February 9, 2011

"Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, has decided not to run for re-election..."

"...  avoiding a blockbuster rematch with the man he beat in 2006, George Allen, and giving Senate Republicans another opportunity to help them reclaim the majority."

Care to speculate on why Webb won't put up with a second electoral encounter with Allen?  Or should I say why he doesn't feel enough affinity for Senate Democrats to want to help them keep their numbers up?

97 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Care to speculate on why Webb won't put up with a second electoral encounter with Allen? Or should I say why he doesn't feel enough affinity for Senate Democrats to want to help them keep their numbers up?

I'd say it's because he's a good man and he's sick of the lot of you.

wv: "borat" - the rest of you can make it up.

t-man said...

I would have said that too, Crack, if he hadn't voted in favor of Obamacare and the rest of the laws that were shoved down our throats between 2008 and 2010.

Scott M said...

The latter. His party is moving away from him and he's sick of the game. That being said, isn't this a bit of a bellwether? My take was that the Dems were counting on Webb in 2012.

raf said...

If Webb had already decided not to run again before the Obamacare vote, you would think he wouldn't have succumbed to pressure from the D leadership to vote for it. So either he thought that was the right thing to do and now realizes that it has doomed him to defeat, or he did go along with his leadership and now holds it against them.

I wonder if he thought about switching parties to preserve his seat?

Lincolntf said...

He won last time only by the dint of an all-out MSM campaign to make Allen into a foaming xenophobe. Without having a similar "fix" in for 2012, he knows he'd get waxed.

Pogo said...

Barring some brewing scandal, I would guess his internal numbers must look reeeeally bad for an incumbent to step away now.

MadisonMan said...

He wants to go where the real money is....lobbying.

Original Mike said...

"Or should I say why he doesn't feel enough affinity for Senate Democrats to want to help them keep their numbers up?"

He never struck me as one who suffered fools gladly.

Hoosier Daddy said...

He wants to go where the real money is....lobbying.

You know Madison Man I am working my muscular buttocks off trying to win the title of this blog's biggest cynic and you're not making it any easier.

CJinPA said...

George Allen. Yay?

peter hoh said...

I suspect that he doesn't want to go down as someone who lost his Senate seat.

And yeah, being a former Senator should be more lucrative than being a Senator.

virgil xenophon said...

Original Mike@1:32/

Methinks Webb has just realized that he's looking at the Capt. of the Titanic in Obama and doesn't want to be asked to help re-arrange the deck-chairs any more..

Original Mike said...

Webb did say he told Obama that pushing ObamaCare would be a "disaster".

garage mahal said...

Rats. Sinking ship. He didn't leave the party, it left him. Hahahahaha.

Mark said...

There's always the possibility that he's considering mounting a primary challenge to Obama. Somebody will.

Tony said...

When you think about, the Dems essentially stole several Senate seats in the last few elections including Webb, Lautenberg, Franken, Patty Murray. Without those seats, they would not have had a Senate majority.

Mad Man- I believe Webb has made plenty of money writing books.

edutcher said...

Webb has turned his political coat about three times in his life. Trying to stay on the side of the incoming tide would be pushing it, particularly since he's in the Senate because a more popular candidate had to be Alinskyized to get him there.

1jpb said...

Defense Sec?

aronamos said...

Gates is on his way out so SecDef is a possibility. Also, he's a crap politician. Hates the game, the fundraising, the pressing of the flesh, fingers on the wallet ... and he was probably sure he'd lose.

I'm not a fan of George Allen, because I think he's an elitist dumbass. I really wish Tom Davis (my former congressman) would run.

EDH said...

edutcher said...
Webb has turned his political coat about three times in his life. Trying to stay on the side of the incoming tide would be pushing it...

Maybe Webb's gonna hook-up with Arianna Huffinton?

wv-"saulex" = ask your doctor about saulex, if you ever had qualms about picking a target, freezing it, personalizing it, polarizing it, cutting off the support network and isolating the target from sympathy.

Bill Harshaw said...

Believe it or not, he doesn't enjoy being a politician, doing the glad-handing, meeting people, especially asking for money. He'd rather write or do movies.

sean said...

I think he only ran for senator as a way to stick it to George Bush and Dick Cheney. He achieved that, but was stuck with a boring job for six years. He doesn't want to be a quitter, so he'll serve out the rest of his term, but he has no reason to seek another.

Bob_R said...

I have this theory that the minute you take the oath in the US Senate your IQ starts decreasing. I think Webb took a look at Joe Biden, had a Flowers for Algernon moment, and decided to quit.

Lem said...

