Posts Tagged ‘Jim Webb’
Rep. Bobby Scott (D- Newport News) used the occasion of his popular Labor Day picnic to announce his decision to pass on a run for the U.S. Senate. Scott will instead seek re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives.
Scott was part of a large group of democrats mulling a run for Senate since current Senator Jim Webb announced his plans to not run for re-election. However that group significantly shrunk after former Gov. Tim Kaine announced his plans to run for the seat. While most establishment democrats got behind Kaine’s campaign, Scott remained open to the idea of a primary challenge. His interest was encouraged by liberals in the party who felt Kaine was not far enough to the left.
But as time went on, the realistic prospects of Scott mounting a serious challenge to Kaine dwindled and despite the fact that he refused to reveal his plans definitively, few believed he would actually jump into the race.
Today, Scott made it official that he would not run for the Senate, but in a statement still contends that he could beat Kaine.
“Though I believe I can win the democratic nomination and the general election,” He wrote. “A winning campaign would require me devoting all of my time for the next 14 months to that campaign.” The Congressman believes too many vital issues are at stake in Washington for him to devote all of his time on the campaign trail.
It is clear though that Scott still has his sites set on eventually moving up in the political world. He made it clear that he is still interested in running for a higher office. “Although I am announcing that I will not seek my party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, I have not ruled out running for higher office in the future,” he wrote.
Scott has also thrown his support behind a Kaine candidacy. According to several tweets at the Labor Day picnic, Scott introduced Kaine as the “next Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia”. A moment captured by the Young Democrats at VCU:
Perhaps a subtle notice for potential candidates for a 2016 Senate race, if Sen. Mark Warner decides to do something else?
The full statement from Rep. Scott can be seen below:
So we have a deal. But is it all good news? Major cuts have to come from somewhere and Virginia could be one of the states most impacted. There is still a lot of negotiating to do and the outcome could have a big impact on the Commonwealth.
Here is my report from Washington, D.C. for NBC12:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) - The deal is done, but the debate is just beginning. Lawmakers have raised the debt ceiling but put off big decisions on entitlement reform and taxes.
They now must come up with a new plan that both sides can agree on and if they don’t the alternative could have a huge impact on Virginia.
It’s not easy. Cutting several trillion dollars means that everyone will feel the pain.
“There is no question that everything is on the table,” said Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Henrico), The House Majority Leader.
That includes the booming defense industry, an economy that sustains an important part of the Commonwealth. If a new bi-partisan commission must come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts by Thanksgiving. If they don’t, a provision in this current deal will go into effect. That provision arbitrarily cuts defense and Medicare deep.
It is something both sides would like to avoid….
…read and see the rest of the story on NBC12.com
He met with the media for the first time today after launching his campaign to replace Sen. Jim Webb.
Kaine took questions on his tenure as DNC chair, very specific questions about his time as Virginia Governor and his relationship with President Barack Obama.
Just as disciplined as he was during his time as governor, Kaine carefully stayed on message. A message that clearly said “I haven’t changed one bit.”
Here is my story from NBC12:
RICHMOND (WWBT) – Former Governor Tim Kaine met with the media for the first time as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
The new candidate is going back to basics. Talking about his career as a Richmond City Councilman and Ginter Park resident.
He is working hard to make the race about Virginia – not Washington.
In a media gaggle eerily reminiscent of his time as Virginia’s governor, Tim Kaine served and volleyed with a familiar press corp.
His message? I’m the same guy I always was.
“I don’t need to establish myself as a Virginia candidate,” Kaine said. “I’ve lived in Richmond for 26 years and I’ve served the people of my city and my commonwealth since July 1st 1994 in elected office.”
You can read and see the entire story on NBC12.com.
Extended clips from his press gaggle this afternoon, including comments he made about his relationship with the liberal base of the Democratic Party can be found below:
Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine formally announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the open seat in the U.S. Senate seat from Virginia. Kaine used the new customary format to announce his intentions by releasing a web video explaining his rationale for getting in the race.
The City of Richmond was prominently featured in the video. Kaine, a former Richmond City Councilman and Mayor called moving to Richmond the “best decision he ever made.” Kaine moved to Central Virginia as an adult after growing up in the midwest. He met and fell in love with Anne Holton, the daughter of former Governor Linwood Holton, while at Harvard Law School. It was her connection that brought him to Virginia.
