11 Jun 2008

Obama: Webb For VP?

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Barack Obama must be giving very serious consideration to Virginia Senator James Webb for his Vice Presidential running mate.

Talk about balancing the ticket.

Webb is a Southern redneck, and a former Marine Corps officer and genuine (not like John Kerry) war hero who received the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest award for valor. Webb is also a former Republican who served as Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan.

With Webb, Obama has a chance to match McCain’s war record and stronger defense policy background. He also becomes able to make a strong play for precisely the white, working class, and rural constituencies where he himself is weakest.

Selecting Webb, of course, would be fraught with ironies. It seems highly doubtful that the two men could stand each other, and the combination of their personal images would be just a tad incongruous, kind of like the late Bayard Rustin running for president with John Wayne as his running mate.

Webb has moved startlingly to the left since suddenly launching his electoral political career by running over the broken body of Republican George Allen into a Senate seat for Virginia. There is reason to wonder if Webb’s apparent ideological conversion is the result of a third marriage to a youthful wife of Asian background whose political philosophy is now in ascendance in the Webb household or whether Webb has been being cynical and insincere in pursuit of still higher office.

Webb’s Born Fighting, a history of the Scots Irish published in 2005 just as he was commencing his political career, contained enough political asides to read like a version of Mein Kampf written by Pat Buchanan.

Though he ran for the Senate as anti-war liberal, the Webb who speaks in Born Fighting is populist, nativist, and protectionist. In essence, that Webb is every bit as much an ethnically aggrieved and partisan member of some hypothetical Trinity Evangelical Church of Hillbilly Snake-Handling as the loudest and noisiest whitey-denouncing, racist-US-Government-accusing member of Barack Obama’s Trinity Evangelical Church of Black Nationalist Liberation Theology in Chicago.

If Obama goes with Webb, it will be amusing to watch, at the very least.

I mention all this, because I was noticing this morning that efforts are afoot on the political left to scuttle such a mesalliance.

David Mark, at the Politico, is waving the bloody shirt with a vigor not seen in American national politics since the time of James G. Blaine.

He is joined by Stale’s Timothy Noah, who finds Webb “awful” and clearly much too butch. (The man carries a gun. Shocking!)

McCain supporters better hope these limp-wristed lefties succeed at exposing Webb’s awfulness and arousing the ire of the democrat base. He would make Obama’s ticket a lot stronger.

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