Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb carefully weighs 2016 bid
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb was one of the first out of the gate to announce an exploratory committee and begin the process of considering a 2016 presidential campaign. Since that time, he’s been traveling and speaking with voters around the country to determine if he can garner support to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. After a few months of exploring, Webb is still carefully considering his options.
Report from the Washington Times:
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said Sunday that he will run for president in 2016 if he can be convinced that he can compete financially without selling out on the core issues he wants to push on the campaign trail.
The decorated Vietnam veteran and former Navy secretary, who has flirted with a White House run since November, said Sunday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” that he is still trying to figure out if he could launch a viable bid.
“We’re listening, talking to people, about the issues, but also having to make a judgment about whether you can actually put together the type of funding to compete and still be independent,” Mr. Webb said, adding that he would enter the race “under the right circumstances.”
Mr. Webb, 69, is considered a long-shot for the Democratic nomination, with polls showing former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton well ahead of potential rivals, including Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
“It’s impossible to overstate how difficult it will be for a non-Hillary Clinton candidate to gain traction, donor money and endorsements the later we get in the cycle and the more her nomination feels like a fait accompli,” said Democratic strategist Christy Setzer. “But to the extent there’s room in the Democratic primary, it’s to the left of Clinton — not a space Webb naturally occupies.”
The argument basically constructs that Jim Webb would be challenging Hillary to the right, which may be a bit too far to the right for many Democrats. Since that is the case, Webb’s campaign may hinge on how far to the left Hillary moves in adopting some of Elizabeth Warren’s views to prevent a challenge to her left, where she is arguably the most vulnerable (as witnessed in 2008). Webb has an uphill battle but he also has the advantage of a very small field willing to challenge Hillary. As a result, his message won’t be entirely drowned out by a dozen other contenders.