You can see the web video below:
Kaine’s announcement ends weeks of speculation that began after former Sen. Jim Webb decided he would step down. His roll-out suffered a few stumbles, including a “non-announcement” to Kaine’s undergraduate class at the University of Richmond.
While most of the Democratic field has waited for Kaine to declare his intentions, his path to the nomination is not clear quite yet. Newport News Congressman Bobby Scott is still mulling a run. Today his spokesman Larry Dillard confirmed that Kaine’s announcement has not changed his thinking. He plans to make his intentions clear by July 1, 2011.
If Scott does run, he would be running against the Virginia Democratic establishment which rallied behind the Kaine announcement today. Sen. Mark Warner, a close ally of Kaine’s released a statement this afternoon that called Kaine a “great friend and a proven leader,” and then went on to say that Warner “Would welcome his partnership in the U.S. Senate on behalf of all Virginians.”
Kevin Hall, an aide to Warner stopped short of calling the statement an outright endorsement of Kaine. He said that if other Democrats choose to get into the race that Warner would have “supportive things to say about their qualifications and public service, too.”
Jim Webb said several weeks ago that Kaine was his choice to succeed him.
Kaine will meet with reporters tomorrow to discuss his campaign. He has already stepped down as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Former Senator and Governor George Allen has already announced his intentions to run for the Republican nomination. He is being challenged by Chesterfield Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke.
The scuttle over Rep. Bobby Scott jumping into the Democratic primary for Senate is as real as it gets. While conventional wisdom has indicated that the Democratic field is waiting for former Gov. Tim Kaine to make up his mind, Scott’s decision process seems to not have anything to do with Kaine. And unlike most politicos and journalists who believe it is likely that Kaine will run, Scott has an ambivalence to the former governor’s plans.
“We don’t know who’s in and who’s out,” Scott told me during a pre-game party for the VCU basketball team in Houston, TX. “So we are going to make a decision in July.”
In classic Scott style, the veteran congressman seems to be taking his time, reviewing the potential positives and negatives and is unwilling to be rushed by the political cross winds. The same winds that pushed Sen. Jim Webb to reveal his decision to announce his future plans and the ones putting the pressure on Kaine to declare his intentions.
“You have people running for president, probably a dozen or a half dozen on the Republican side, their primary process starts in January, ours doesn’t even happen until June and none of them have announced yet,” Scott pointed out.
The dwindling timeline that is making Virginia Democrats nervous does not appear to be phasing Scott a bit.
“We have plenty of time,” he said. “I am going to decide in July.”
It is becoming more and more apparent that we may not know just how crowded this Senate field could get until late this summer.
You can see an extended clip from my interview below:
It was is becoming a drawn out process, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine admitted to his
law school undergrad leadership studies class at the University of Richmond that he is “increasingly likely” to run for the Senate. What Kaine didn’t say was that he was in for sure.
His offhanded comment turned into an internet firestorm with reputable sources reporting the DNC Chairman was in the race to replace outgoing Senator Jim Webb. However, Kaine sent his DNC communications team to work to play down his remarks to the class and continue to leave a fog over what the leading democrat for the job really wants to do.
In a statement, Brad Woodhouse admitted that Kaine is leaning toward a run, but made it clear is not ready to commit completely.
“No final decision will be made or announced until the governor has had a final round of consultations with folks about how he can best serve the President, the people and the causes he cares about,” Woodhouse wrote.
Presumably that is what Kaine has been doing for the last month since Webb announced he would not seek re-election. Webb’s announcement came at the behest of party insiders that were concerned that they would not have the time to prepare for what is bound to be a serious Republican challenge. (Former Sen. George Allen is already in as is Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke. Several other Republicans continue to mull campaigns)
But while Webb made his intentions known several months before he had planned to, Virginia Democrats have not been able to take advantage of the opportunity, in part because the field is waiting for Kaine to make up his mind.
Over the last several weeks Kaine has talked to President Obama about a potential run, huddled with former staffers at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and went away on vacation with his family to clear his head with the goal of making a final decision. All of that consultation is apparently not enough, because Kaine still seems hesitant to make the plunge.
No one seems to really know what is in Kaine’s head except for Kaine himself. It looks now like we won’t know his intentions until at least the end of the month.
