Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has always been a bit more moderate on most issues than his colleagues in the Democratic Party. He’s mostly pro-gun and a fairly strong hawk when it comes to matters of foreign policy. Also recall Webb’s time serving as Navy secretary under President Reagan. Webb has been floated before as someone who can bring in a lot of independent voters to the presidential field as he did in Virginia winning a Senate seat in 2006.

Report from the Washington Examiner:

Add former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb to the list of potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates.

During his speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the former secretary of the Navy said he is “seriously looking at the possibility of running for president.”

Webb, who was recently called “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s worst nightmare” by the New York Times, said he would decide within the next four to five months.

During his speech, he tweeted: “A lot of people running for President seem to skip past the realities of governing into the circus of the political debate.”

Webb reiterated the importance of rebalancing the relationship between Congress and the president during his speech.

If he runs, Webb will face a tough road: Hillary Clinton currently holds a 54-point lead in the RealClearPolitics average of polls of the Democratic presidential primary.

Perhaps he’s Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare because he would run a bit to her right? I’m not quite sure why he’s being labeled as so potent to the Clinton brand. Perhaps it would eat up some independents who see her as a bit too far left but feel she’s less so than other Democrats in the field. Having Webb in the mix might give them a home leaving Hillary fighting off attacks from her left.

With all that being said, the Washington Post has compiled a list of four reasons why Webb as a presidential candidate is the worst idea ever. Most notably may be the general disdain for Webb from the Democratic base who see him as too conservative on several issues or generally outside the mainstream of progressive politics.


  1. Ha. I’ve been saying for a long time that the two most powerful Democratic candidates would be Webb and Jerry Brown. Their only real negative is their age.

    Nate doesn’t elaborate on the Post’s article, so here are their four negatives: (1) He left the Senate disgruntled–only a sane person would!!, (2) They think he’s a dove, which is silly–he just doesn’t like senseless wars, (3) They think he has negative charisma. Well, he’s no Bill Clinton, but he is tough, and after eight years of the Thinker-in-Chief, I think America wants tough, and (4) He has alienated liberals. And that’s supposed to be a negative?? Where else do they have to go? Would they really vote Green Party?

    Reagan caused a major realignment, by appealing to NeoCons and white macho men. The GOP should be very, very worried, because I think Webb might have the capability of bringing them back to FDR’s party–he’s tough, he’s from the South (proudly), he’s centrist.

    I see him as most like Harry Truman, who was underrated since he followed FDR, but was a tough Southern centrist who beat Dewey.

    Hillary is the one with baggage and awkwardness. Webb would blow her away.

    • …except.. he’d have to win a Democratic Primary filled with voters who are not prone to vote for him if given the option to vote for someone else.

      FDR’s party is over and they already swept the floors, turned out the lights, and locked the door.

      I’d agree, the GOP should worry about Webb.. if he had a chance to become a Dem nominee.

      How does he get past Iowa who voted for Obama over Clinton? Then onto other states which favored Obama over Clinton.. In fact, how does he get past Clinton?

      • Argh. I had a long response and when I pushed “post,” it ate it.

        Anyway, I said something like people vote for ideology, but they also vote to win. A tough Democrat would be a novelty that would be very attractive.

        Obama didn’t beat Hillary because he was more liberal. He beat her because he had personality. She simply does not.

        Webb is a badass who would make mincemeat of everybody but Rand Paul on the other side. I think Dems will be seduced by that, even if they’d personally like to see Elizabeth Warren run.

        • I think the gun control issue would seriously hurt him in the primaries. The base of the DNC hates guns in general. A Webb aide was caught during screening entering the capital building because Webb accidentally left his sidearm (which is awesome) in the briefcase his aide was bringing to his office. He’s not exactly going to win Bloomberg’s approval..

          I suppose he could soften up during the primaries.. but then what’s his appeal?

  2. Chasing and spending extensive money on courting moderate and independent voters will be a thing of the past. Gov. Romney sought and won independent voters overwhelmingly but still lost the election. The new idea from the left is to take “direct mailing’ one step further through left wing collaboration and thriving politically by satisfying to your base.

    Below is an article entitled “Catalist; Obama’s Database For Fundamentally Transforming America”

    • I didn’t realize how well Romney did with independents. No wonder there was that much GOP hand-wringing after the election. In 2012, there was a lot of disenchantment with Obama that you’re not going to see again.

  3. In regard to Sen. Webb one needs only to look at the news to know that the left is not looking for moderate voters nor do the big money donors who fund these issues wish the country to go anywhere but left. Climate change, immigration, and transforming America are their objectives. They’ll reluctantly tackle other issues like the threat of ISIS only when they are forced to. Therefore Sen. Webb is definitely “outside the mainstream of Progressive politics” as Nate states. In addition waiting 4 or 5 months to decide doesn’t give him much time to court big donors that aren’t all ready tied up to other candidates.

    This is the way I see it ……..I’m sure others see the country leaning rightward and thus Sen. Webb having a chance.

  4. I doubt that that the generation to which I belong will see a man equivalent to Jim Webb again. A highly independent thinker and a glaring symbol of Marine machismo. I cannot say that I agreed with all the votes he cast in congress,such as gun control but I was very comfortable with his stance on civil rights, abortion, foreign policy, the environment, free trade, voter ID and healthcare. In the Truman mold, he had strong universal principles of fairness and justice but lacked sustainability. For years, he remained Republican because he loved the military and it’s power. Resigning as Secretary of Navy under President Ronald Reagan because he believed Reagan’s policies were wrong. He left the Republican Party in what he called “disgust at how George W. Bush misused the military with the appalling, destructive Iraq War.” I’m not sure he actually became the Blue Dog Democrat with which he was labeled. There seems to be no Party for a Realist such as Webb so I guess he will have to stay in the Democratic tent. As much as I applaud him, I do not think he is electable as president.

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