James H. Webb
|James H. Webb|
|U.S. Junior Senator, Virginia|
| Assumed office (class 1) |
January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||George Allen|
|Born||February 9, 1946|
|Spouse||Hong Le Webb|
A registered Republican until the 1990s, Webb was reborn as one of the Fighting Dems in 2006. Webb has claimed that he began to drift towards the Republican Party during Carter Administration and then drifted back during the Gulf War. Webb is quoted as saying, "When I look at where this administration has taken its own party, I cannot help but think about the pendulum of history. The pendulum has swung, I think, as far as it can swing given the principles this party had once espoused." Many moderately conservative Republicans have found themselves alienated from their party and sought refuge in the Democratic Party. See Party Switchers Webb was so close to Virginia Republican elites that he actually endorsed Senator Allen in his bid to unseat then Sen. Chuck Robb (D) in 2000. Webb also worked on the staff of Republican Virginia Senator John Warner when Warner was Secretary of the Navy. In 1994, Warner attempted to recruit Webb to run Senate (the same VA Senate seat Webb currently holds as a Democrat) as a Republican. The Hill
On February 11, 2011, Sen. Webb's 65th birthday, he announced that he will not run for reelection in 2012 and will instead return to the private sector. 
Born in 1946, Webb is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served in the Marines in the Vietnam War. He is the author of the nonfiction book "Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish Shaped America," as well as six novels. Though initially a Republican due to defense issues, Webb drifted increasingly toward economic populism and personal freedom issues, and gradually came to see the Republicans as threatening to both. As Webb himself once put it, "I agree with Andrew Jackson and William Jennings Bryan; the welath of a society isn't measured at the top, but at the bottom." His son Jimmy is also a Marine, and is currently deployed to Iraq.
Webb served as Secretary of the Navy under Republican President Ronald Reagan but resigned in protest of cutbacks in the fleet. He has been a strong critic of the war in Iraq, saying "I don't think Ronald Reagan would have ever done that, and I don't think Bush's father would have done it." Webb has also criticized the Bush administration for never developing an exit strategy.
On November 28, 2006, at a White House reception for those newly elected to Congress despite his attempts to avoid Bush, the President sought out Webb and asked him, "How's your boy?", referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq whom Bush knew had recently almost died in Combat. Webb responded "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President." to which Bush smugly replied, "That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?" An outraged 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 Chimp.
Webb has also voiced concern at the increasing use of outsourcing, a major concern in western and southern Virginia. He has indicated that he would be a fierce opponent of outsourcing if elected, and also faults the Republicans for allowing the gap between rich and poor to increase dramatically by voting against minimum wage increases and against job retraining and veterans' benefits programs.
In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, Webb blasted corporations for exacerbating a widening wealth gap that he referred to as the worst since the 1880s. The strongly-worded editorial essentially ended any conservative hopes that Webb might be a centrist on economic issues.
Since Webb was elected he has been a thorn in Bush's side.
"The issue before us is not whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years." Citation
- Senate Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Airland
- Subcommittee on Personnel
- Subcommittee on SeaPower
- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on African Affairs
- Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Democracy and Human Rights
- Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs
- Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- Joint Economic Committee
- Bob Lewis. "Reagan's Navy Chief Seeks Va. Senate Seat." Associated Press. May 30, 2006. news report
- The Sentinal
- Born Fighting
- Webb for Senate - campaign website
- Webb's personal website - with book reviews, articles and other writings
- official U.S. Senate website
- Brief Blog Post by James Cannon Boyce
- A good article
- Executive Branch
- Judicial Branch
- Legislative Branch
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