The complete statement from Brad Woodhouse can be found below:
“In response to a student’s question, Governor Kaine told his law school class today what is already widely known which is that he is increasingly likely to run. However, no final decision will be made or announced until the governor has had a final round of consultations with folks about how he can best serve the President, the people and the causes he cares about; he is assured that the Democratic Party will be in good hands should he choose to make the race and leave the DNC; he has the support that would be necessary to mount a successful campaign and he completes commitments for travel and fundraising he has made to the Party and the President through at least the end of the month.”
- Brad Woodhouse DNC Communications Director
UPDATE: The University of Richmond’s excellent College Newspaper, the Collegian is challenging the DNC claim. According to the paper, which spoke to students in the classroom, Kaine told them he was going to “give it a shot”. They report that the students in the class said Kaine didn’t qualify his intentions with “very likely’, but said that he was in for sure and will formally announce in a week or so.
While much has been made about the circus that Sen. Jim Webb‘s exit has made for Democrats in the 2012 Virginia U.S. Senate race, not much attention has been paid to the impact it could have on the Republican field. While two candidates have already forged ahead, not knowing if Webb was in or out, several more have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to make their move. In addition to those mulling a run, a new reality in the race may even prompt some even more prominent names to jump in.
Former Sen. George Allen didn’t seemed concerned about that possibility when I spoke to him just a few hours after he learned one time rival was out. “I don’t know how many may get into it,” Allen said about the Republican field. “All I know is that since we announced the support has been so encouraging.”
Allen, who enjoys the support of party loyalists, has had a difficult time capturing the emerging Tea Party influence in the Republican party. That has opened the door for new names and fresh faces like Jamie Radtke, the Tea Party activist from Chesterfield to emerge. In a statement shortly after Webb’s announcement, Radtke said his absence “presents the Republican Party and all Virginians with a great opportunity to change the direction of our country by presenting Virginia with a clear choice for their next Senator.”
Right now, Radtke has the alternative spotlight all to herself, but even she admits with the primary election more than a year away there is a much better chance that the field gets bigger, not smaller.
“Regardless of Sen. Webb’s decision, there always was the possibility that others would enter the primary,” Radtke said. “But we have been thrilled with the momentum we’ve been able to build.”
And while potential candidates like Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart and the outspoken Delegate Bob Marshall continue to flirt with the idea of running, could there be an even bigger name, not on anyone’s radar, be willing to take the rare opportunity to run for an open seat?
Former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder seems to thinks so. “Let’s see what the field portends,” Wilder said during a phone conversation yesterday. “Virginia is going to be incredibly pivotal in 2012 for Republicans and Democrats…I’m certain they will all come out.”
Wilder casually brought up the name Ken Cuccinelli in our conversation and said the two had recently had lunch. He said they talked about Webb’s future and the Senate race in general. Wilder said Cuccinelli did not express an interest in running himself. While the Attorney General is an example of the kind of electrifying name that could shake up the Senate race, his political spokesman Noah Wall told me in an email that he will not run for the seat.
Meanwhile Allen, shrugged off the idea that more competition could hurt for his chances. “(The voters) know my record, they know that I actually know communities and people throughout Virginia.”
And Radtke welcomed the challenge.
“I think Senator Webb’s decision is an exciting development, whether others enter the Republican primary or not, because it will really focus the attention on the primary, and on the choice between voting for the old Washington Establishment or for a new generation of conservative leadership,” she said.
You can see my full interview with former Senator Allen below. The full statement from Radtke responding to Sen. Webb’s decision not to run can be found after the jump.
In a surprise statement released just a few minutes ago, Senator Jim Webb announced that he will not seek re-election to his post. The full statement is below:
Statement of Senator Jim Webb
Washington, DC–Today Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) issued the following 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.
The list is now being populated with potential replacements for Webb as the Democratic nominee.
Gov. Tim Kaine- The obvious front-runner. The current DNC Chairman is close friend of President Obama. Kaine has said in the past that he wouldn’t be interested (he told me during his last month in office that governor would be his last elected office), but a lot can change now that the seat is open.
Rep. Tom Perriello- A close friend of the White House, with liberal credentials but has run well in conservative regions. Perriello has proven himself as relentless on the campaign trail. The question is, will he be interested. conveniently he is traveling out of the country right now.
Rep. Rick Boucher- Boucher was a surprise loss for Democrats in Southwest Virginia. He left a lot of money in the bank, and didn’t seem ready to retire. Even though he is from coal country, his politics play well in Northern Virginia and he is very connected in D.C.
