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Jim Webb, Iron Intellectual

By Alec MacGillis
Lost in the hubbub over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's secret rendezvous at Sen. Dianne Feinstein's house last night were some of the intriguing ramifications of Obama's previous appointment, a rally at the Nissan Pavilion in the Northern Virginia exurbs that was also attended by Sen. Jim Webb and Gov. Tim Kaine.

Both men, of course, have been mentioned as possible running mates for Obama -- and, in the eyes of the veep-obsessed press, that made the event into an audition of sorts.

This was particularly true for Webb, who, unlike Kaine, was making his first appearance in the role of an Obama booster, having stayed neutral throughout the primaries. One thing quickly became clear, as the red-haired senator introduced the presumptive nominee: those pushing for Webb because they think he will bring muscular, regular-guy credentials -- Marine hero in Vietnam, former Navy secretary, Scots-Irish roots -- may need to think again.

There's no doubt that Webb is tough. He's stood up to President Bush at a White House reception and has a concealed-carry gun license. But he also sees himself as a serious, free-thinking intellectual. He has a bevy of fairly well-regarded books under his belt and prides himself on writing his own stump material.

If yesterday's joint appearance was any indication, far from canceling out Obama's Ivy League pedigree, an Obama-Webb ticket could be one of the most literary pairings ever to take the field.

Whereas Kaine served up a fairly conventional Democratic rallying cry, Webb embarked on a meditation on American history and self-conception over the past forty years. He noted that it was the 40th anniversary not only of Bobby Kennedy's assassination but also of his own swearing into the Marine Corps. He took the audience back to that "tumultuous year" -- the assassinations, the Tet offensive, the riots in which "the African American sections in many American cities had erupted with frequent violence" and the Democratic convention in Chicago.

Webb said he was giving the history tour "because we all know that the United States of 2008 is also a troubled and divided place in a quiet but equally disturbing way."

"The tumult of those earlier years," he went on, "convinced me and others that we needed to learn our love our country more deeply for all its ugly flaws, because it required us to sit back and reconsider the beliefs and values that had once been handed to us as our national legacy. We went through an intellectual challenge in justifying America's uniqueness on fresh grounds and this caused us to believe all the more strongly that ... that this was the moral beacon of the world, that for all or problems we had the will to solve them, the patience to undergo the painful debates that might identify solutions ... and the constitutional system that will provide remedies and thus hold us together as a people."

After a bit more in this vein, Webb got around to introducing Obama -- whom he praised, before all else, not for his toughness or determination, the qualities one might expect the ex-Marine to highlight, but for his brains.

"He is man of great intellect," said Webb. He then drove home the praise by punctuating the final sentence of his introduction with a loud fist pound on the podium.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 6, 2008; 5:24 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Regarding the "I'll vote McCain rather than Obama because Obama supporters have said sexist things on blog comments sections" sentiment:

Obama should not feel entitled to your votes just because you are Democrats. He has to earn them. You're absolutely right about that.

But what, exactly, has John McCain done to earn them?

If you want to complain about sexism, you probably shouldn't turn around and praise a candidate who's going to keep packing the Supreme Court with people who want to overturn Roe. Just a thought.

Posted by: Thad | June 11, 2008 3:21 AM | Report abuse


This would be a logical ticket. We need Joe Biden to counter-balance Obama's inexperience - especially when it comes to foreign policy. What makes Biden stand out from the rest is simple - he's experienced/qualified, he doesn't take crap from anyone (despite some beliefs that he often speaks mind too much...we need that), he's "vice-presidential", loves his country and is great to listen to. He not only owned Rudy early in the race, every other democratic candidate repeatedly praised his knowledge and input ("Joe is right"). Nothing would make a greater event than to watch Biden in the spotlight during a VP debate - especially if it could be against Mitt Romney. He may have not had the funds to continue against history-making candidates (that being an African Amercian and a woman), but he can clearly draw attention when given the chance to speak his mind. And the best part is - everyhting he says makes sense. Despite having 18 million supporters, Clinton would be too polarizing for the country and Obama will be percieved as weak for choosing her. Despite being diplomatic, Richardson is a wimp and non-vice-presidential. Biden clearly deserves top consideration for the VP spot and if (god-forbid) he does not get the job - at least Secretary of State. Your thoughts?

