The Democratic field of presidential candidates expanded today with the announcement by former one-term U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. Former senator Jim Webb announces presidential bid. I share Ed Kilgore’s deep skepticism about Webb. Webb Jumps From Frying Pan to Fire:
In a pretty clear indication that he doesn’t care much for the advice of people like me, former Senator Jim Webb leapt into the 2016 presidential race without further clarifying his rather anachronistic views on the display of Confederate emblems, or for that matter, doing much of anything else in preparation. The announcement came via his own web page and social media promotion of same, unless I’m missing something.
I don’t think the announcement itself broke a lot of new policy ground, though he did signal a potential opposition to an Iranian nuke deal, and rattled the saber a bit at China. He took credit (as is appropriate to some extent) for growing bipartisan interest in criminal justice reform, and claimed, without much in the way of specifics, that he’ll foster a similar breakthrough on immigration reform.
You have to wonder when Webb’s going to acknowledge that it’s not his policy positions, but his attitudes on cultural issues—not just Confederate imagery, but equality for women, where he was not the most progressive figure back when he was Ronald Reagan’s Navy Secretary—that are most in question among the kind of people whose support he needs—you know, Democrats. There are also issues with his political instincts and understanding of what it takes to run a presidential campaign.
So let’s see, this means we now have former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Governor Martin O’Malley, Republican-turned-Democrat former Senator Lincoln Chaffee, and former Senator Jim Webb.
We are still waiting on the Veep, “Smokin’ Joe” Biden to declare his intentions, but he gets a pass because he is still in mourning over the death of his son last month.