Rep. Glenn Nye- The one term conserva-dem from Virginia Beach was beat in November. However he is young and filled with ambition. Just like Perriello’s liberal side may play better statewide than in VA-5, Nye may think his moderate position makes him an attractive statewide candidate. Although, Nye has real issues with the Democratic party faithful.
Other names worth pointing out: Sen. Creigh Deeds, (who has run twice for statewide office) Del. Ward Armstrong(whose statewide ambitions are not a secret), Sen. Don McEachin (who has run statewide in the past), Mike Signer (former candidate for LG, close friend of Tom Perriello and ambitious) and frankly.. just about every politician in Virginia who describes him/herself as a Democrat.
Who Won’t Run:
Terry McAuliffe- The former DNC Chairman and candidate for Governor has soundly rejected any thought about running for Senate. He told me a few weeks ago that he is “more the executive type”. I followed up with his staff today and they say his position has not changed despite the now open seat.
Gov. Doug Wilder- In a phone conversation this afternoon Wilder asked me “Do you know how old I am?” Wilder emphatically rejected any chance that he might run. He said that he is however concerned about who the Democrats might put up. “They need to develop a farm team,” he said. Wilder avoided making any kind of declarative statement on Tim Kaine’s worthiness as a candidate. He would only say that he is “certain they will all come out,” and that “One person I am not going to support is me.”
The biggest attack from the ’09? That while the prominent democrat was a successful businessman, very little of his financial success led to jobs being created in Virginia. A scathing Washington Post story during the primary campaign was used as fodder by McAuliffe’s rivals, Sen. Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran. (Deeds went on to win the primary by a wide margin)
At the time, McAuliffe told me that he never claimed to create jobs in Virginia. He is hoping that by 2013 it will be a claim he can easily make.
McAuliffe has used his considerable personal wealth to purchase a Virginia paper company and a Chinese electric car company. The car company, GreenTech Automotive, is about to open a plant in Mississippi. The first completely American made electric car will roll off the assembly line in July. McAuliffe then has plans for a “major” facility announcement later in the year, which could be a plant in Virginia.
“Three cargo ships are full of equipment which will be our first plant in Mississippi, and we’ll roll out our first car, all American made, on July 4th this year,” said McAuliffe. “(We) will sell the cars back to China and to Europe, and here.”
And even though the cars will run on electricity drawn predominately from non-clean burning sources like coal, McAuliffe believes they will be a remarkable improvement over the internal combustion engines on the road right now.
“The electric vehicles are 90% more efficient than the internal combustion car engine,” he said. “So, yes, you’re using electricity, but you’re only using 10%, if you use a gallon of gas, you use basically 10% of that for electricity.”
Most of the current electric cars on the market cost somewhere in the $40,000 range, but McAuliffe said GreenTech’s first 100,000 vehicles will be sold for only $10,000.
If this company is successful, McAuliffe could be well on his way to convincing people that he is the job creator that he claims. An effort that would fit pretty well into a narrative for a second run for the Governor’s mansion.
My entire interview with McAuliffe can be seen below. You can see the complete transcript on NBC12.com. In the interview, I also ask McAuliffe if he thinks Sen. Jim Webb will run for re-election.
The speculation continues to mount about the future of Senator Jim Webb. The one term Senator is up for re-election in 2012 and there are already people lining up to take a crack at his seat. Publicly, Webb has been dismissive about his future, leaving open the door that he may not run. Today in a one on one interview in Washington, Webb said he is moving closer to a decision and will be in or out by the end of the first quarter.
‘This is a very deliberative process, not only for me, but my family too,” said Webb. “And we are talking about 8 years here, not just two.”
It is a different world for Webb who surprised the political world when he upset George Allen, who is of course
widely expected to mount a rematch effort. Webb was literally drafted into the when he ran the first time.
“I announced literally 9 months to the day before the election, I had no money, no campaign staff, I just decided I was going to jump in and run,” he said. Webb is a noted policy wonk, who loves debating the issues but isn’t as much of a fan of the public aspects of serving. While he admits its the work of being a Senator that he enjoys, he told me that the perception that he doesn’t “like” campaigning is not true.
“It’s not that I dislike campaigning,” Webb said. “I think people up here need to govern and we need more people up here that want to solve problems.”
We will know in 3 months if Webb plans on continuing to be one of those people trying to solve problems.
An extended clip of my interview with Senator Webb can be seen below: