In case you hadn’t noticed, the Democrat candidates for president have a debate tomorrow night in Las Vegas. This event is being followed with as much anticipation and excitement as is generated by the WNBA finals ( which, if you weren’t aware, are going on at the same time) Indeed, despite repeated bleats from the leftmost fringe of the Democrat party for MORE debates, odds are that after Tuesday night, there will be a near universal “cri de coeur” across the country to CANCEL the remaining scheduled ones.
We pretty much know what to expect from 4 of the 5 participants. They’ll all give some variant of their stump speeches, field softball questions from the CNN toadies, and try to get as far to the left as possible without falling off the stage.
And then there’s Jim Webb.
Tomorrow night will first of all be a “proof of life” moment for both Webb and his campaign. The existence of water on Mars has more proponents than Webb for President.
So then, why is he going to be there, and what will he do?
There is always the possibility that Webb will use his opening statement to announce that he is dropping out, and then walk off the stage.
I keep coming back to one singular thought. Webb was a Marine. He was a highly decorated junior officer who saw combat during Vietnam. Once a week, he visits the grave sites at Arlington. He is haunted by the names, and the memories. And like another of his fellow Marine officers (and Naval Academy classmate) Oliver North, he has never hesitated to pull his punches.
When Webb first announced he was considering running for President, he spoke of his more moderate stances than others in the race, including his view that the Democrat party has been “neglecting the white, middle class vote” while pandering to minorities.
Several months ago, Webb was interviewed by FOX’s Bret Baier as part of their 2016 candidates series. You can watch the 8 minute clip here. Make sure to scroll ahead to the 7:15 mark, when Webb says “I was born to lead, I was raised to lead…”
I can’t see Webb going on stage simply to nod his head, or to tsk-tsk at something that he disagrees with. He will not force his way into an exchange, or try to create a confrontation. He doesn’t speak in one minute sound bytes. He is thoughtful and articulate. Webb is the antithesis of Lincoln Chafee. Webb wouldn’t waste his time just putting in an appearance.
So why then?
Webb has the opportunity, should he choose, to pull the pin and blow up Hillary’s campaign…to leave it a shambles, in ruin, on a Las Vegas stage.
All he has to do is say some variant of “she lied repeatedly about her emails, her private server, and most egregiously, she jeopardized national security by having classified, nay, TOP SECRET data on an unsecured system.”
And Hillary is finished. That would be a death blow.
Webb knows he is not going to win the nomination. So then, it is worthwhile to contemplate what he may view as his objective, his mission, and how he feels he can best can accomplish it.
For me, that is the only reason to watch tomorrow night.