This is the guy that was nasty to Bush when the president asked him how his son was doing.

edutcher said...

EDH said...
edutcher said...

Webb has turned his political coat about three times in his life. Trying to stay on the side of the incoming tide would be pushing it...

Maybe Webb's gonna hook-up with Arianna Huffinton?


Their life would be a psychoanalytic version of phone tag.

1jpb said...

Defense Sec?

Don't count on it. Sen Scots- (as opposed to Scotch-)Irish was a mess as Navy Secretary under Reagan and managed to alienate practically everyone with whom he came into contact.

That said, given the current Administration's apparent goal of scaling new heights of incompetence daily, he just might find a home there.

AllenS said...

I remember that, Lem. No class.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

I wonder if he thought about switching parties to preserve his seat?


Uh, you realize that he WAS, once, a Republican, right? I’d tie Specter in party reversals, if he switches BACK.

I’d further point out that it’s not just Allen who was a “threat” but the Nutroots of the D party. Webb is a sexist and bigot, and if he hadn’t been running against s Conservative Republican the National Democratic Movement, Liberals, and the Nutroots would NEVER have backed him. Now, that he’s in, they weren’t likely to support him….When I say ‘sexist” I mean were he e Republican, STILL, his comments on womyn in the military would have haunted ‘til Doomsday…and since just prior to the election he wrote Born Fighting an encomium to Rednecks, i.e., White Anglo-Scottish immigrants residing in the Appalachians, his praise would have been labeled “racism” and “insensitive” to People of Colour. Summation: Jim Webb was NOT George Allen so the Democratic party liked him, but now not so much, and there would be those who would primary him because he isn’t Progressive enough.

jerryofva said...

I was a civilian on the OPNAV staff when Webb was appointed SECNAV. We were all happy when he arrived and even happier when he left. He was a great disapointment. When things don't go his way he quits.

Fred4Pres said...

I do not care for Webb's politics. They are muddled and he should have known better. But I still like him. Some of his criticism of the GOP has merit. I think he is a good guy. I also think he really is disgusted with his own party and is sick of it.

Megaera said...

As one of his unfortunate constituents, I can testify that he is inaccessible to anyone whose views are not 100% congruent with his own, and his offices are staffed with 30-somethings who take great pains to get that message across. I would find arguments for his personal integrity marginally compelling were it not for his down-the-line votes for a policy he openly considers disastrous -- and still voted for as recently as last week, when it could have made little or no difference beyond the symbolic. What I gather from his pronouncement is that he is making it clear to the people of Virginia that he now owes them nothing, even the de minimis obligation of respecting their opinions, and will spend the next two years jamming his thumb into his contituents' eyesockets at every possible turn with the greatest possible glee. In short. he is a truly repulsive piece of work, a back-stabbing bastard who lives down to his Border reaver ancestors' treachery and dishonor.

Sloanasaurus said...

The writing is on the Wall. Webb is sure to lose this fall if he stayed in.

garage mahal said...

PPP Poll: Dem Jim Webb Leads Potential Virginia Senate Challengers

Republican George Allen, who barely lost to Webb in 2006, trails 49-45 in the poll. Webb's leads reach double-digits against Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, 49-38, and 49-39 against Ken Cuccinelli, the state's far-right Attorney General.

Doesn't sound like he quit because of any polling.

mm said...

Webb's passionate about his issues but not easily 'distracted' by other considerations. Not much 'compromise' in his DNA. I'd guess he's not wild about much of the company he keeps in the Senate. Honest, sometimes to a fault, and driven to meet his own standards. Before thinking he might replace Gates as SecDef, please review his tenure as SecNav.

Kirk Parker said...

Tony,

"the Dems essentially stole several Senate seats ... including Webb ... Patty Murray"

Sorry, sir, I think you're conflating Rossi's earlier campaign for governor, where the margin was by any fair appraisal smaller than the accuracy attainable by the system (especially a system run by the keystone kops at King County Elections!) with last fall's senatorial contest where Murray (alas) beat Rossi by a fairly respectable 4.75% margin.

LarsPorsena said...

"PPP Poll: Dem Jim Webb Leads Potential Virginia Senate Challengers

Republican George Allen, who barely lost to Webb in 2006, trails 49-45 in the poll. Webb's leads reach double-digits against Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, 49-38, and 49-39 against Ken Cuccinelli, the state's far-right Attorney General.

Doesn't sound like he quit because of any polling"

That was a 17 Nov 2010 poll.
You think that he could be looking at something more recent?

Brent said...

Doesn't sound like he quit because of any polling.

