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Mason Conservative: “Don’t Underestimate Jim Webb”

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Chris at Mason Conservative has an excellent, well-reasoned, well-articulated analysis regarding why Republicans should not -= repeat, not – underestimate Jim Webb in 2012. I agree with pretty much everything Chris says. Key points:

*Webb is “a fascinating throwback of a politician,” the “last true Reagan Democrat who is still a Democrat.”

*Far from writing off Webb as not wanting to be in the Senate, “Webb actually does enjoy the Senate, he just doesn’t enjoy campaigning.”

*As we know from 2006, Webb isn’t easy for a Republican to campaign against, both because of his impressive persona as a “true American hero” (my words, not Chris’), and also because of his eclectic views on the issues (e.g., pro-gun, pro-military).

*George Allen is being “lazy” (shocker!) so far in his “he votes with the Washington liberals (yawwwwwn) line of attack. It’s also not true.

*Instead, “our candidate must articulate a competing vision of the role of government in our lives and use that to hammer Webb with.” Correct, that’s exactly what a Republican candidate should be trying to do.

In the end, for all of Chris’ reasons and more (e.g., it will be a presidential year with presidential year-level Democratic “base” turnout), I don’t believe that Jim Webb’s in serious political jeopardy in 2012, especially if lazy, intellectually vacuous George “I’ve learned nothing from 2006” Allen’s the Republican nominee. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I believe that a new face, maybe someone like Jamie Radtke, would be the Republican’s best shot (although still not a good one) in 2012. Most likely, though, they’ll go with the “same ol’ same ol'” and lose by a lot more than 9,000 votes, as they did in 2006.

P.S. Of course, from my perspective as a Democrat, I sincerely hope that Republicans keep underestimating Jim Webb, and that George Allen continues along his lazy, vacuous, clueless ways…

UPDATE: Jim Webb doesn’t appear concerned with George Allen, basically a big “yaaaawwwwwn” in response to Allen’s candidacy. I think that’s about right.

  • The Donkey

    We are ready to be your boots on the ground!  

  • drobertson

    I think many people assume that because Webb won by a tight margin in a good democratic year that he should lose in a more neutral year (which 2012 may or may not turn out to be). The way I see it, there are two flaws with this thinking:

    *2006 was a midterm year, 2012 will be a presidential year with Obama on the ballot. The differences in turnout between midterm years and presidential years are huge, as we saw in 2010, and the gap should be even bigger with Obama on the ballot driving up African-American turnout.

    *The Virginia of 2012 is bluer than the VA of 2006. The demographic changes that made Virginia competitive in 2006 have continued over these past six years, moving the state further in the Democratic direction.

    Honestly I’m not too concerned with Webb losing to Allen (or Radtke, for that matter), unless it is a terrible year for Democrats across the board, which I think is possible but unlikely. Even if Obama doesn’t carry VA in 2012, Webb will run ahead of Obama in the more conservative parts of the state and could easily still win. My biggest fear is that Webb doesn’t run, Kaine stays at the DNC, and we are left with a lower-tier candidate like Tom Periello. I love Periello and think he could probably still win, but he has more of an uphill climb due to not having the name recognition of Kaine or Webb.

  • Jim Webb Dem

    with Jim Webb talking to John King @ CNN. Vintage Webb … polite, understated in a lot of ways … didn’t give King the “scoop” he may have liked.

    Should Webb run he would be exceedingly difficult to beat, without some causal reason (a Maccaca moment if you will). For that matter his running could be key to Obama carrying the state because Virginians “know” Jim Webb and respect him. The two compliment each other.

    Even the Freelance Star in Fredericksburg has been down on Allen’s recent ambitions recalling / out the smear campaign run by Allen in the final days of the 2006 campaign. Allen is viewed (correctly) as a self-serving politician … whereas Webb is viewed as a statesman …. an oddity these days.

    Let’s hope Jim Webb runs … I expect he will … he should …. he won’t regret it.

    I’m with you The Donkey … like the old days …. DRAFT Jim Webb!!