Last night the country caught more than a glimpse of James Webb, the person who should be the Democrats’ next vice presidential candidate.
Webb was crisp, clear and focused. He spoke with an authority and demeanor honed at Annapolis, hardened in Viet Nam combat, and polished at Georgetown Law School.
Webb’s response was a freshening change from the usual Democratic responses to President Bush’s speeches. Webb talked of fathers and sons, of sacrifice and honor.
Webb invoked the names of three presidents, two of whom were Republicans, all of whom were military heroes — Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Against the backdrop of a war gone awry, the names were more than a trip down memory lane. They were an indictment of the Bush presidency and a failed war. They were a reminder that the American experiment goes back almost four centuries, that Jackson, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower were each part of the different regional stocks that built and defended this country, and that he, James Webb, spoke as one of their descendants.
Without saying it, Webb let us know that he was neither the artful dodger, Bill Clinton, nor John Kerry, who after serving in Viet Nam saw fit to condemn his comrades as war criminals, to protest the war on the mall by day and then lounge in Washington’s finest salons by night, or to “report for duty” as he accepted the party’s nomination.
Lastly, Jim Webb let us know that he was none of those things. Last night Jim Webb let every would be Democratic presidential nominee know that she or he could engage in Mondalian pandering in selecting a running mate, or alternatively pick a running mate who could directly look and speak to the American public.
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