Actually, we don't know what the "internal" polling - always more targeted and detailed - show. For example, Webb might have found a weak 49 % to a strong 45% for Allen. There might be a huge enthusiasm gap.

I don't see any realistic scenario whereby the Republicans do NOT take the Senate - it's demographics and the number of seats the Dems will have to defend is TWICE the amount of Republicans up for election in 2012, baby!

My prediction here in February 2011:
Obama is re-elected, Republicans take the Senate and grow the margin in retaining the House.

Demographics, baby!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

He wrote a very nice book in Fields of Fire, after that well he went down hill.

traditionalguy said...

Webb can read the handwriting on the wall. There will be no more blue dog democrats saying they are culturally like Palin, but must vote Dem to help protect the status in life of poor whites. Palin has shined such a clear bright light on that story that even Lindsey Graham is probably toast.

Chef Mojo said...

Webb knows he won in '06 by only 9329 votes in a very good year for Democrats and after Allen's own goal over "macacca." He knows that's not going to repeat itself. He's a realist who counted on the vote from Golden Crescent (NOVA-Hampton Roads) and the depressed vote for Allen. Allen is immensely popular with Republicans in Virginia, and the momentum is with the republicans.

But the short answer is that he's a total dick, and Virginians know it, whether they're for him or against him.

Protestations to the contrary, Virginia Democrats will be happy not to have to deal with him anymore.

The Crack Emcee said...

Lem,

This is the guy that was nasty to Bush when the president asked him how his son was doing.

I forgot about that. Yea, damned shitty move.

Almost Ali said...

Wasn't Webb one of Glenn's favorites?

A big disappointment, I'd say. A man (Webb) of military distinction, but with a penchant for political street walking.

John said...

I used to have a high opinion of Webb. Until he let his aide spend a day or so in jail for carry his (Webb's) gun in DC.

If Webb had any sense of shame or decency he would have resigned in Feb 2007.

What a sleaze. He can't leave fast enough for me.

John Henry

Fred4Pres said...

I do not care is Webb is an asshole to other politicians, the press and to those out side his state. It may not be wise for him to be an such an asshole, but I like plenty of assholes--including a few who post here. It is their assholeness that makes them interesting.

Webb's response to Bush was classless and not something I endorse (I would be gracious to President Obama in a situation, because there is not reason not to be gracious in such a circumstance, even if you disagree with them on many issues). But if he wants to act like a rude bore to the President, that is his right. It reflects poorly on him, but that is not a huge deal to me.

But Webb absolutely should not be disrespectful to his own constituents. That is completely unacceptable. He is elected and represents everyone in State of Virgina. And if he treates his constituents like that he deserves to be horsewhipped. And I do mean litterally.

David said...

Webb has always been a flake.

Bender said...

Care to speculate on why Webb won't put up with a second electoral encounter with Allen?

As a Virginian, let me say that Webb has been a total non-entity. All are to be forgiven if they do not even know that he is a senator (same can be said of Mark Warner).

I would venture to say that he simply is not all that interested in the job.

madawaskan said...

This guy fooled everyone e with his- "Jacksonian Democrat" schtick and there are probably a boat load of old campaign commercials where he pretends to care about the debt, gun rights , etc.

I've been looking forward to this guy's scalp on a platter for awhile now.

How he conned most of the Virginia voters is astonishing.

The signal that the voters woke up is McDonell's election,which was a landslide.

Reminds me of West Virginia's new senator-didn't
he have commercials where he shot signs of ObamaCare?

Did he vote to repeal ObamaCare?

Phil 3:14 said...

There are parts of Webb that I liked/admired. However, I can't shake this:

Wednesday's Washington Post reported that at a White House reception for newly elected members of Congress, Webb ``tried to avoid President Bush,'' refusing to pass through the reception line or have his picture taken with the president. When Bush asked Webb, whose son is a Marine in Iraq, ``How's your boy?'' Webb replied, ``I'd like to get them (sic) out of Iraq.'' When the president again asked, ``How's your boy?'' Webb replied, ``That's between me and my boy.'' Webb told the Post:

``I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall. No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. (But) leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is.''


At his core, he doesn't seem happy. i don't think he much liked the job of Senator.

former law student said...

My guess: Webb lost the macaca vote.

Ralph L said...

The WH reporter who wrote The Nightingale's Song (joint biography of McFarlane, Poindexter, North, McCain & Webb) in 1994 really liked Webb but admitted he could be an ass. I think the book was intended to take North, who ran for Senate that year, down a notch. The author thought Reagan was an airhead, so his judgement is questionable.

The Crack Emcee said...

