Former Senator and Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb, who dropped out of the Democrat presidential primary race in October, is reportedly considering returning as an independent.
CBS News in Dallas reports that Webb plans to “discuss his intentions” during an address to the Dallas World Affairs council on Thursday afternoon. The stated topic of the address is Webb’s “5 Most Important Principles for Foreign Policy.”
CBS notes that speculation about an independent run has surrounded Webb since soon after he dropped out of the Democrat primary, and said he was “not comfortable” with many of the Democrat Party’s positions.
Webb and his advisers had earlier promised that he would make a decision about launching an independent run by the end of last year, based on whether he could secure ballot access in all 50 states.
The Hill recalls Webb claiming that he could beat Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton in a three-way race, if he “got traction.”
The Hill also fleshes out Webb’s discontent with the Democrat Party, including his belief that the radicalized Democrats were no longer in tune with “millions of dedicated, hard-working Americans,” and his belief that he talks like “a Republican in a room full of Democrats or a Democrat in a room full of Republicans.”
Webb elaborated on the need for an independent candidate in an October 30 op-ed for the Washington Post, arguing that too many Americans have “opted out of voting, not because they are disinterested but because they do not believe either party represents the interests they hold dear”:
Democrats talk about raising the minimum wage but few want to answer questions regarding the reality that our financial sector impacts their positions just as surely as it does those of Republicans. The two sides argue about the student loan crisis but neither really ventures into the question of how college tuition skyrocketed in the first place. Nor do we hear discussions about the reality that for years a quarter of our young people have not finished high school on time with a regular diploma and have been written off as expendable by our political and economic elites.
Republicans try to outdo one another over who would be the quickest to use military force in an era that increasingly resembles the Cold War in our need for both strength and strategic patience. Our almost-certain Democratic nominee has failed every major foreign policy test of the past 13 years. She voted in favor of the Iraq war, one of the greatest strategic blunders in our history. She has touted her role as a principal architect of the predictably disastrous intervention in Libya. She supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, which has further destabilized the balance of power among Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel and encouraged Russia’s greater role in the region.The miscalculations of the Arab Spring unleashed regional chaos and created power vacuums soon filled by the likes of the Islamic State. Combined with the Iraq invasion, these have taken the United States’ focus away from other strategic priorities and caused our leaders to ignore serious obligations here at home. Since 2001, we have spent $109 billion on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan alone, as our country has slid downward in addressing the needs of everyday citizens for high-quality public education; a modernized infrastructure of roads, bridges, airports and water systems; and forward-looking energy policies.
If Webb does announce an independent run today, he’ll need to address why he waited so long – was he waiting to see how Hillary Clinton’s campaign went, and how her email scandal developed? – and present a strategy for victory convincing to the donors he’ll need.