October 5, 2006

VA-Sen: Jim Webb the People's Candidate

… vs. George Felix Allen in ten-gallon hat on horse called Bubba.
For a lot of Virginians, it's been looking like that ever since Labor Day. The holiday doubles as the state's annual kickoff for election seasons, and it's long been obligatory for politicians running statewide to appear in the big Laborfest Parade in Buena Vista, not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway. This year was a little different. Jimmy Webb was about to ship out to Iraq and his dad, the antiwar candidate, decided to skip the biggest political day of the year to say goodbye.

"Everybody had heard where Webb was that day, and why," recalls Charley Conrad. "So people are standing there watching the parade, and what do they see coming down the street but George Felix Allen, in a big white ten-gallon hat and those fancy boots he always wears, grinning and waving from atop a brown-and-white horse called--I'm not kidding--Bubba. And all I could think was, I sure hope people are paying attention."
Bob Moser in the Nation magazine profiles the Virginia Senate race; the article goes in-depth about Democrat Jim Webb campaign and this political views.

I would like to point out a few details of the article which I find significant.
Perched in a lawn chair nearby and clutching his cane, Robert Ervin--who left the mines in 1979 after thirty-eight years--doesn't mince words. "George Allen? He's the nearest nothing ever been in this country. He's a big old fake, that's all." If enough Virginians end up agreeing with that assessment, Allen will be in a heap of trouble on November 7. And for all his lack of political panache--in fact, partly because of it--Webb will have pulled off something few thought possible: making the Republican in a Southern race look like the one who's unreal, elitist and out of touch with regular folks.
Republican George Allen with this political charm of President Reagan and southern faux appeal is candidate who is out of touch with the regular people of the ‘South’ and Democrat Jim Webb with his foreign policy "realism" with an old-fashioned dose of economic populism is on this way to the Senate.
With his mix of "foreign policy realism, economic populism and social moderation"--Webb is prochoice and staunchly opposed to the anti-gay marriage amendment on the Virginia ballot this November--he aims to put a crack in the Republicans' recent dominance of federal elections in the South. His challenge is not only to the GOP but to national Democrats and "Yankee liberals" who have increasingly abandoned hope of competing in the South. "This race is a test," Webb says. "If we can get a number of these people to come back to the Democratic Party based on economic populism and fairness, rather than the way they've been maneuvered on issues like flag-burning, God, guts, guns, gays--if they can be reached out to with respect, and in terms of fundamental fairness, I think a lot of them will come back to the Democratic Party."
I agree, fundamental fairness rather than moving to the right. Economic populism and foreign policy realism is a winning issue in many Democratic candidates platform this fall. Jim Webb would be a great addition Democratic Senate caucus.

Go read the article.


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