Posted by: kji | June 9, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse


You sound like an angry person. Your desire for revenge is amazing and part of the reason Democrats never get elected. You are so full of hatred that you cannot see the big picture. Your desire to derail Barack will only derail Hillary. Barack supporters are also a huge block and we are growing each day. If you sabatoage Baracks chance in 08, do you honestly think we won't do the same for Hillary in 2012?

If you want to do a mans job then you need to think like a man and let go of your over the top emotional garbage. No Barack, no Hillary. You also sound like a poser chanting for Hillary in order to cause division. Who cares which you are, my message is clear.

PS.. who knew the Democratic party was so racist. A Republican friend of mine said this could be the time AA should exit this party. As a white woman I told him if AA exit this party..the party is dead because they are the most loyal voting block of this party and this is the respect they get for voting for WHITE candidates for DECADES !!!!!!!!!!!!! They get one Black candidate on the ballot and the Demo party does not support them. We were suppose to be the party of civil rights and advancement for all people.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 9, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

You crazy women chanting "Rise Hillary Rise" and vowing to support McCain must understand a few things. Obama has the same amount of dedicated and loyal voters that Clinton has. If you vote for McCain, causing Barack to lose the election, we will turn around and do the same to you in 2012 if Hillary runs again and if Barack does not run. It will be payback for your actions in 2008. The end result will be that neither Hillary nor Barack will ever get elected thereby resulting in another 16 years of Republican rule. Try explaining that to your children and grandchildren, will all the implications that will mean for womens rights.

It's time you simmer down and support the fact that Barack is the nominee this time and, if you support us in electing Barack we will support you in electing Hillary. She wasn't elected as soon as you wanted but that is her campaigns fault, not Baracks.

It is also time you stopped all the emotional garbage. Most men I have talked to said this fits into the sterotypical behavior that is associated with women and they are beginning to question their own support for a women President. Also, blaming Barack for the media coverage he got is not fair. Everyone knows the Clinton story, there was nothing new. Barack was a new story that was intriguing.

"We rise together or we fall together" your choice.

PS. The Republicans are just laughing at us and many Democrats I spoke to are considering going 3rd party because this is the party that hates to win !!

Posted by: Payback2012 | June 8, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

The more I hear about Webb, the more I think he would be the perfect choice for V.P. He's a tough, well-spoken, no nonsense type of guy and that's what we need. Obama and Webb are quite a contrast to the soft-spoken, middle/right-of-the-road, DLC-type candidates we've had the past couple of Presidental elections. With someone like Lieberman as the Dems V.P. choice in 2000, is it any wonder we lost?

Obama/Webb '08!

Posted by: Clarke D | June 8, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I guess it all depends on how Obama stands in the race as it gets closer to the convention. If he needs to gamble because he is behind he could go with Webb which would be like drawing one card to complete a straight or a flush in poker.

If it succeeds it will come off spectacularly. Webb will not only put Obama in play in Virginia but in other southern and western states as well. But if it does not work, Webb will be an albatross that Obama has to wear around his neck all the way to November.

As I see it now, Obama has, at least, a fifty-fifty chance of winning so a gamble is not necessary.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 8, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I have been watching all the potential running mates for Obama to tap, and as much as I like Webb to a degree, I am not settled on his experience. Maybe this country may not be ready for a Bi-racial candidate for president, who had a Kenyan father and a Scot-Irish mother, but what would they do if they selected my pick of Bill Richardson? I am not sure if he is a pure Latino or not, but if the new buzz word is diversity over affirmative action why not!

This would be the real American melting pot ticket and would give a little of everybody"s race a play. To go further it would dispel the whole issue of combined experiences of a president and vice presidential team.

It's very unfortunate that race does matter in American politics, but until we face this issue head on our nation, will always suffer from disunity and continue to be unable to solve the problems of a weakened economy, unequal educational opportunities, improved foreign policies and most of all a justice system that's fair enough, to bring about the dream of a more perfect union.

Posted by: Jimmie Griffin | June 8, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Webb may have confounded some folk's expectations when he gave not a tub-thumping speech but an extremely thoughtful one. It underlined that he is smart as well as tough - not a bad combination!

Posted by: George Taylor | June 8, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I think Webb would be perfect! He is a first term senator with no experience just like Obama. A match made in heaven. By the way I heard that Webbs speach at the confederate monument at Arlington cemetary was great! This may balance the ticket!