Webb's an odd bird but - I can't shake it - there's something about the guy I like. Maybe I've bought into the "principled Democrat" schtick too much, or something, but all I can say is let the guy go in peace.

Chef Mojo said...

Now that Webb is out of the way, I'm really looking forward to seeing who the Dems toss into the lion's den. For pure entertainment value, I'm hoping it's Creigh Deeds. I do so love seeing that guy get his ass kicked in an election. After all, Deeds has run for just about everything in Virginia, why not the Senate?

As far as Allen being elitist and patrician? Hell, Virginians like their state politicos that way. It's a feature, not a bug.

Sixty Grit said...

He is an amoral opportunist who could best serve the nation by never being seen or heard from again. Good riddance, you turncoat.

WV: phook - what Scotsman say.

Mwalimu Daudi said...

I for one will not miss Senator Macaca when he retires.

Jay Vogt said...

I'd say he's macacca

un said...

Joe the Crypto Jew said
'his comments on womyn'

Seriously, Joe: 'womyn'?


I bet you say/write 'HER story' for history when 'history' is NOT made up of the words 'his story'.

Grow up.

knox said...

The president approached Webb later and asked him, "How's your boy?", referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq. Webb replied "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President." Bush responded, "That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?" Webb responded, "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."

Why is Bush always portrayed as a hick philistine, yet he is consistently a class-act in the face of assholes?

GWB, I disagree with a lot of what you did, but I respect the heck out of you. Not many politicians I can say that about.

knox said...

I wikipediaed that Webb guy and he just looks like a jackass. Some people you can just tell.

MadisonMan said...

He is an amoral opportunist who could best serve the nation by never being seen or heard from again. Good riddance, you turncoat.

This can be said of all politicians in DC.

MadisonMan said...

Well, except the women. You'd have to say She then.

madAsHell said...

Wait!

There's a competition for biggest cynic?!?!

Can I play? Where do I sign up?

Chas S. Clifton said...

I'm no expert on George Allen, but he does know all the words to "The Bonnie Blue Flag." and sang them in a movie, right?

Peano said...

No speculation is needed. He explained himself long ago:

"I've been warning them. I've been having discussions with our leadership ever since I've been up here. I decided to run as a Democrat because I happen to strongly believe in Jacksonian democracy. There needs to be one party that very clearly represents the interests of working people.... I'm very concerned about the transactional nature of the Democratic Party. It's evolved too strongly into interest groups rather than representing working people, including small business people."

Gene said...

I remember Webb's little dust up with George Bush but in my opinion it is Webb who comes out of that affair with honor. Bush knew that Webb considered the Iraq war an astonishing blunder, so when Bush asked Webb at a reception, "how's your son?" Webb, quite truthfully replied, "I'd like to get them out of Iraq."

The president, if he wanted to be gracious or, if he'd had any of the combat experience that Webb did, could have said, "Believe me, that's what I'd like to do too, And I will, as soon as I can."

Instead, snapped back, "That's not what I asked you. How's your son?"

Just not very classy in a president, or, for that matter, in anyone else.

1jpb said...

I think that Gore would say that W was being snippy when he scolded Webb for not answering his question.

But, this time he didn't hint that the fix was in because his bro was going to put an end to Webb's campaign.

Do the W lovers here really not see that the guy is an obnoxious smart ass, at times.

And, all things considered,l I'd say that Webb suffered more for our country than W did. And, imho, that's worth something, even if there are other ways where W exceeded the accomplishments/service of Webb.

Fred4Pres said...

Gene, I do not remember it that way, but then again I was not there. In response to the President's question, Webb could have said, "He is doing fine Mr. President. Thanks for asking. But could I ask you to please get them all home as soon as possible."

The office warrants polite responses, even if you disagree with the man holding the office. They can be honest and direct, but polite.

David said...

How about a chorus or two of "Mr. Lee?"

1jpb said...

I hope he doesn't have a no shirt problem.

pplassm said...

I for one, will be sad to see Jim Webb go. I did not vote for him, but he has impressed me as aman of integrity and honor. I believe he is conflicted with the thrust of the current administration and his chosen party.

Good luck and following winds, Senator!

veni vidi vici said...

Is George Allen married to Gracie Burns?

PaulV said...

I think Webb is upset that surge worked and has a problem admitting he was wrong. He used his son's boots as campaign prop. By bitterly clinging to a hope of defeat, his son and his fellow heroes proved Webb wrong.

PaulV said...

I think Webb is upset that surge worked and has a problem admitting he was wrong. He used his son's boots as campaign prop. By bitterly clinging to a hope of defeat, his son and his fellow heroes proved Webb wrong.

