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Posted at 8:13 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Webb sheds light on decision to retire

By Ben Pershing

One day after announcing he would not run for reelection in 2012, Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) shed a sliver more light Thursday evening on why he made that choice.

Appearing on a panel at the National Press Club to discuss the foreign policy of President Ronald Reagan, Webb was asked by moderator Andrea Mitchell to explain his decision.

"I'm honored to be in the Senate ... but this was really my wife and family and I sitting down and saying, 'How do we want to spend the next eight years?'" Webb answered.

Webb didn't give any real reasons behind the decision when he announced it Wednesday. But he had made clear previously that his family's wishes would play heavily in his thinking. And he emphasized that he did consider it an eight-year decision, including a two-year reelection campaign.

Ex-Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) also appeared on the Reagan panel. Shifting off the evening's topic for a moment, Warner praised Webb for his service, particularly his role in getting the new GI Bill passed into law.

"That's your hallmark of greatness in the United States Senate," Warner said.

By Ben Pershing  | February 10, 2011; 8:13 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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I forgot that Senator Webb has a young daughter until he announced his retirement. I saw a picture of him and his wife with their young daughter, and immediately I realized why he retired. He is lucky to still look so young at 65, and he knows his family deserves that time now. Good for you, Sen.Webb! You understand family values.

Posted by: slydell | February 11, 2011 6:29 AM | Report abuse

"Moderate" Webb took a hard left turn, and followed Fidel Obama off the liberal cliff. Thanks for selling out our country, and more specifically, Virginia Jimbo. 'Preciate it..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 11, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I understand why you decided to retire, Senator, and I know it was the right decision for your family. You have been an honest steward for Virginia, representing a wide variety of viewpoints with tact and integrity, and I thank you for your service. That said, I hope you will consider continuing in the unelected position of senior statesman, providing opinions, guidance and support for our poor state as she tries desperately to join the 21st century, despite being dragged backwards into the past by those who can't let it go. We can certainly use a few level heads and honest hearts in this effort!

Posted by: momcatusa1 | February 11, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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