Posted by: donmac | June 7, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I think Webb would be a good choice, but I think Bob Graham would be better. For one thing, he's near the end of career, so his pick as VP doesn't block anyone else in eight years. He's experienced, puts FLA into play, and he's not likely to fly off the handle. He's kind of like Biden, except he's from a bigger state.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 7, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

In response to Michael W. Botello:

I am not sure if you are responding to me or not but you covered some of the points I made so I will assume you are.

First you somewhat gloss over James Webb's service as Secretary of the Navy. I had forgotten about that. If I recall correctly, Webb got into trouble over the issue of women serving in the military which was a legitimate debate. But Webb reacted in such a manner that Ronald Reagan who was very loyal to his subordinates fired him after seven months. In the words of Reagan after hearing Webb speak, "Get rid of that guy."

I probably don't have the complete story but it would come out if Webb were the VP nominee and the whole issue of him opposing women serving in the military will hardly reconcile many former Hillary Clinton supporters some who are threatening to support John McCain.

Second you seem to imply that many believe that Webb has a temper because he has red hair. Regardless of his hair color he has demonstrated that he has a temper. It may make you feel good that he told off President George W. Bush because Bush had inquired how his son was but that seems not to be constructive to say the least. Webb later said that he almost punched the president. That seems to border on instability regardless of what you think about Bush. Granted Webb has calmed down since but it is hard to put a good spin on the whole incident.

Then you cite his military record which is commendable and good experience but would not be a complete substitute for more experience as a senator. What is he going to do? Call arty on the Senate if he is presiding over it during a close vote and it is going the wrong way?

Webb needs more seasoning and political experience. A vice-presidential run would be too much too soon.

This next part is just my instinctive opinion. I think that Webb views people like Barack Obama as being dilettantes and that the two would not really get along very well. I don't think John Kerry and John Edwards really liked each other and it showed during the last campaign. But I think they would seem like old chums compared to Obama and Webb. Just my instincts here.

Webb is an intriguing figure but I do not think he quite ready for prime time yet. I think the Obama strategy is to pay lip service to every possible contender including Webb but that he will eventually pick someone who is closer to his temperament than Webb.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 7, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Kaine is weird.

If the Democratics foolishly nominate an unqualified and unelectable Barack Obama, put your country first, party second and vote for John McCain.

The Democratic party MUST be held accountable for their failure to denounce the rampant, incessant sexism, racism, classism and voter disenfranchisment practiced by Obama, his campaign, his NASTY supporters and ALL media. IN fact, the Dem party is complicit in disenfanchising voters in Michigan and Florida. Since when is a 1/2 vote ok? 1/2 a person ok? It's NOT. It calls to mind the ole Jim Crow laws when blacks were considered 3/5 a person. This is worse. To vote for Obama is to condone what they have done.

Women are the majority voting block of the Dem party and swing ALL elections. Women want Hillary. Women say NO to Obama. Women are mad as hell and we are NOT going to take it anymore. Not this year, not this time. Paybacks are hell, but necessary. The Democratic party understands two things, money and votes. WE have the power to withhold both! Do so!

UNITY? NOT THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*You must do the thing which you think you cannnot do* Eleanor Roosevelt

Rise, Women, Rise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by:

Posted by: JK | June 7, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Before moving overseas I voted for both Kaine & Webb. I grew up in NoVa from before Kaine, because I am a yellowdog and Webb because he was a smart, down to earth guy. Standing up to Bush like he did, and the war honor factor, were just icing on the cake.

I do have to say, however, I just didn't like the way this piece was delivered in the least. No need to push so hard. Just keep supporting your guy.

Posted by: CitizenXX | June 7, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Iron Huh?

What is the OTHER Term, for "Reddish" Iron? ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | June 7, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Ephemerella and Susan:

There must be no rocks where you are. I can send you both one to crawl under.

Posted by: md83 | June 7, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

There is no question that Senator James Webb would be a controversial member of the select group of individuals identified by Obama's campaign as potential running mates; so, let's look at his strengths and weaknesses.

He is a Naval Academy graduate, U.S. Marine Corps combat infantry Officer, and received the nation's highest military award for bravery in combat, the Medal of Honor. He was later nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be Secretary of the Navy and approved by the Senate; but later resigned when his personal vision for the Navy and Marine Corps came in conflict with his superiors views. In short, he has established that he is a leader of some merit.

