James Webb

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Jim Webb
Webb official color 144.jpg
U.S. Senator from Virginia
From: January 3, 2007 - January 3, 2013
PredecessorGeorge Allen
SuccessorTim Kaine
Information
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Barbara Samorajczyk (div.)
Jo Ann Krukar (div.)
Hong Le Webb
Religion Protestant

James "Jim" Webb, Jr. (b. 1946) is a former United States Senator from Virginia and a member of the Democratic Party. He briefly served as Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan from 1987-1988. Webb is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2012 in the conservative state of Virginia.[1]

Contents

2006 Senate campaign

On February 7, 2006, Webb announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the 2006 Senate race against one-term incumbent Virginia Senator George Allen. He won the Democratic primary by a 53%-47% margin in a race with a low voter turnout. The contest with Allen turned largely on Allen's controversial personality and identity. Allen's used the word "macaca" to insult one of Webb's campaign workers, and it backfired. On November 7th Webb narrowly defeated Allen and was elected to a six year term in the U.S. Senate. Analysts argue that Virginia was rapidly changing from a Republican stronghold to a competitive state. Black voters (85%-15%) voted for Webb over Allen. The black vote proved decisive in Webb's victory since Webb lost the white vote 41%-58%.[2]

Naval Academy controversy

Webb has been the subject of many controversies. During his Senate campaign a group female graduates of the United States Naval Academy accused him of fostering an air of hostility and harassment towards them within the academy. In a 1979 article by Webb, entitled "Women Can't Fight", he said he had never met a woman "whom [he] would trust to provide those men with combat leadership", while he was serving in the Vietnam War. He said of Bancroft Hall, a dorm at the Naval Academy that has 4,000 males and 300 females, was "a horny woman's dream." [3]

After his appointment as United States Navy Secretary, Webb referred to military women as "thunder thighs." After Webb retired, President Reagan wrote that "I don't think the Navy was sorry to see him go." [4]

Exchange with President Bush

On November 28, 2006, at a White House reception for those newly elected to Congress, Senator-Elect Jim Webb refused to have his picture taken with Republican President George W. Bush. The President asked Webb "How's your boy?", referring to his son, a Marine serving in Iraq. Webb replied "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President." Bush responded, "That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?" Webb responded, "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President." Webb was so angered by the exchange that he was reportedly tempted to "slug" the president. He later said "I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall."

United States Senator

On January 4, 2007, Webb was accompanied by Senator John Warner (R-VA) and sworn in to the United States Senate by Vice President Dick Cheney. Webb currently serves on the Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Veterans Affairs, and the Joint Economic Committee. On January 23, 2007, Webb delivered the Democratic response to the President's State of the Union address and threatened to "show President Bush the way."

Controversy

Jim Webb's ancestors were officers in the Confederate army.[5] He maintains that "Most Southern soldiers viewed the driving issue to be sovereignty rather than slavery." He said "Love of the Union was palpably stronger in the South." That doesn't make sense to the majority of people. Many detractors consider his statement sovereignty to continue slavery.

March 26 2007, an aide of Jim Webb, Phillip Thompson carried a concealed firearm into the Senate building. Routine scanning of briefcases turned up a loaded pistol and two loaded clips. He was immediately arrested by Capitol Police.[6] Charges against the aide were dismissed.

External Links

References

  1. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/142979-sen-webb-wont-seek-another-term-in-2012
  2. Vote returns from CNN Exit Poll
  3. http://george.loper.org/archives/2006/Sep/9597.html
  4. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21530
  5. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/10994.html , POLITICO Webb's rebel roots: An affinity for Confederacy, June 10, 2008
  6. http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/042007/04282007/279797 , AP Webb aide's gun charge dropped by prosecutor, April 28, 2007
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