Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Retirement Train Picking Up Steam

We have had two more retirements from the senate announced within the last 24 hours.  Jim Webb's announcement came earlier today.  This came as no surprised to me, I looked up his balance from last quarters FEC filing and he had very little money and no fundraising events planned as far as I could tell. 

Webb is tough nut to crack.  His first high profile government job was in the Reagan administration as Sec. of the Navy.  He is also is a decorated military man.  I am not sure exactly what year he became a democrat, but it was later in life.  His announcement states that he wants to return to the private sector, and he has written several books so I am sure we will be seeing another. 

If you are not from Virginia, Webb has not been in the national spotlight all that often.  But you may remember three times that he was.  The most recent being he was one of the last democrats to announce if he would support Obamacare or not.  Which really made me PO'd because he didn't get Virginia anything in return.  I have yet to figure out of that means he is principled or just a cheap date.  The next was that he was on the short list for the VP slot two years ago.  The last being a few years back he was very rude to President Bush.  While that isn't any surprise for a senator to not be happy with a sitting president of another party, but Webb was so classless that he decided to bring this into the White House.  Webb has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, which I believe helped him get elected and to win the nomination for the seat.  One of Webb's sons was stationed in Iraq and President Bush asked after him, and Webb told him it was none of his business. 

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President"
Now, anyone that reads my blog on a regular basis knows that I treat the office of the Presidency of the United States with respect.  I don't care what you feel about the person, but the office should be revered.  Regardless of who is in it.  You don't insult the President to his face inside the White House.  You just don't.  I don't care what party you are from.  As far as I can tell Webb has never held a townhall meeting, so I was never able to ask him personally if he didnt' respect the president should I believe that he respects me.  He was there to represent my interests, so I think it was a fair question.  I called his office about it a few times and never got an answer, or one that I thought was satisfactory anyway.  I was told that was a private conversation.  If I read about it in the newspapers how private could it have been? 

Another issue is the fact that he is no liberal either.  He voted along party lines on the big things, but he didn't exactly make the party faithful happy when he wrote an OP-ED on how affirmative action has long since outlived it usefulness.  Not a popular position within the left.  He also has been pretty outspoken about southern culture, which does include Virginia's history with the confederacy.  Another position that hasn't made the liberal elite very happy.  I don't see that the DNC would be pouring a boatload of money into his race.  They would have made a show of it, but the hearts and the big checkbook wouldn't have been there. 

Another rumor floating around about Webb's decision is the fact that George Allen, who beat 5 years ago, has announced that he will be seeking to get his old job back.  George Allen is another name you may not know immediately, but you have heard of.  George Allen was on everyones list to be a contender for the GOP nomination for president in 08 until he made an unfortunate comment at a senate campaign stop in 06.  He used the word Meccaca, which apparently is some sort of slur; one that I never heard before.  A Webb campaign supporter showed up at all his events and videotaped him saying this, it then went viral.  That was pretty much it for Allen, his campaign never fully recovered and he lost by the narrowest of Margins.

What is one of the interesting points of this is that everyone is making the assumption that Allen is going to get the nomination, and totally overlooking the fact that he has a primary opponent.  A very interesting opponent at that.  Jaime Radtke was the head of The Virginia Tea Party Association, who also worked for the former senator.  Jamie knows his underbelly in a manner of speaking; she worked for him for quite a while.  She also will have the support of good part of The Virginia Tea Party's.  Allen will get some, but certainly not all.  This is going to be an interesting primary to watch folks.  This is truly a test for the establishment and tea party candidates.  The party of course will back Allen.  But it is going to be a fun time in Virginia during the primary season.  I will be supporting Jamie in the Primaries.  I have met her and she is the real deal.  I actually spoke with her last night and told her I would be emailing her some questions to help get her name out there.  Every time I see a post about Allen I remind the author that Jaime is running, she is being all but dismissed, I hope to try and change that.  Overlooking her is a mistake. 

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