He is an accomplished author with a following of readers who appreciate his work; and, although his writing may not have received a Pulitzer to date, it is certainly worthy of a place on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and other equally well known Booksellers. This, at least, gives us some insight into his intellect; his mental capabilities. It would seem clear on its face that he has the intellect to get his point across so anyone can understand it in plain English; which is not an easy task for some politicians. So far so good in my opinion; I really like him - after all "Once a Marine, always a Marine" as we say in the Corps!

OK, let's look at the negatives, if there are any.

He has red hair so that must mean he has a bad temper, right? Well, that's my mother told me when I was little. Your mother told you the same thing, didn't she? Kids with red hair have bad tempers. Isn't that why he might be a bad choice; he might shoot his mouth off at the wrong time or get mad at a reporter or upstage the candidate, right? He has red hair and might fly off the handle and say the wrong thing because he doesn't have complete control of his emotions, right?

So what if he has been in combat, under direct enemy fire leading U.S. Marines against North Viet Nam troops trying to kill him and his men. So what if he maintained his composure while the enemy was shooting at him and killing and wounding his men; so what if he was directing return fire, giving commands, encouraging his men, and calling in air, artillery and ground support while under he and his men were under heavy attack by the enemy. That should have no bearing on his ability to handle pressure or give us a picture of his leadership skills.

Personally, I think James Webb would make a fine Vice President, just like I think Colon Powell would make a wonderful President; unfortunately he is not running.

Just think of that ticket "Powell-Webb", now that would be a winner for all Americans, don't you think?

Semper Fidelis!

Posted by: Michael W. Botello | June 7, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I like both Webb and Kaine.

How about Kaine for VP? I didn't see the rally. Does anyone have a good impression of Kaine that they'd like to share?

Posted by: Alice | June 7, 2008 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama will not pick James Webb to be his vice-presidential nominee for many of the same reasons he will not pick Hillary Clinton.

The vice-presidential nominee has to be a combination yes person and cheerleader for the nominee as well as an attack dog. Webb could play the attack dog role well enough but I think he would chafe at being a cheerleader.

Webb is also new to the Senate so an Obama-Webb ticket would be a ticket of rookies. Webb is still somewhat of a hothead although he has calmed down from his early days in office. But he still remains a timebomb that could say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

It is also hard to imagine him playing second fiddle to Obama.

If Webb plays his cards right he could be the presidential nominee in his own right someday without having to serve a painful internship as vice-president and Obama can find someone who more experienced and is a compliment to him instead of pushing Webb onto the center stage before he is ready.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 7, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

George Bush punked John McCain. Jim Webb punked George Bush. Next question?

Posted by: woowrx | June 6, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Webb is a great choice for Obama's VP running mate. He holds the military-security credentials to counter balance Generalissomo McCain's claim that he is the only one we can rely on for the safety of the nation.

Finally, Hillary and her frantic female followers lead me to wonder if they are "closet" McCain supporters, or juneniles who have failed to gain maturity. Obama/Webb are capable of putting a game plan together that relieves the Demos from being blackmailed by Hillary and her minions.

Posted by: Forrest Gerard | June 6, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

George Bush punked John McCain. Jim Webb punked George Bush. Next question?

Posted by: Ervin Sowell | June 6, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Note to EPHEMERELLA: Obviously you're not an Obama supporter just another pitiful republican but you had better get over it,soon and very soon you'll need to realize that OBAMA is right choice,we've had just about enough of the Bush bu** sh## its time for a reality check in this lopsided version of america.Wake up smell some of the bs you're shoveling because its beginning to smell up the joint!!!!

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | June 6, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Webb has one problem. And that is the ladies don't like him because they say some women were dissed under him while in the navy. If he can over come that then I think they would be a winning team.

Posted by: William Wonka III | June 6, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I feel if we all just trust in the Lord...errr... uhh.. Obama then everything will turn out alright.


Posted by: Brock O'Bouma | June 6, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Note to Susan: Looks like you're a little jealous of the Obama "bandwagon" just get a grip girlfriend there will be plenty of time for the issues. I suspect you are disgruntled Hillary supporter or a desperate republican hoping for a miracle come november either way there is no "bandwagon" just americans seeking a candidate they can believe in.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | June 6, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

"I'm just sick of the whole Obama bandwagon effect. Let me stand next to him, no, me! It's like preschool for wannabe celebrity politicians. Let's get to issues, please."

