Speculation continues that Sen. Jim Webb might retire in 2012

Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA

Jim Webb was the darling of the Democratic Party in 2006. Which is ironic since he had once served as a Republican in President Ronald Reagan’s administration.

But fed up with the Iraqi War, Jim Webb joined the Democratic Party and was elected a Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

But I’ve heard chatter from many reporters that Webb might not run for re-election. Hotline reports:

“[T]here appears to be growing buzz on both sides of the aisle that Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) will not seek re-election. Webb himself told RealClearPolitics this week that he’s “still sorting out” whether he’ll run again.”

I haven’t heard any reason as to why he doesn’t want to run again. Virginia has become a swing state recently. Since electing Webb in 2006, and voting for Obama in 2008, Virginia has been returning back to its traditional Republican leaning. First by electing Bob McDonnell governor in 2009 and then kicking out three Democratic incumbents from the U.S. House in this year’s midterm election. So maybe Webb wants to avoid a tough reelection campaign.

But the problem for Democrats in the Old Dominion is their bench is not that deep. Popular former Gov. Mark Warner already holds the other Senate seat. That pretty much leaves former Gov. Tom Kaine (and current DNC chairman) as the most likely replacement, should Webb step aside.

If Kaine doesn’t run, Hotline speculates Democrats might go with “ousted Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) as a possible sleeper candidate.”

Tom Perriello, of course, is a pro-abortion Catholyc who co-founded the notorious Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which told Catholics that they could vote for pro-abortion Barack Obama. It was a scandal having him in Congress — especially since he started a group claiming to be Catholic. That’s why CatholicVote aired commercials helping Robert Hurt to win that race. (And he did win!)

We will definitely keep on eye on Tom Perriello’s future plans. But it’s possible that his phony act of trying to pretend that he’s pro-life might still be too much for the large bloc of Democratic voters in Northern Virginia, who strongly support abortion.

If Webb retires and Kaine passes at a race, my guess is that the Democrats will nominate Rep. Gerry Connolly who just won a close re-election in a tough cycle up in northern Virginia. Another reason that Connolly might run: If Republicans in the State Legislature re-draw the 11th Congressional District to make it easier for a Republican to oust him.

It also seems that George Allen, who lost in large part to saying “macaca” wants another shot at winning the seat. In general I dislike it when politicians go for a rematch. All it does is remind voters of the last campaign that they don’t want to re-visit. The Republicans in Virginia should get some new blood.



  • Andrew

    Quick tip from a Virginian: Tim Kaine, not Tom.

    Its hard to tell what direction Virginia is heading in right now since we had only a few house elections this year, so we weren’t so caught up in the craziness. But McDonnell is supposedly a ‘rising star’ in the Republican party. He’s a pro-life Catholic family man, so I couldn’t be more glad about that.



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