20 May, 2008

Charlotte(sville)'s Webb

I'm starting to think that Jim Webb is the perfect choice for Obama's VP. He's got the perfect VP demeanor: to hear him speak is hardly inspiring (leave that to Obama), but he's ready to fight. His ancestry is Scots-Irish, like nearly all of the Appalachian region where Obama does so poorly. He's a veteran of the Marines and was Secretary of the Navy under Reagan. He'll put Virginia solidly in Obama's column as well as lend Obama some "experience" and foreign policy credibility that's useful if the Democrats are going to win that debate. Not to be crude, but it's not irrelevant that his wife is Vietnamese (imagine African- and Asian-American children running around the White House lawn).

More substantively, I think his intellectual style would fit in well with Obama's cautious liberalism. He also appears to really want it.


Eremita said...

But he's a first-term senator with family ties to other countries. Maybe the reason he seems like a good fit with Obama is that he reminds us of Obama. Maybe he's too much like him in these aspects to ADD much to the ticket, though he might strengthen its strengths.

Elliot said...

There are two ways of looking at it. The first is, due to his lack of experience, Obama needs someone with a lot of experience. The problem with that is, it seems to be admitting that his lack of experience is a problem. It could undermine his rationale.

The second way is that a younger guy (like Webb) bolsters the idea that Obama is going to bring in a new generation of leaders that haven't been corrupted by Washington politics. Its riskier, but it resonates much better with his message.

Actually, Webb may be a good mean between these two approaches. He is only a first term Senator, but Secretary of the Navy is serious experience also (a position that both Roosevelt's occupied before winning the presidency). His veteranness and his experience will make him difficult to smear, while his relative newness to Washington fits better with Obama's message.

Also, it would likely tilt Virginia towards Obama, but it may also mean that VA loses a Democratic senator.

spencer said...

Contrary to (apparent) popular belief, Webb is NOT a "younger guy". Unless sixty-two is young.

The great thing about Webb is that he has experience (fought in Vietnam, worked for Reagan) but he is ALSO one of the new generation of leaders. That is to say, the post-9/11, post-Iraq generation of leaders. His arrival on the political scene only really happened two years ago.

So I think it's pretty much a win-win situation if that's the only trade-off. As far as Virginia, they don't seem to be having any trouble electing Democrats (Mark Warner, Webb, Kaine), I'm sure they could do it again. Moreover, this would mean two seats opening up as John Warner is retiring this year.

spencer said...

Eremita: I don't think he's much like Obama at all. After all, his biography is starkly different. He basically lived the first forty years of his life serving the military in some fashion. He went to the Naval Academy. He has had completely different life experiences from Obama. But I think they would complement each other nicely.

Elliot said...

Right, sorry. "Younger" as in "not as much time in Washington". And exactly, he represents the best of both worlds in that sense. I think Webb would be pretty awesome, actually.

As for VA, I'm not sure how much this should factor in to the equation, but I'm not sure its a slam dunk to elect another Democratic senator (assuming Mark Warner wins the other seat). Although, if its going to happen anytime it would be now.

Also, what about Kaine? Also from VA, but with governor experience. I don't know too much about him.

spencer said...

Kaine seems a bit young to me. Also, don't you want the executive experience at the top of the ticket?