Good luck getting more issues material out of him.

He loses debates and also stinks in interviews where reporters can question him in depth about an issue. The only time he doesn't sound stupid is if he's just chatting it up or giving speeches.

His campaign coverage is all about process because he's a dummy when it comes to issues. He's going to spend the rest of the year dodging debates and putting on a "campaign show" in one staged media event after another.

Posted by: ephemerella | June 6, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: amazed at the stupidity | June 6, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

>>Brock wrote: "Webb is really good at explaining why lower-class whites - especially the Scotch-Irish in the South - resent Affirmative Action."

So Webb would be like the ambassador to Bitter White Trash Land? Like they're the only ones who don't like Affirmative Action?

Obama seems to see White America through the lens of ultra-simplistic stereotypes from Black Racist Land.

HIs presidency will be like a long Good Times episode where the white characters have the depth and complexity of stick figures.

Posted by: ephemerella | June 6, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Jim Webb is currently my favorite choice for Sen. Obama's running mate. My concerns would be on how effective Sen. Webb might be as a campaigner. Also, I believe Obama is forward thinking enough to be thinking of a 16 year run: 8 years for Barack and possibly eight years for his veep after he terms out. He'll want someone young enough to pull that off. That takes a lot of the elder statesmen like Sam Nunn out of consideration. Jim Webb would be a little on the old side but doable. But, is Jim Webbs forward vision for the country in line with where Obama really wants to go? I say he's close enough...

Posted by: Smogrunner | June 6, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm just sick of the whole Obama bandwagon effect. Let me stand next to him, no, me! It's like preschool for wannabe celebrity politicians. Let's get to issues, please.

Posted by: Susan | June 6, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

McCain will play the POW, war hero,National Security card to the hilt.
Webb can trump that and he takes no prisoners.
Peace and love will not be enough in this campaign.

Posted by: Jerry Soriano | June 6, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Webb is a far-from-perfect candidate; three marriages, a hard-core macho former Marine who's written some very graphic novels, and a whole lot of "redneck and proud of it" attitude.

But hey! This working-class white former soldier, married twice, thinks he would be a fine VP for Obama.

What a ticket!

Ask him, Barack! Say yes, Jim!

Posted by: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller | June 6, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an affirmative action choice at best.

Posted by: LarryG62 | June 6, 2008 10:05 PM

Affirmative action IS GEORGE BUSH, a legacy who enjoys the fruits of his father, a man of great intellect and astute calculation, even if not terribly good at government, not unlike Carter.

Obama is an intellect --- albeit having, true enough, relatively short experience in politics at the national scene --- who graduated from Harvard among the very top of his class.

Bush Jr., on the other hand (having attended both Yale and Harvard), is a man who has problems connecting decently complicated English words together,,, when he's not reading from a teleprompter,,,, as Joe Scarborough said...

Bush Jr., therefore, IS the poster child of White affirmative action. It ain't no Obama.

Posted by: Her Lao | June 6, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Great. Obama wants a VP who will give him regular-guy creds. I.e. Webb completes him as a man in the guy demographic.

Sounds like he's giving up on the woman vote.

Posted by: ephemerella | June 6, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Webb is really good at explaining why lower-class whites - especially the Scotch-Irish in the South - resent Affirmative Action. He wants to talk about it and point out how the Scotch-Irish and poorer African-Americans have more in common than either seem aware of. High risk but potentially a breakthrough in the "Solid" South.

Posted by: Brock | June 6, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: daniel lynch | June 6, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I watched Webb's performance at the Obama rally.

He took us on a history tour of 1968 which had no relevance to the Obama rally. He used up 17 minutes of prime television time with his drivel.

This was a rally to bring Obama back before the Virginia voters. All Webb did was push Obama off the local television networks after Obama started his speech.

I saw enough of Webb to know that Senator Obama does not need a self absorbed individual with one issue and with less than 2 years in the Senate as his VP. Leave Webb in the Senate.

