Webb for VP? NO.

Lots of self-styled progressives have suggested that Jim Webb would be a good choice for Obama’s VP pick. Kathy G explains why Webb is the wrong choice — especially for women.

Picking another Southern white dude is not the answer — especially when that Southern white dude is a former Republican (he worked in the Reagan administration) who remains conservative, and who launched all-out assaults on women. Sure, he lends some foreign policy credibility, but he also attacked women in the military, painting them as pampered sluts who are bringing our boys down. In the same article, he implies that rape and intimate partner violence are “the price we are paying … for the realignment of sexual roles.” Yes, the article is 30 years old. Yes, Webb has recently said it was an “overreach” — when he was running for office and it became clear that women’s votes could make or break the campaign.

I don’t like him, I don’t trust him, and I think it’s about time the Democrats stopped assuming that sticking a conservative white Southern dude in the second chair is the key to winning the election. It’s a slap in the face to the party’s base; it doesn’t work; and it undermines Obama’s message of change.

Let’s hope they turn their sights elsewhere.



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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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15 Responses to Webb for VP? NO.

  1. Kate Stone says:

    Ron Reagan, Jr. on Air America a couple of weeks ago said that Webb, who was in his father’s administration, is “hard to control.” In other words, he is a loose canon. If Obama picks him we get a Republican lite good old boy misogynist with Rummy tendencies. Some change.

    Kate

  2. I’ve seen Webb on the campaign trail. He’s like a wet blanket. I found myself empathizing with him because he seemed so bored and irritated and ill-at-ease with all the handshaking and hugging of strangers required of him during the VA senate race. Whatever Webb’s credentials or cultural cred in the abstract, he’d be a total drag on the ticket.

  3. Nathanael Nerode says:

    Hell yes. Stay well away from Webb. Insane as a VP choice.

    Can’t believe people are actually considering this. As a Senator, he’s better than the Republican he replaced, but what a fantastically bad choice for VP.

  4. Hugo says:

    I see the temptation, but no. If you absolutely must have a war veteran with miltiary cred, then pick the other (and, on the whole, better) Kerrey — the former Nebraska senator. And if you need a moderate white dude, Evan Bayh works. I’d say John Edwards, but we don’t do second acts well anymore.

    I’d like to see Kathleen Sibelius. Failing that, Bill Richardson.

  5. B.D. says:

    Yep, no on Webb here as well. Either Napolitano or Schweitzer. Webb is too conservative and what does he really add to the ticket? Do people really believe that by having a conservative, white Southerner they are going to pick up more votes in the south? Many of the votes that people dream Webb will bring are stuck in the GOP column. Webb should campaign for Obama in the south, but he shouldn’t share the ticket. Much as I like Bill Richardson and thought that he was the most qualified candidate, he did not prove himself an effective campaigner and he doesn’t carry the change message. Edwards? Love the guy, but I don’t think that he plays well for the election.

  6. exholt says:

    If you absolutely must have a war veteran with miltiary cred, then pick the other (and, on the whole, better) Kerrey — the former Nebraska senator.

    So we replace a loose cannon ex-republican with someone who has admitted being responsible for war crimes?? Granted Kerrey did express some guilt and anguish….but putting him as a Democratic VP will give the GOP the opening to highlight the hypocritical inconsistency of Democratic progressive rhetoric with having a VP who participated and admitted responsibility for the Thanh Phong Massacre along with turning off some progressives who care about human rights. Whoever is the Democratic nominee does not need any association with this baggage.

    Moreover, I think the perception that the democrats need a Southern white dude…preferably with military experience is playing right into the hands of the GOP. Didn’t John Kerry’s 2004 campaign prove how futile this is? Democrats should not help the GOP by playing by their scripted handbook and framing of what a “proper candidate” should be.

    As for Richardson, I have issues with the way he handled the Yellow-Periled tinged Wen Ho Lee case.

    The democratic party has many other qualified viable VP candidates who do not have the levels of baggage Webb, Kerrey, and Richardson have.

  7. Peter says:

    I liked him because he was balls to the wall against the Iraq War, and got up in Bush’s face about it…unlike so many other mealy mouthed democrats.

    But, I didn’t really know this about him. This isn’t cool.

  8. evil fizz says:

    Webb is the interviewee in the NYT Magazine’s little “Questions for…” piece this week. I tend not to be a fan of the column in general, but this one seem particularly stilted and painful.
    For someone who’s allegedly a good writer, Webb’s definitely not much of a speaker. Even with all the editing, he seems decidedly awkward and ill at ease.

    Even aside from women’s issues, he seems like a loose cannon. Q: Do you have a gun on you now? A: You don’t know how safe you really are.

    That feels kinda creepy.

  9. catfood says:

    I don’t see the advantage in adding a guy with a misogynistic record to the ticket when the party is already divided over perceptions of sexism.

    And personally, as someone who made a hell of a lot of GOTV phone calls to Virginia in 2006, Webb’s support of the resolution censuring MoveOn really ticked me off. It was a close election and he couldn’t have won without us.

  10. amandaw says:

    The entire reason anyone is so enamored with Webb is that he embodies masculinity. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see that as an entirely enlightened attitude.

  11. Bitter Scribe says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I’ve been getting really annoyed with how some self-styled progressives swoon over this asshole. He can’t say 10 words without mentioning his military experiences. Yeah, yeah, you’re proud to have served, we get it. Now get over yourself already.

  12. Pingback: Does Webb undermine Obama’s message of change? « The United States of Jamerica

  13. I think Webb would be a terrible VP choice for all the reasons here. He’s basically a pro-military reactionary with incredibly bad (and/or opportunistic) attitudes towards women and sexual issues. Let’s face it; the main reason he’s a Democrat right now is that he needed to run as one to get into the Senate and because he thinks the Iraq war is stupid. But that’s it really.

    I actually wrote two long blog post about this late last week:

    here

    and
    here

    Is there really any grassroots support for Webb at all? It seems like all the drooling over/speculating about him as VP comes from the media. Do we have any evidence that the push for him as VP is anything more that another bit of wheezing from the Chris Matthews of the world?

  14. Pingback: More Against Webb as VP « The Creature Politic

  15. Alara Rogers says:

    How about Al Gore for VP? :-)

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