It has been a great and continuing privilege to serve in the United States Senate. I am very proud of my talented and dedicated staff, which has worked tirelessly to resolve the issues on which I based my candidacy, and to protect the interests of all Virginians in this national forum. Among other contributions we have given our Post- 9/11 veterans the best GI Bill since World War Two; we have taken the lead in reforming our criminal justice system; we have led the way toward stronger relations in East and Southeast Asia; and we have been a strong voice in calling on China to act more responsibly in the world community. We will continue to work on these and other issues throughout the rest of my term.
However, after much thought and consideration I have decided to return to the private sector, where I have spent most of my professional life, and will not seek re-election in 2012.
Notwithstanding this decision, I have every intention of remaining involved in the issues that affect the well-being and the future of our country.
First, thanks to Jim Webb for his service to our country over the course of his life, including the past 4 years in the U.S. Senate. Second, despite my differences with Webb on energy and environmental issues, I’m overall bummed – and surprised, as I really thought he’d end up running – to hear this news. Third, now we need to find a strong candidate to run in 2012; draft Tom Perriello (or will Tim Kaine end up running)? Fourth, I’ve really got to digest this…what do you all think?
P.S. There are also rumors floating around, hopefully untrue, that this is why Kaine and Warner backed Brian Moran for DPVA chair. Supposedly, under at least one version of this theory – and I’ve heard numerous ones – Moran agreed that he’d go for a primary rather than a caucus, so that Tim Kaine had a better chance of beating Tom Perriello. I dunno, sounds incredibly Machiavellian to me, but you never know in politics I guess…
UPDATE: One more thought for now — THANK YOU to everyone in Jim Webb’s “ragtag army,” you guys totally rock and should hold your heads extremely high for what you did in 2006. Now, it’s time to take that “army” and put it to work electing the best possible Democrat to the U.S. Senate from Virginia in 2012.
UPDATE #2: Chris Cillizza writes, “It is [Tim] Kaine who may hold the key to Democrats’ hopes of holding the state.” Cillizza adds, “If Kaine sticks to his ‘no’, then Democrats will likely turn to former Rep. Tom Perriello…a favorite of the White House thanks to his willingness to vote for things like health care and the economic stimulus package despite the swing nature of his district.” If not Kaine or Perriello, then who? Cillizza mentions Rick Boucher and Gerry Connolly. Stay tuned…
UPDATE #3: CNN reports, “Two former House members, though, appear very serious about the seat, according to conversations with various Virginia Democrats: former Reps. Tom Perriello and Glenn Nye.” Uh, let’s just put a stop to the latter rumor right now – absolutely NO to Glenn Nye. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.