Spotlight Shines Bright on Webb

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

March 16, 2007

Just two months into a six year term and Senator Jim Webb is making his presence felt on the national scene.

It seems pictures of Senator Jim Webb with a microphone in his face or on the set of a Sunday morning talk show is becoming commonplace. The freshman Senator took office on January 4 of this year and since then has been making national headlines in just about everything he does.

"The legislation has been appropriate for the most part. I think you saw him swept into office on almost a single issue campaign, his opposition to the War in Iraq," said Matt Smyth from the UVa Center for Politics.

"He's got a lot of credibility. He is the former Secretary of the Navy. He's been in the Military. He is a decorated veteran. For him to be out there speaking for the Democrats on these issues related to the military is very beneficial," said Sean O'Brien of the Sorenson Institute.

Beneficial for both the Democrats and for Webb. The Democrats have used Webb as a face for the anti-war movement while Webb has used the spotlight to push his agenda, most notably war funding issues and pushing diplomatic talks with countries in the Mideast like Iran and Syria.

"He's able to talk about issues that are a natural fit for him rather than take on new ones and speak about things he might not have as much depth with," Smyth said.

Webb's victory combined with two Democratic Governors in a row in Virginia has some talking about turning this red state blue in 2008.

"People are looking at Virginia as possibly battleground for the Presidential race which is the first time that has happened since the 1960's," O'Brien said.

Webb has been rumored as a potential Vice-Presidential candidate for the Democratic ticket in 2008. However, he has not officially announced whether he will pursue that position.

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