Kaine: Webb’s “going to run” in 2012


    Unless Tim Kaine is wrong, which I doubt he is on this, it looks like Jim Webb’s going to run.

    In a Tuesday afternoon interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, former Virginia Governor, and current Democratic National Committee Chairman, Tim Kaine said he has “no reason to believe” that Virginia Senator Jim Webb, a fellow Democrat, will not run for re-election in 2012.

    “I just believe for a variety of reasons … That he’s going to run,” Kaine told Mitchell, adding that he had no specific knowledge of Sen. Webb’s plans.

    Good news, if true. Although I’ve had my differences with Webb, particularly on energy/enviro issues, I think overall he’s done an excellent job and also is infinitely superior to any of the Republicans running (Allen, “Sideshow Bob” Marshall, Corey Stewart, Jamie Radtke).

    Meanwhile, I was quoted in the Washington Examiner about 2012. A few of my main points didn’t make the article for whatever reason: 1) Webb would start this time as the incumbent, with all the advantages that entails, as opposed to Allen as the entrenched incumbent with a warchest in 2006; 2) Webb won’t be at the top of the ticket this time, as it will be a presidential year, so his fortunes will depend to a significant extent on how Obama fares in Virginia this time around; 3) Allen may very well not be the Republican nominee, but if he is, he starts off with “macaca” and continues on with “macaca,” because he’s never fully explained or really come to terms with not just the word, but with his longstanding attitudes towards African Americans (deer head in a black family’s mailbox, habitual use of the “n word,” etc.); 4) 2012 will be a very different year than 2006 in terms of activist energy levels, so it will be interesting to see if Webb can recreate the “ragtag army” this time around.  Finally, with regard to Tom Perriello, my point was most definitely NOT to say that he couldn’t win statewide, because I believe Tom would be a very strong statewide candidate, but simply a factual statement that he’s never run statewide, while Webb and Kaine both have.

    • VA Blogger

      Sounds like this is Tim Kaine, DNC Chairman, not Tim Kaine, possessor of insider information.

      So I would treat this statement the same I would his previous statements he’s made as Chairman, such as: http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek

    • Tom

      Kaine is not exactly the most astute politician around, but I do believe his assessment of Webb’s intentions are accurate. I’ve said recently on BV that I think Webb will announce his intention to run for re-election at the Feb. JJ Dinner in Richmond. I’m still disappointed that we have to “import” a MD governor as keynote speaker, but if Webb does announce his candidacy at the JJ Dinner I’d expect a huge standing ovation and what might be interpreted as a “demonstration” event, so I assume Webb’s announcement will not occur before the keynote address since that address might seem very anti-climatic. Webb’s announcement, certainly not the keynote speach, should be the de facto rallying speech for the attendees, and certainly the WaPo as well as the blogger, press coverage will treat Webb to the best free press he could find. Webb chooses his words and his timing exceptionally well, and he might well garner some complementary comments from the RTD, as well as a strong endorsement from the WaPo and Roanoke Times when the time comes for the MSM to say who they support.

      Lowell, are you planning to attend/report on the JJ Weekend happenings ? I won’t be able to attend this year, but it will be interesting indeed to read the reports from the Netroots/grassroots attendees.

      One last comment for now: Given Webb’s well deserved respect and his obvious incumbent advantages, I don’t think he has to continue calling us his loyal supporters as “rag tag” anymore. He knows he can count on us, and he knows we learned as least as much as he did in his first run for public office. He can afford to hire anyone he wants, but he still remembers that we were, and always will be, the “Best Volunteers Money Cannot Buy”, a lesson that Allen can never learn; and Webb by now fully understands why the Netroots is such a large and growing important element in his campaign — also a lesson that none of Webb’s GOP opponents have ever quite figured out.

      I love the concept of “deja vous all over again”. Can you imagine Lowell as Netroots Coodinator and Susan as either Webb’s Hampton Roads coordinator, or even his statewide campaign manager ? That would be an unbeatable team when coupled with the no longer so “rag tag” army of tens of thousands of grassroots volunteers.  

    • Catzmaw

      His work is too important to leave unfinished and the thought of a Republican taking his seat gives me a terrible headache.

    • Cool_Arrow

      I’ve said this a few times already and pardon some of you for hearing my broken record but I do not fear George Allen, in fact I would welcome him. I think Webb or Tim Kaine beats him. If neither of those runs some serious marketing is needed. My reasons are as follows:

      1)Allen while he very narrowly lost in 2006 that was in a midterm electorate. Running with Obama the turnout will be much higher and the African-American vote which is 20% of the population will definitely be out. Ask Tom Perriello or Glenn Nye if that can make a difference in down ballot races. Additionally, while VA has been a killing field for Democrats since 2008 population shifts have not been kind for team red. The southern conservative part is slowing and the northern moderate/liberal side is growing fast. Simply put I’d rather convince voters in Loudoun or Prince William County to vote for me than voters in Roanoke or Franklin County.

