Webb on campaigning for Obama: We'll see

Will retiring one-term Senator Jim Webb campaign for Tim Kaine as his potential replacement? In an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Webb can hardly wait, calling Kaine “one of the finest people” with whom Webb has worked in politics. How about his party’s leader, Barack Obama? Er … not so much:

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Democratic Sen. Jim Webb hesitates when asked if he’s going to campaign for President Obama next year.

“Are you going to be campaigning for President Obama?,” ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked the senator from Virginia in the latest installment of the “Subway Series.”

“We’ll see what that looks like next year,” said Webb.

“But you won’t say you will, at this point,” said Karl.

“I’m not saying that I won’t,” said Webb, later adding, “I’m saying I’ve been out there all this year for state races. I’m a Democrat.”

This comes at the end of the interview, so be sure to watch it all the way through.  Afterward, Webb contacted ABC to “clarify that he supports President Obama,” but it’s clear from his reaction that Webb is far from enthusiastic about that support.

Webb also seems to avoid endorsing the Democratic push to cut more of the Pentagon’s budget, at least not without seriously rethinking America’s global mission.  If we want smaller ground forces in the Army and Marine Corps, Webb says, we can find money to cut.  Otherwise, he’s not leaping at the chance to endorse a Pentagon budget haircut.

Back to Webb’s show of confidence in Obama: If a retiring incumbent in a purple state wants Obama at arms’ length, imagine what that means for those incumbents running for re-election.