Will Tim Kaine’s Democratic Predecessor Vote Against Hillary?
At a time when some Republicans say they won’t vote for Donald Trump, here’s a Democrat who says he might: former Democratic Presidential Candidate, and former Virginia Senator, Jim Webb. US News & World Report says Webb won’t vote for Hillary:
Former Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb, whose centrist campaign folded not long after the first primary debate, said Friday he won’t vote for party front-runner Hillary Clinton – and is open to giving Republican favorite Donald Trump his vote instead.
“No, I would not vote for Hillary Clinton,” said Webb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia, when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if he could support her. When it comes to Trump, he added, “I’m not sure yet. I don’t know who I’m gonna vote for.”
Though he served with her in the Senate, “it’s nothing personal about Hillary Clinton,” Webb told hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist. A vote for Clinton, he said, is a vote for the status quo, while a vote for Trump is a vote to blow up a gridlocked, dysfunctional system of government.
Webb is also an outsider. If Hillary had been smart, she would have contributed to the Webb campaign, to keep him in the running. In that case, Hillary could have appeared to be the “moderate” between liberal Sanders and conservative Webb.
It’s not surprising that Webb would mull crossing over from the party he would have represented in the White House to pull the lever for Trump, who’s taken the GOP by storm – against the will of party elites – this election cycle.
A Vietnam War veteran, Webb was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, and he ran and won his Senate seat in 2008 as a moderate Democrat when the re-election campaign of incumbent, Sen. George Allen, a Republican, imploded after he committed a racially-tinged gaffe.
While in the Senate, Webb was a champion for rural working-class white voters whom he believed had been abandoned by Democrats; his short-lived bid for the White House was predicated on winning them back.
Elsewhere, I suggested that Trump should consider Webb as a running mate. It’s not a wild idea. In 2004, John McCain really wanted to pick Independent Joe Lieberman. However, basically, the Republican establishment said no. This year, nobody can tell Trump no.
Actually, for months before the convention, gamblers [ElectionBettingOdds.com] were betting that Trump might pick Webb—well, with a 3% chance.
Apparently, I’m not the only one thinking this way. There’s this from Hot Air:
Exit question via Ben Shapiro: What about … Jim Webb as a VP to Trump? That’s a fascinating possibility given their shared appeal to the white, working-class, Jacksonian demographic that’s fueling Trumpmania. A fusion ticket with a Democrat as number two would also give Trump a strong argument against Hillary that not only does he represent a break from politics as usual, he has respected members of her own party choosing him over her as the superior option in November. My main knock on Trump/Webb, though, is that it amplifies Trump’s strengths without doing much about his weaknesses. How does Webb help him with jittery Republican establishmentarians or rock-ribbed conservatives? Webb makes sense only if Trump thinks there are so many votes up for grabs in the center of the electorate that he can jettison the right entirely. Who knows? Maybe he can.
OK, both tickets are set, and it’s too late to make a third-party race if you’re not already on state ballots. So this will not be the year for Jim Webb. And now, there’s a question whether Webb will really vote against Hillary.
His statement against her was before Tim Kaine was picked as her running mate. Kaine ran for Webb’s Virginia senate seat, when Webb decided not to run again. Perhaps the Kaine connection will change Webb’s mind.
In fact, we haven’t been able to find serious Democratic politicians who refuse to support Hillary. Newest reports are that a full 90% of Bernie fans are already coming around to support the party nominee.
So Democrats seem relatively united, but they don’t have much enthusiasm. Meanwhile, Trump has brought many new people into the GOP—and they are diehards—so maybe it won’t hurt him that he has alienated so many establishment Republicans (including the last three nominees, the entire Bush family, many major donors, the Weekly Standard, and others).
Also as we said elsewhere, the polls may be way off, since many Trump supporters are dubious about any authority, including pollsters, so they don’t say they really like Trump.