Posted by: svbreeder | June 6, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Webb would definitely be good.
As would Biden or Strickland or even Richardson.
There could be a Gore bombshell. Over winter he said he wouldn't be interested. But, on more than one occasion, Obama has said that he "speaks regularly" with Gore. He's already using him for counsel.
Obama/Gore 08
Now that's a ticket!
Nevertheless, I have the strange feeling that whomever Obama chooses, they will be the right person.

Posted by: happywweasel | June 6, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Ohio. Strickland. Ohio.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but Webb's big mouth and big ego won't help the rookie. Obama is an affirmative action choice at best. He's the most liberal member of the senate and his plans for disarming our nation and bending over for our enemies won't cut it.
Webbb is a typical liberal. I remember when he blamed his aide because he got caught carrying his weapon where he shouldn't have. Typical democrat behavior to blame someone else. Pathetic!

Posted by: LarryG62 | June 6, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

A terrific choice. I think this is a winner, especially if Hillary Clinton vouches for him and he spends some time with national feminist leaders talking about some of the past statements. If he can pass their smell test, I think he would be an incredible asset to the campaign.

Posted by: Chuck | June 6, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Was this a news article or an opinion piece?

Most literary pair? Has Mr. MacGillis ever heard of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson?

Please. Obama's written his autobiography (multiple times) and Webb's written a few pornographic novels.

At least try and have a semblence of impartiality.

Posted by: info | June 6, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Heard on the news a few days ago that, over the past 15 years, while "Rev." Wright has been spewing his hate-filled, racist, anti-American, anti-white speeches, and Obama has been "not-hearing" any of that, their "church", which recently gave a Lifetime Achievement award to Louis Farrakhan, has quietly been the recipient of $15,000,000 of our tax dollars! They are probably still getting it!
How'd they arrange to get that much of our tax money, who set that up, do you think? Separation of church and state? Has that been repealed? Do you think anybody should ask Obama if he had anything to do with getting that "church" this money? If he didn't, who did? Shouldn't we know?

Posted by: lightnin | June 6, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

No doubt Webb would be a great campaigner. But what does he bring to the table conecrning the issues we all agreed upon at the start of the nominating campaign: Healthcare, the Economy and the War (spelled: Illegal Invasion and Occupation of Iraq.)

No doubt he's smart, but what does he know, vs. can learn, abot health care issues and and how much experience, and influence, can he bring to bear on the issues?

Or does Obama intend to return the VP job to the "Hang Out in Case I Die and Otherwise Shut Up and Leave Me Alone" status it once had?

Bill Clinton put Al Gore to work, to the great benefit of our country. In doing so, he had to share authority, responsibility and risk.

Can Obama do that?

Posted by: Carl Top Doc | June 6, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Its refreshing to read about Webb as much as to read the text of his introduction. Right now, I just call it Hillary relief. Webb is transparent in an open, honest, intellectual way. It leaves one longing for more.

Posted by: berg1 | June 6, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree Obama should forget about trying to appeal to the bitter and angry Hilary supporters. They likely will never come around. Webb offers so many benefits to Obama -- he looks to be the best choice.

Posted by: Bob, DC | June 6, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I think we have to get over the problem of soothing HRC's supporters. They will not be soothed, and people like that tend to get worse, the more you try to please them.

I think Webb is an outstanding choice, for all the reasons you (who know him better than I) have pointed out. I'm just a carpetbagging Republican hoping we can elect a President with brains, and the leadership skills to sell the voters on the tough choices we must make to turn things around.

Since Tuesday night, the 'Bama has done nothing but sink 3-pointers. He's contained, controlled and defused Hillary's attempted hijacking of the VP spot. Bring on Jim Webb!

Posted by: ted in pdx | June 6, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans and the 527 groups attempt to play misogyny or sexism on Jim Webb, all he has to do is refer to some of John McCain's former statements on his own wife!!!

Posted by: Darren | June 6, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

here are the differences between mccain and obama on the economy:

and the war in iraq:

Posted by: tomabrahams | June 6, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

He's too SMART to be VP? What's this country come to...?

Posted by: ohno! | June 6, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

O yes this guy is a natural, candid, strong, assertive, really excellent. I think he'll be right up near the top of the list. So many of the ideal VP candidates might be cabinet choices and might prefer that type of job. Biden, Edwards, Powell. I also like Tom Daschle for VP and well, I just don't want to see Clinton's mug so much. It's been tedious. She got the mad woman and victim woman vote I guess and the men who don't like black people but she ought not to be so proud of it.

