Count me as one who welcomes the entry of Jim Webb into the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
It might be his military experience, although as an Army veteran myself, I cringe — good naturedly, of course — at the idea of a Marine running for president of the United States.
Perhaps it is the fact that he has executive experience running the Department of the Navy.
Maybe it’s his understanding — gained through his experience serving in Vietnam — of the trials and fears of the young men and women we send into combat.
Hey, it might even be that he served in a Republican administration, which gives him an appreciation of the need to reach across to those on the other side of the political aisle.
Webb jumped into the race today. He’s now the fifth Democrat to declare.
Yes, he frontrunner remains Hillary Rodham Clinton, who’s no slouch herself in the realm of government experience.
The other three are running to the left of HRC, led by avowed “Democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders. Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee are seeking to join Sanders on the fringe left edge of their party.
Meanwhile, Webb — a former U.S. senator from Virginia — is camped out squarely in the middle.
Still, it well might be that Webb’s own military experience in combat during the Vietnam War has prepared him to avoid future blunders abroad. “I warned in writing five months before that (Iraq) invasion that we do not belong as an occupying power in that part of the world, and that this invasion would be a strategic blunder of historic proportions, empowering Iran and in the long run China, unleashing sectarian violence inside Iraq and turning our troops into terrorist targets,” he said in announcing his presidential campaign.
Does he have a chance of derailing the HRC express? Maybe, to borrow a phrase, a puncher’s chance.
But I’m glad he’s in.