Bloggers ponder Jim Webb as a potential Obama running mate.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
May 14 2008 6:14 PM

Webb of Intrigue

Webb of intrigue: As the sponsor of a new GI Bill and a tough-minded Cold Warrior who once served as secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, Sen. Jim Webb has found himself the subject of vice presidential chatter in the liberal blogsophere. Many bloggers think the Virginian lawmaker has all the essentials in terms of experience and appeal that are lacking in likely Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Kentucky blogger Ben at What's Required downplays the senator's lack of interest: "[H]e's doing what he can to make sure he's in the public consciousness enough to get a cabinet post, if not the VP slot–which I think he's tailor made for, and would solve a lot of the demographic problems Obama presents far better than Hillary would." And Thomas McDonald at TPM Café enthuses, "A Scot-Irish of Appalachian roots … A swing-state office holder … A former Republican (praised by Reagan when he became Secretary of the Navy) who has stated that it is now 'time for Reagan Democrats to come home (to the Democratic Party)'." 

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Some think Webb is a good foil to GOP nominee John McCain. Atlantic campaign blogger Marc Ambinder thinks the timing of Webb's new book, A Time To Fight, is impeccable: "[R]ight when Obama is starting to look around, ah, here's a guy who can go toe-to-toe with John McCain on national security, is beloved by white working class voters, puts Virginia into play instantly, and has a charming way with the media." Thomas Dunn at Sam Spade's San Francisco writes, "Obama needs someone who can balance the war hero record of Senator John McCain. Obama needs someone who can have a powerful and positive impact on the Southern states. Obama needs someone who can impress the right-of-center faction of the Democratic Party and reach out to moderates and left-of-center Republicans. Senator Jim Webb is that person."

Among his other attributes, Webb should have appeal outside of Obama's bluer-than-blue base. At Nah, Nope, Not Quite, Ed Fortune says, "His conservative democratic credentials and foreign policy experience will blend perfectly with Obama, and help counter the experience question. This is the guy that will put Obama over the top in Pennslyvania and Ohio (and dare I say it? Florida?)"

Lastly, "I also find it deliciously ironic," writes Obama supporter Tokatakiya, "that Webb, who no one had heard of before 2006, would be on a Presidential ticket after beating George Allen, who would be the Republican nominee if Webb hadn't gotten into the 2006 Senate race in the first place. God, that was time well spent."

Read more about Jim Webb for vice president.

Mall attack in Israel: Islamic Jihad terrorists fired a rocket into a crowded shopping mall in Ashkelon, in the southern part of the country. Fifteen people were wounded, and one 70-year-old woman was killed in the attack, which has prompted fiery criticism of Ehud Olmert's government and its friendship with President Bush, who is in Israel in honor of its 60th anniversary.

Sara Layah Shomron had just left the mall with her son before the attack. She writes at Shiloh Musings, "I turned on the computer and learned that the earth shake underfoot were 2 rockets that had landed at the Ashkelon Hutzot mall on the health clinic floor from where I was returning."

"Freedom Fighter" at Joshua Pundit writes, "This won't end until the Israelis resolve to end it, once and for all ... and probably with far better leadership than they now have. And as far as President Bush and Condi Rice's fantasy about creating a democratic Palestinian state living on peace next to Israel by removing Jews from Judea and Samaria, that's probably going to turn out as well as Gaza did."

Israeli blogger Avram at Life Through My Eyes fumes, "Our citizens in the South are facing daily warfare and we're spending millions to welcome George Bush? What has this country come to? It's sad that these people are being forced to 'quit' their world because their brothers have forsaken them & because they don't live in 'important' cities like Tel Aviv or Netanya. If these 'border' cities fall, Israel will follow."

Boker tov, Boulder! asks, "What kind of government neglects its foremost obligation to protect the people? It is despicable. A rocket 'lands' next to a school bus? A man is killed for being a Jew standing in his garden? A boy's leg is 'lost'? Gunmen walk into a Jerusalem yeshiva and mow down our boys when they have hardly begun their lives?"

And Kishkushim notes, "It may be important at the political level to distinguish among the various factions carrying out the rocket attacks and to evaluate particular motives. For the military, however, these kinds of considerations are irrelevant. What matters is that Palestinian terrorist groups have acquired and preserved the means to strike major Israeli population centers, despite a much-maligned 'siege' of Gaza and numerous air force as well as ground operations."

Read more about the Hamas attack on Israel.

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.

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