Democratic Virginia Sen. Jim Webb announced today that he wouldn't seek reelection in 2012, after only one term. That means we, the public, won't get an exciting rematch between him and ex-Sen. George "Macaca" Allen after all.
Why is Jim Webb doing this to us? He's an old military guy who never seemed to enjoy the daily bullshit flame wars of politics. He was a Republican for much of his life, and served as Reagan's Navy Secretary, before turning to a very receptive Democratic party over his opposition to the Iraq War. This made him a great candidate in 2006, when Iraq was still the major election issue. Now that that war is grinding to withdrawal, Webb probably has other exciting life opportunities he wants to tackle. He turns 65 today, for example, so he'll be too busy playing with his Medicare to weigh in on matters of governance.
This is a major open seat for 2012 now. Who'll replace Webb on the ticket? The spotlight is on former Virginia governor and current DNC chair Tim Kaine to run. Otherwise Republicans will win that seat, unless the candidate is George Allen and he discovers new arcane racial epithets to fuck over his entire campaign.
Here's Webb's statement:
Five years ago this week, on February 8, 2006, I announced my intention to run for the United States Senate. We had neither campaign funds nor a staff. We were challenged in a primary, and trailed the incumbent in the general election by more than 30 points in the polls.
Over the next nine months we focused relentlessly on the need to reorient our national security policy, to restore economic fairness and social justice, and to bring greater accountability in our government. I will always be grateful for the spirit and energy that was brought into this campaign by thousands of loyal and committed volunteers. Their enthusiasm and sheer numbers were truly the difference in that election.
It has been a great and continuing privilege to serve in the United States Senate. I am very proud of my talented and dedicated staff, which has worked tirelessly to resolve the issues on which I based my candidacy, and to protect the interests of all Virginians in this national forum. Among other contributions we have given our Post- 9/11 veterans the best GI Bill since World War Two; we have taken the lead in reforming our criminal justice system; we have led the way toward stronger relations in East and Southeast Asia; and we have been a strong voice in calling on China to act more responsibly in the world community. We will continue to work on these and other issues throughout the rest of my term.
However, after much thought and consideration I have decided to return to the private sector, where I have spent most of my professional life, and will not seek re-election in 2012.
Notwithstanding this decision, I have every intention of remaining involved in the issues that affect the well-being and the future of our country.
[Image via AP]