Posted by: Gaias Child | June 6, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't know. Webb has a big temper. They would either be perfect foils for each other or an intolerable pairing. It is said that Barack needs calm. Someone in Washington referred to Webb as a self-guided missle...or something to that effect. As a Virginian, I was not proud of some of his behavior early into his term.

Posted by: penny | June 6, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

In Webb's new book, Time to Fight, he discusses his Senate experience in the context of our unique governance structure, and gives more reasons why now is the time to fight for fairness. That is the same message Obama brings.

Posted by: Jerry Gray | June 6, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

A veep's job during a national election is to be the surrogate attack dog.He can do this better than anyone.

Posted by: joseph marcucilli | June 6, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Like Obama, Webb is a high risk/high reward pick. But on balance, I like their odds. A lot.

Posted by: John from Hardy VA | June 6, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

1. he really gets Virginia in play
2. he was Reagan's Sec'y of Navy - how's them fk'n apples?
3. He's white, straight, and as Rock-Ribbed as they come
4. He'll push back, run attack-dog plays, and won't go hiding under anyones sofa when it gets tough
5. he's bright and thinks well on his feet
6. he's used to working in a chain of command, and won't look to play drama queen or steal spotlight.

mpst of all:

he knows a hell of a lot more about the military than McCain could even imagine.

Posted by: Webb da Man | June 6, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

As a former Marine and current Democrat, I am a huge Webb fan; he greatly complements Obama. But commenter WayneT is correct that Webb's past misogyny could be a liability. Look up his history.

The Hillary supporters, who are already claiming gender-bias, etc., might see a Webb nomination as a slap in the face.

Posted by: Brian | June 6, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

---[]---OBAMA-LEAHEY '08---[]---[][][]-------[][][]--[]


Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | June 6, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Webb has competency, independence and integrity. These are attributes that Obama said he wants in his veep. He also wants his veep to be his last councilor and Webb seems capable for that role.
The man certainly would be a good choice. Being from Virginia is an added plus.

Posted by: gator-ron | June 6, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Webb makes a lot of sense and is great. If he is chosen, rest assured that McCain and some of Hillary's supporters will try and pin him as a sexist and misogynist because of some of his previous writings, which he has apologized for. Their strategy for dealing with such attacks will all important.

Posted by: Rom | June 6, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Would that Chenny & Rumsfield walked a mile in Webb's son's boots. Webb has the fire to offset Oboma's coolness. A potentially great ticket, but a difficult one to hold in balance.

Posted by: TheOldHand | June 6, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for providing a place where I can strongly and enthusiastically support the consideration of Jim Webb as a candidate for the vice-presidency. I would have voted for him for president had he been on the ticket. He seems to be a straight shooter, knows himself WELL, and has the best interests of the country in mind, rather than special interests. Go Jim!!!
Note to Caroline Kennedy, please give him the strongest, unbiased consideration. Lynn Ashley

Posted by: Lynn Ashley | June 6, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh no...the biggest problem with Webb is that he is too Intellectual? And That Obama is also too cerebral? God help us...two highly intelligent, literate men as POTUS and VEEP. What is America coming to?

In all seriousness, I am a woman and I love the idea of Webb running with Obama, but I do realize that some women will not be thrilled with some of his past comments vis a vis women in the Military.

Posted by: Hold_That_Tiger | June 6, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Webb is overflowing with the qualities that Obama will honor in a Veep candidate. He would be a great addition to the ticket and must be near the top of the list. Apparently the many 'prediction markets' think so, too. He has the best odds going.

There is only one knock I see and it could be a big one: Webb has a bit of a trail of misogynistic remarks. Many of these stem from his time serving in, and for, the military. he openly objected to the burgeoning roles women were taking in the service. He has since backtracked on these and fought against them in his Senate campaign. Still, with the amount of women angry with Hillary's loss, Webb would seem a bit of a risk. Perhaps it is only possible by offsetting Webb with some prominent role for Hillary on the campaign that would lead to her and some of her key female allies getting cabinet positions.

Posted by: WayneT | June 6, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"If you're in a fight, and we're going to be in a fight, you want Jim Webb to have your back," --B. Obama

You got that right!

Obama/Webb 08

Posted by: PaigeInPhilly | June 6, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Wow | June 6, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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