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.