Clinton at this stage in their presidential campaigns.

itsnotaboutme on May 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Once a sizeable number of voters get past “Jim who?”

.

A lot of people said Barack who and Jimmy who too.

major dad on May 19, 2014 at 4:40 PM

itsnotaboutme on May 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Will he be historic also? Our first president with a bad toupee? Add Obama to your list of unknowns who should never have been president.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Did they erase the GM thread on semantics? I can’t find it anywhere.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Unless he’s a transvestite or a flaming homosexual, the Dems will never run a white male again.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on May 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Don’t try to make me like him.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Under the 22nd Amendment, Jimmy Carter can still run again. Just saying.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on May 19, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Based on the universal truth, that once past 85, liberals get smarter.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 4:42 PM

I’m from Virginia and I’m saying, “Who?” What in the world makes him think anyone would be even slightly interested in him?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:27 P

LOL!!

Yup, my reaction too. Call it the Jon Huntsman effect.

ToddPA on May 19, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Democrats sensing Clinton weakness?

portlandon on May 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Seems that way.

Missy on May 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Like I said the other day, if we’re destined to have another Bush/Clinton election, it’s only right that there be a Perot in the race too.

Perot should resent that remark. He was an economic conservative more in tune with a Tea-Party small government philosphy. Jim Webb not so much.

KW64 on May 19, 2014 at 4:48 PM

You guys? I’m not ruling out a run for president in 2016 either.

rdbrewer on May 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Let him run. He won’t win the Dem primary, but if Webb’s ego is big enough to run as an Independent, he could pull enough votes away from Hillary to help the Republican, which could enable a Tea Party Republican to win the Presidency with 45% or so. Call it the reverse-Perot effect. Perot helped Bill Clinton win the Presidency in 1992–Webb could cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency in 2016.

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 4:56 PM

rdbrewer on May 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Yeah, but I’d vote for you.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Unless he’s a transvestite or a flaming homosexual, the Dems will never run a white male again.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on May 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Webb did write a novel about a man fondling his son’s genitals. That might count for something among Democrats.

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

…run baby…RUN!

KOOLAID2 on May 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Second stupidest thing George Allen decided to say.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Don’t try to make me like him.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Can you imagine the attack ads that would be run against him by his fellow Democrats?

The left blogosphere would go off the rails.

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 5:15 PM

I’m announcing my intention to run for the presidency on the democrat ticket. My real name is just as common as “James Webb” so I have just as much name recognition as he does, I’m much nicer to old ladies, and I haven’t written any porn. /sarc

Mini-14 on May 19, 2014 at 5:17 PM

I want Jim Webb to run for democrat nominee. Then I will pray that God will do a miracle have him as the democrat nominee. The republican voters might be dumb and elect Bush. Jim Webb will not destroy this country as much as Hillary will. If Webb is the democrat nominee I will be fine with voting for him over Bush.

BroncosRock on May 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 5:15 PM

You keep saying these things like it would be bad. Short of a possible popcorn shortage it sounds heavenly.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

You keep saying these things like it would be bad. Short of a possible popcorn shortage it sounds heavenly.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Didn’t mean to sound that way. It would be totally schadenfreudelicious!

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 5:25 PM

I’m from Virginia and I’m saying, “Who?” What in the world makes him think anyone would be even slightly interested in him?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:27

Seriously? How can any Virginian forget the guy who rose to the Senate on the lie that he was a conservative and a bunch of mudslinging over Macaca?

How long have you been living in Virginia if you are saying “who?” I think the better question is your other one- Why? We tell our kids to think big and that they can be anything they want to be. It is charming when a short uncoordinated dumpy kid expresses the aspiration to become a professional athlete. Not so much when a doughy late-middle-aged guy who writes kiddie porn tells you he wants to be President.

Happy Nomad on May 19, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Second stupidest thing George Allen decided to say.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Um….. no. It’s pretty clear that Webb’s novels have a creepy sexual vibe to them. George was stupid to think that he could campaign against Webb using the traditionally and largely civil way VA politics used to work.

Happy Nomad on May 19, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 4:25 PM

I don’t have a problem with that passage. Confederate soldiers died in service of a cause, even if it is not a cause he or we support. They didn’t necessarily want to fight. They had lives and stories. They left behind broken hearts. Just like Union soldiers.

He is a good writer, even if his fiction isn’t to my liking. I thought Born Fighting was quite good.

Missy on May 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Excuse me, but Jim Webb was born in February 1946. He is currently 68 years old. His time has passed.

SC.Charlie on May 19, 2014 at 5:57 PM

I don’t have a problem with that passage. Confederate soldiers died in service of a cause, even if it is not a cause he or we support. They didn’t necessarily want to fight. They had lives and stories. They left behind broken hearts. Just like Union soldiers.

He is a good writer, even if his fiction isn’t to my liking. I thought Born Fighting was quite good.

Missy on May 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I have a feeling many Democrats would have a problem with it, especially after the ‘first black president’ was elected.

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 6:03 PM

I’m from Virginia and I’m saying, “Who?” What in the world makes him think anyone would be even slightly interested in him?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Heh… it took me a while to figure out that they weren’t talking about the man who wrote “MacArthur Park” …

ajb3 on May 19, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Happy Nomad on May 19, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Darlin, it was a joke. Of course I know who he is. Sen. Allen was done at Macaca. Of course it didn’t help that Larry Sabato took a little creative license with the truth either.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Resist We Much on May 19, 2014 at 5:25 PM

It does!!! While I am sure 2016 will be maddening on the Right, I hope the Left will keep me amused with their intramural antics. You know before it gets ugly.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

SC.Charlie on May 19, 2014 at 5:57 PM

I think younger than Hillary will be the benchmark.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Unless he’s a transvestite or a flaming homosexual, the Dems will never run a white male again.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on May 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Webb did write a novel about a man fondling his son’s genitals. That might count for something among Democrats.

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Isn’t he a redhead?
That’s an oppressed minority, right?

itsnotaboutme on May 19, 2014 at 6:16 PM

I think younger than Hillary will be the benchmark. – Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 6:15 PM

The Democrat bench of young challengers to Hillary is not very deep, can you name any young Democrat that is a deemed a rising star?

SC.Charlie on May 19, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Who?

Diluculo on May 19, 2014 at 6:22 PM

SC.Charlie on May 19, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Democrats are not my forte in general but I would think Sen. Booker and Gov. Cuomo. Although the thought of having to listen to speeches made by Cuomo is frightening. I know I am being a witch but that voice…..

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Unless he’s a transvestite or a flaming homosexual, the Dems will never run a white male again.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on May 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Because the definition of hispanic is so meaninglessly vague, I expect Democratics will start discovering their lost ‘hispanic’ heritage, in the style of Chief Liawatha. Webb will announce that his long-ago changed last name used to be ‘Webaraigosa’. Hillary will discover that the family name was ‘Rodhamez’.

It’s all good fun until someone loses an eye.

slickwillie2001 on May 19, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Webb was Navy Secretary under Reagan and US Senator from Virginia for all those who apparently have never heard of him.

cimbri on May 20, 2014 at 1:44 AM

Jim Webb is a fraud.

Slab Bulkhead on May 20, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Jim Webb is a good man. His op-ed against affirmative action for immigrants was spot-on and no Republican has the balls to take up the issue even though it is a no-brainer and non-partisan.

flawedskull on May 20, 2014 at 11:43 AM

so….the guy who could have derailed obamacare thinks he has a shot at president, right? gimme a break

olesparkie on May 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM