James Webb for Senate in VA?

Politics1.com is reporting the Dems are courting James Webb to challenge Senator George Allen. Webb was Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration.

James Webb is about as un-Democrat as a Republican can be, but I guess he's a staunch oponent of the Iraq War.

Webb gained fame for his writing, but more so his vehement opposition to women being admitted to service academies. Webb and I are graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Webb and I crossed paths a few times.

The first time was when Webb was invited to speak by one of the midshipmen organizations. He was given permission to speak on the condition that he didn't voice his objections to women being at USNA.

Webb was a trooper and kept up his end of the deal during his prepared remarks, but then there was a Q&A. And some midshipman asked him about women at the Naval Academy. (Webb's views were infamous enough that female midshipmen threw bras in the trees the night before he came to protest. And if you didn't suspect already, midshipmen aren't exactly predisposed to protest.)

Webb answered the question truthfully. I expect he would have considered it dishonest not to answer it directly.

Of course the administration wasn't happy with Webb. The deputy commandant Al Konetzni, a Polish Catholic guy from NYC, with liberal political sympathies supposedly call James Webb an "asshole." Konetzni didn't do it in front of the midshipmen, but it was common knowledge. Again, Webb brought out a fairly extreme reaction.

A couple weeks later President Reagan nominated the "asshole" to be Secretary of the Navy. Webb wanted to get even with the muckity-mucks at USNA so he had two change-of-command ceremonies. One was at the Pentagon and one was at USNA with the entire brigade of midshipmen getting choreographed. It wasn't enough to do the ceremony we had to practice it too.

IIRC Webb didn't stay SECNAV long, but he did come to USNA again for a football game.

One of my classmates, Karin, wanted to tweak him about women at the Naval Academy. I already had a crush on Karin, but this made her a goddess in my eyes.

Karin went over to the section where Webb was sitting. She pushed her way through the sycophants and hangers-on. When she got to Webb, she asked him to sign her hat. There's a fair bit of significance that goes along with the hats for midshipmen, but they are also the part of the uniform that is most different between genders.

Webb couldn't refuse Karin and he signed her hat. She made her point that women were at the Naval Academy and Webb had to acknowledge it.

Part of me is tickled that Webb might run as a Democrat. It sorta shows how topsy-turvy Bush has made the world. Webb is a hard-core Right Winger.

But part of me says, "hey, wait a minute. Karin lives in Virginia. I'll bet she'd make a helluva a U.S. Senator."

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Comments

20 Comments

James Webb and Ollie North
Boxed each other in the finals of the brigade boxing championship.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-08-23 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: James Webb and Ollie North
so who won!?
by zt155 2005-08-23 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: James Webb and Ollie North
As I remember--and I didn't ever see it--the neanderthal beat the author. North won.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-08-23 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: James Webb and Ollie North
He probably started throwing excrement* until Webb couldn't take it any more.

*Of course we don't know this for sure because North pleaded the 5th.

by zt155 2005-08-23 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: James Webb and Ollie North
North had been in a car accident earlier, and Webb was sort of in a Catch-22. Kick North's ass, and people get made at you for beating a cripple. Go easy on him and you lose. Webb went easy, and North beat him by one point. North also strutted up to him later with a baoxing champion shirt and asked Webb how he liked it.
by JRyan 2005-08-24 04:29AM | 0 recs
Webb is not a Democrat
I would rather run James Carville.
by Alice Marshall 2005-08-24 03:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Webb is...
An honorable man who was a democrat, but moved a little to the right after Vietnam. He would make an absolutely spectacular senator.
by JRyan 2005-08-24 04:26AM | 0 recs
I know nothing about this guy...
but if he can beat a standing Republican and get us closer to a majority in the Senate - I am all for it.  With Senate control WE get to hold hearings, set the agenda, and win more votes.

  • We get to make Republicans vote against minimum wage.
  • We get to make Republicans vote against better Healthcare.
  • We get to make Republicans vote against better gas mileage.
  • We get to make Republicans vote against FULL support of the troops.
by Robert P 2005-08-24 04:42AM | 0 recs
For Senate
Don Beyer.
by rich kolker 2005-08-24 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: For Senate
Unlike Webb he would have a chance of winning.

No use in replacing one Republican with another. Jes' cause a guy has been on TV and has criticized the Iraq war does not mean he is either a Democrat or a strong candidate.

by Alice Marshall 2005-08-24 07:00AM | 0 recs
love it
The more candidates willing to take Bush head-on on Iraq, the better.

The more military candidates for the Dems, the better.

That, and he'll vote for Sen. Reid for Majority Leader and take Allen out of the running for '08?

I'll take that in a heartbeat.

by tparty 2005-08-24 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: love it
I don't. Somewhere in Virginia their is a mayor, state Senator, or other local official who is a Democrat and can beat Allen. I am not enthusiastic  about celebrity candidates who have done zero for the Democratic party.
by Alice Marshall 2005-08-24 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: love it
Is it what they've done?

Or what they can do?

Webb running as a Dem would cause a bunch of USNA grads to have cognitive dissonance.

by Carl Nyberg 2005-08-24 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: love it
It isn't so much what Webb has done for the party so much as what he did for the country. He is one of the most decorated officers to come out of Vietnam, and his novels show that he is one smart guy. Frankly, I doubt that there is any democratic candidate besides, Warner, Beyer or Webb that can win.
by JRyan 2005-08-24 07:16AM | 0 recs
there is?
Really? I'd love to know his or her name. If it's not "Mark Warner," I think you're wrong.
by tparty 2005-08-24 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: love it
The more military candidates for the Dems, the better

'cause that worked so well for Admiral Zumwalt.

by Alice Marshall 2005-08-24 07:03AM | 0 recs
my suggestion
So nobody shares my enthusiasm for nominating Karin?
by Carl Nyberg 2005-08-24 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: my suggestion
That sounds like a great idea to me...
by Alex Urevick 2005-08-24 07:58AM | 0 recs
At least one has the guts
I'm glad that someone has the guts to stand up to Allen.  Warner wants to pretend he's not afraid of losing to Allen, by trying to focus his attention on a long shot bid for president in '08.  But, I think he is playing chicken by doing so. Warner believes that Virginia is too conservative to elect a Dem to the Senate.  But he is wrong, VA will vote for a Dem in local elections like it did for him in '01.  I use to like Warner, but he needs to be a man and challenge Allen instead on focusing on his longshot bid for president in '08.  Bayh, Hillary, or Clark, someone with more recognition as a populas southern will win the nomination, not someone who is not known like Warner, except for Virginians.
by mleflo2 2005-08-24 06:49PM | 0 recs
Warner has best shot of the DLC field
I predict Warner does have the best shot of Bayh, Biden, HRC, Vilsack and Warner.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-08-25 02:02PM | 0 recs

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