      2)Webb has very tangible legislation and achievements that he can show. Yes he may not be the best at rallying the base or building the party or doing town hall events but he did sponsor the new GI bill legislation which is extremely popular and has been an advocate for prison reform. He has voted for most democratic legislation and that will be used against him. Regardless it would be used against him anway if he voted no, just ask Glenn Nye. Off the top of anyone’s head what was Allen’s signature achievement in his term?

      3) Macacca is not going away. Allen is damaged goods and has extremely high negatives for a challenger. Webb was outspent 2 to 1 and still won in a midterm turnout. This year he will not be outspent 2 to 1 and stands to benefit by Obama targeting Virginia which will be a huge battleground state. Possibly only Ohio and Florida may be more engaged per capita I am willing to bet.  

    • Jim Webb Dem

      I have to agree with Catzmaw in that I hope it’s true that Webb would run … again. Even with Tim Kaine’s gentle prodding it won’t be decided until … say this upcoming JJ Dinner (a potential motivating pivot point in time).

      I’m certainly not an expert on all things “Webb” but I think it boils down to can he contribute to the greater good and “Make a Difference”. Well the answer is YES!! if one just focuses on Reform of the Judicial System. It is HIS signature initiative (after the Veteran’s new GI Bill) and consequently it won’t go anywhere if Jim Webb leaves office – prematurely … as in one term with the bill for the Presidential Commission on Judicial Reform languishing in the Senate.

      If Webb is not there pushing it … it’s likely to die. I’m sure my favorite Senator intuitively knows this. And man … what a difference that would make for so many Americans. It is a well defined cause worth fighting for …. BORN FIGHTING for.

      I recently read a piece where some “insider” told a reporter that Webb wasn’t running because he hates this & that about the Senate, glad handing etc. and that Webb hasn’t bothered with raising money, etc. All true statements which match conventional wisdom about what it takes to be a successful Senatorial politician.

      The only problem with that analysis / forecast is that it’s not what motivates Jim Webb. Yes Webb is a solitary figure in many ways … it comes with having been a boxer, a combat commander …. and an author. But within all that complexity and rugged individualism is an intellect that recognizes the UNIQUE opportunity that ONE can make an enormous and lasting POSITIVE difference for the lives of many. That’s what motivates our Senator.

      Comprehensive reform of the judicial system with the backing of our party and President only comes around every 50 years or so. Our Senator knows this …. and with consent of his family he will run again … and MAKE a DIFFERENCE.

      Here’s to that HOPE.


    • I’m more than happy to support Webb in 2012.  I’d be happy to support someone like Tom Perriello as well, but given that we have a well known and experienced candidate who is well respected, that sounds good to me!

    • Unfortunately, the video appears to have been taken down from YouTube, but basically it’s George Allen in the 2003 movie “Gods and Generals” playing a Confederate office and singing “Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights, hurrah!”

    • realclearwin


      He only raised $16,000 in the third quarter and only has $471,000 in COH…not good numbers for a guy about to face a real challenge…

    • Jim Webb Dem

      Webb decided to run and declared such at the upcoming JJ Dinner. What effect would that have on fund raising?

      Webb entered his last race at the last minute with little to no real dollars and won election without “owing” anybody / special interest. Should he run again he is an incumbent and has the respect of many in the party and outside the party.

      Truthfully the guy doesn’t really care about (care for) that aspect (fund raising) of the political process. And you know what?? …. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Yes the conventional political world (press & punditry) looks at it as a losing proposition even though everyone laments the corrosive effect big money plays in our political process.

      So while money is an issue … it’s not the most important issue.

      The most important thing is that we have a strong candidate with integrity. That clearly is Jim Webb … I just hope he decides soon about running … and then we can get a campaign rolling at the grassroots level and beyond.

    • Sunshine21

      Hope that Jim Webb will once again run in 2012.  I just came across about 150 Webb bumper stickers, have six Webb T Shirts and 2 Macacca buttons along with a bright yellow T Shirt that says, “We are all Macacca.”  When you think about how late in the game that Jim Webb jumped into campaign mode and pulled ahead of George Allen, right before the election, I’d say that he will have more than his “rag Tag” army of volunteers in 2012.  I also think that having Barack Obama at the top of the ticket will work to his advantage and they will help each other in Virginia.  I sure hope that Tim Kaine is right in his prediction.