PaulV said...

ijb. well you are the expert in smart asses

Thor's Dad said...

Rumors abound here in the People's Republic of Charlottesville that Tom Perriello (formerly of the VA5 - barely winning the first time and soundly trounced in Nov) might enter the race for the Senate. He has all that experience from his 2 years in congress as Nancy's poodle...

Jim said...

Webb must know that "macaca" isn't going to work this time.

Kirk Parker said...

"he knows he'd get waxed."

NTTAWWT.

Kirk Parker said...

(I had nothing further to say, but the next WV is so priceless...)

wv: prunmega -- for those times when you're really, really stopped up.

jerryofva said...

John:

It wasn't the first aide he hung out to dry. His EA at the Navy Department was a friend of mine. She heard about his resignation on the news. He didn't tell her in advance or help her find a new job. Just left her swinging in the wind. Kind of finished her career in government too.

Ralph L said...

Instead, snapped back, "That's not what I asked you. How's your son?"
It was a social event--not a time to make political points. The Prez was right to call him on breaking the rules.

E.M. Davis said...

FLS beat me to it.

1jpb said...

"well you are the expert in smart asses"

Maybe, but only if being one counts as expertise.




"It was a social event--not a time to make political points. The Prez was right to call him on breaking the rules."

That's right. Just because Webb felt that W's leadership had resulted in the needless suffering and deaths of brave Americans doesn't entitle him to be a party pooper. Get your priorities straight.

Revenant said...

Instead, [Bush] snapped back, "That's not what I asked you. How's your son?"

The lesson Webb learned here is that if you're going to act self-important, don't do it while talking to the most powerful man in the world.

Ralph L said...

Get your priorities straight
Do you think Bush might already have known Webb's opinion of the war? Instead he put himself on the President's shit list. Smart move.

shana said...

Web's campaign constantly made fun of George Allen's middle name, which is Felix. I thought that was a low blow-what the hell could Allen do about that?
Anyway, after making hay out of Allen's middle name in 2006, it was funny to see Democrats declare Barack Obama's middle name off limits in 2008. Do as I say, not as I do, right?
Webb had a lot of promise but as one of his constituents, I found him pretty disappointing, whereas Allen's office was actually helpful.

WV: falin. O how the mighty have.

Jones in CO said...

we fully expect the Washington Post to trot out 'macaca' again

it worked last time

RuyDiaz said...

"Web's campaign constantly made fun of George Allen's middle name, which is Felix."

Felix is a Jewish name/last name. Classy move.

Franklin said...

Virginians remember what happens when they listen to the WaPo's race baiting and won't be fooled again. Macaca? That was the stupidest nonsensical non story in history until the Formerly mainstream media started talking about people being mean and racist to Obama when they didn't like his policies.

As said on the Daily Show - the race card is over its limit and invalid when we have a black president. Thats why Webb would lose.

Famous Original Mike said...

As the Who says, "we won't get fooled again!"

Sean said...

Why yes, yes I would.

Because after having met Jim Webb personally and professionally on several occasions I can tell you he is a blowhard who thinks he's the smartest person in the room on any given day.

As such, he feels he shouldn't have to associate with the great unwashed that is the U.S. Senate.

Any questions?

Roger J. said...

Mr Webb's ego is much bigger than his actual ability--

Kim said...

"...even Lindsey Graham is probably toast."

I just felt a thrill run down my leg.

kcom said...

Speaking of toast, something hit me when I read this line from Joe early in the thread.

"[He'd] tie Specter in party reversals, if he switches BACK."

It's my first conscious awareness that Arlen Specter is now, officially, finally, and for all time, an EX-senator. He's gone. Good riddance. I wonder what old snarlin' Arlen is doing? Hopefully, whimpering in a corner somewhere. He could have left with dignity but it was beyond him.

PaulV said...

Webb supporter claimed that Allen was Jewish because he motheer was borned Jewish. Shades of the one drop racial theory. Can't say that now because it would make Obama a muslim because his father was. Some progress here.

Ralph L said...

Allen found out during the 2006 campaign that his mother was Jewish.

Sixty Grit said...

PaulV - your knowledge of Judaism is even less than your ability to write in English.

J said...

As a resident of Virginia, I can't wait for the day that JC Watts can be my Senator.

former law student said...

Allen found out during the 2006 campaign that his mother was Jewish.

Halakhically, Allen's mother's not Jewish. Her dad was, not her mom.

Megaera said...

J - he was my Representative for several terms, and did as good a job as any: if he ran I'd consider him a wholly reasonable candidate. If the alternative was Warner or Webb he'd be my choice in a heartbeat.