Home 2016 elections Video: Jim Webb Speaks to Media at “AP Day” in Richmond

Video: Jim Webb Speaks to Media at “AP Day” in Richmond


Here are a few tweets on the “AP Day” event yesterday in Richmond — from Markus Schmidt and Jeff Schapiro of the RTD, Jenna Portnoy and Laura Vozzella of the Washington Post, Ken Thomas of the AP, Reid Epstein of the Wall Street Journal, and Chelyen Davis of the Free Lance-Star — follow by a few of my thoughts.

*”@JimWebbUSA priorities: 1) national security revamp, 2) examine roles of exec and leg branches of govt & 3) social justice”

*”Economic recovery mostly benefits those with assets ‘who are making money,’ @JimWebbUSA says”

*”‘I’m not a career politician, this is not a planned trajectory,’ @JimWebbUSA says about potential presidential bid”

*”No clear response from @JimWebbUSA on a) when he will announce and b) if a Hillary Clinton bid will impact his timing”

*”Executive action on immigration was within legal perimeter, @JimWebbUSA says”

*”‘Frankly, no,’ says @JimWebbUSA when asked if he needs home-state support for prez bid. @GovernorVA, @MarkWarner, @timkaine back Hillary.”

*”@JimWebbUSA says political polarization can be overcome; that his Senate record — in particular, passage of ‘new GI Bill’ — shows that.”

*”Democratic Party has lost its message of taking care of those “who have no voice in the quarters of power,” @JimWebbUSA says”

*”Jim Webb says party of Franklin D. Roosevelt has lost its way.”

*”@JimWebbUSA says Obamacare vote was ‘the hardest vote I took in the Senate.’ Wants to ‘clean this legislation up.'”

*”Asked Webb about Clinton record at State. He said, ‘I just don’t want to be seen as attacking Hillary Clinton.'”

*”Jim Webb on the ACA: ‘I believe that the timing in terms of bringing this legislation up was bad.'”

*”Jim Webb in Richmond: ‘Our national security and our foreign policy have in many ways been on autopilot since 9/11.'”

So…no questions in 45 minutes on what is by far the most pressing issue facing this planet (global warming)? No questions about how we transition rapidly from dirty to clean energy? Why the heck not?

As for what Jim Webb had to say yesterday, I agree with some of it strongly (e.g., that President Obama’s executive action on immigration was legal; that the Democratic Party needs to focus more on taking care of those “who have no voice in the quarters of power”; increased focus on “social justice” and economic fairness); partly agree with some (e.g., I’d say the economic recovery benefits everyone, but certainly too many of the gains are concentrated at the top 1%, also on capital rather than labor); and disagree with other stuff (e.g., that health care reform shouldn’t have been undertaken in Obama’s first term; the false equivalence on Congressional gridlock; that the GI Bill is evidence that Republican obstructionism can be overcome more generally). Also, I’m finding it a bit odd that someone as blunt as Webb won’t just say what his differences are with Hillary Clinton. I mean, this is a political campaign, and part of what you are supposed to do in a campaign is explain how you are different from your political rivals. Certainly, Webb had no difficulty doing that in 2006 against Harris Miller, so why not now?

  • K in VA

    I honestly don’t have the foggiest idea what Webb’s up to with his make-believe run for the White House. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell he could win the race if he could actually win the nomination (which is most unlikely, even if Hillary doesn’t run).

    Is his ego so big he actually thinks he could win? Or is his ego so pathetic he can’t think of anything else to do to get a little attention right now?

  • campaignman

    There is nothing to gain and everything to lose by running against a fellow Democratic candidate who has not declared for office.

    First, if for some reason she decided not to run, you would be needlessly offending her supporters, whose votes he would want to win over.

    Second, people are still tired of the negative campaign we just went through.  There is no advantage in bringing that back so soon.

    Third, the first job of a candidate is to introduce themselves.  People need to know who you are and what you stand for before they want to hear about what differentiates you from the other candidates.

    Fourth, Republicans such as Rand Paul are already attacking Hillary.  Webb doesn’t need to pile on.  

    Finally, there is a great deal of time for the campaign to develop.

  • JBarnett

    Webb’s message is similar to Elizabeth Warren’s: the Democratic Party must regain the support of working class Americans. Today, the majority of people who work for a paycheck vote GOP. That is a death knell for Dems. A Liberal-only Democratic Party is a minority party in America. Liberals must team with working people to reproduce the FDR coalition.