Jim Webb announced today that he does not want to be Barack Obama’s running mate in the 2008 election. In a statement released by his office, Webb said he told Obama last week not to select him as he wants to remain in the Senate for longer than a third of a single term:
Last week I communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my firm intention to remain in the United States Senate, where I believe I am best equipped to serve the people of Virginia and this country. Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for Vice President. …
I entered elective politics because of my commitment to strengthen America’s national security posture, to promote economic fairness, and to increase government accountability. I have worked hard to deliver upon that commitment, and I am convinced that my efforts and talents toward those ends are best served in the Senate.
The only thing this changes is the speculation before the convention. Obama wasn’t likely to choose Webb in any case. Webb has less experience in national office than Obama, and only slightly more executive experience. Webb could have helped carry Virginia, which would be a big blow to the GOP, and maybe given Obama more credibility with gun owners — but he can do both as a surrogate just as well, while Obama finds a running mate that addresses his serious inadequacies as a presidential candidate.
Obama needs someone with either military experience or a serious track record as an executive. I expect him to choose Gov. Kathleen Sibelius of Kansas, who can help him with bitter Midwesterners clinging to guns and religion, as well as more seriously estranged women who resent his campaign against Hillary Clinton.