Democrats have to be hitting the panic button by now, with Bernie Sanders’ socialist campaign catching fire and Hillary Clinton’s apparent collapse in New Hampshire. Are they desperate enough to get behind a candidate infamous for not campaigning much at all? Jim Webb may shortly test those waters, according to the CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth (via The Hill):
Is he ready to run, again? Former presidential candidate Jim Webb may be ready to get back in the race. He’s expected to discuss the possibility right here in North Texas today.
CBS 11 News has learned Webb will discuss his intentions to make another run for the White House when he addresses the Dallas World Affairs Council at the Belo Mansion this afternoon.
Actually, Democrats might be too late. According to this report, Webb’s thinking about running as an independent:
It didn’t take long after Webb quit that political pundits began speculating that he would get back in the race, running as an independent. At the time Webb, a former Virginia senator and Secretary of the Navy, also said he might explore an independent bid.
Webb’s challenge will be figuring out how to score 270 electoral votes. In the last few months, he has said that the need for an independent presidential candidate was growing more apparent each day.
Perhaps, but Webb is hardly that model of candidate. He barely bothered to campaign at all after announcing his bid for the Democratic nomination, raising little money and even less enthusiasm. Given that, it seems like nothing more than a publicity stunt to go independent at this point. Even if Webb had a personal fortune akin to Michael Bloomberg, Webb has never demonstrated the desire to do what it takes to win, not even within a major-party framework that would do some of that work for him. The question isn’t how Webb gets to 270 as an independent candidate, and it’s not even how he gets to one; it’s how Webb gets on a ballot at all.
In one sense, it’s too bad, because Webb could have resonated with the disaffected Democrats getting left behind by Sanders’ stampede toward socialism and Hillary’s attempts to cut Sanders off by pandering to the Left. Some of those voters have instead flocked to Donald Trump in the Republican primary, but some of them are still within the Democratic coalition. Team Hillary assumed she had those locked up, but so far, there isn’t much enthusiasm for her within those demos — and a Trump nomination might pull them away from either her or Sanders.
With that in mind, and with Hillary stumbling and fumbling away another coronation, Democrats might have an interest in Webb as a Plan B. That is, they might — if Webb turns out to be interested in more than just talk.