Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Crippler!

I've been wondering for a long time whether or not the Democrats were ever going to find anyone credible enough to run against George Allen for sent here in VA in 2006. For awhile it looked as though Warner might run, which would have made for a tough battle for Allen, but then Warner relented. Most likely building his campaign war chest for President. So Virginia Democrats demurred without their dream candidate, too busy fighting for Tim Kaine's election and dealing with crazy rumors like Ben Affleck running on the Democratic ticket to actually get anyone of the ground. I've always favored a candidate that may not when, but just take enough wind out of Allen's sales to prevent an 08 Presidential run. We may have him now.

James Webb, who served as President Ronald Reagan's Navy secretary, said Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination to run against U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) this year, hoping to challenge the one-term incumbent on foreign policy and the conduct of the war in Iraq.

"I don't wake up in the morning wanting to be a U.S. senator," Webb said in an interview. "I wake up every morning very concerned about the country. We need to put some focus back in our foreign policy, a different focus."

Webb, who has been flirting with a Senate bid for months, declined to elaborate about his decision or his campaign plans. But he said he will file papers this week to officially become a candidate. He said he will formally announce his plans as early as next week.

"Yes, we're going to file papers later this week," he said. In addition to a focus on foreign policy, he said his campaign would "look very hard at all the notions of fairness in our society."

A former Navy Secretary (under Reagan no less!) should likely have some hefty foreign policy credentials to bring to the fight, and most likely he will remain moderate on social and economic issues. Even better?

A former Marine, Webb served in Vietnam and was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. On his personal Web site, he describes having been raised in a family with "a strong citizen-soldier military tradition."

He is also a novelist and filmmaker, having written "Rules of Engagement," a 2000 film that opens with a confrontation involving U.S. Marines in Yemen.

But winning the Democratic nomination in Virginia this year will require Webb to explain his Republican roots.

Republican roots in Virginia? How is that not a plus? Also Miller (a former lobbyist), his only current competition, is not generating any enthusiasm. So a decorated war veteran and former Reagan official running against Allen? I think this might actually be a real fight, though Allen obviously has the upper hand. At least I have something to get excited about this campaign season.