The news that former Reagan-era Navy Secretary, Marine officer and author James Webb is going to challenge for the Democratic nomination in Virginia for the chance to face off against George Allen in November is serious but not necessarily bad news for Allen’s presidential ambitions.
If Allen can take on and beat a genuine hero and a serious intellectual and Iraq War critic, he will be in fighting shape for the presidential campaign that could follow.
My respect for Webb is enormous, and I think Democrats must be celebrating their unexpected luck in seeing Webb take the field. Webb’s book, Born Fighting: How The Scots-Irish Shaped America, should be in Allen’s hands and the hands of every Allen campaign worker and consultant. Webb is a tough tough opponent of extraordianry character and accomplishment. He has zero in comments with the fever swamp left and is actually likely to become a rallying point for the Scoop Jackson Democrats, if there any left. Virginia will honor his military service and his blunt eloquence.
It will become one of the most interesting races of the year. In fact, it already is.