Ex. Sen. Jim Webb Hints at Possible Presidential Run

Image: Ex. Sen. Jim Webb Hints at Possible Presidential Run

Monday, 19 May 2014 08:28 PM

By Jason Devaney

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Former Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, would not rule out running for president during an appearance on a radio show Monday.

When asked whether a White House run was in his future by Susan Page on "The Diane Rehm Show" on National Public Radio, Webb fumbled over his words for a few moments before saying, "My wife and I are thinking about what to do next. I care a lot about where the country is, and we'll be sorting that out."

Page, who was filling in for Rehm as a guest host, then asked whether Webb's statement was an expression of interest. Webb nervously chuckled before responding.

"If you look at how I ran for the Senate, I announced nine months to the day before the election with no money and no campaign staff," Webb said. "It takes me a while to decide things. I'm not gonna say one way or the other."

One thing Webb did make clear, however, was that he is not interested in being the No. 2 man in the government's food chain.

"It wouldn't be a good fit for me . . . I just don't think I'd be a very good vice president."

Webb touched on a variety of topics during the interview, which spanned almost an hour. He was critical of the Obama administration's national security policy, saying the current White House lacks a "clear articulation" of the policy as it relates to foreign policy.

"The thing that concerns me the most is that we are bouncing from issue to issue without a clear articulation of what the national security interest of the United States actually is," Webb said.

"I just had a dinner last week with the foreign minister from Singapore," he said. "There were some concerns expressed about, 'Is the United States going to remain a viable ally in Pacific-Asia?' My comment to him was if you have a clear expression of the national interest, not only your allies but your potential adversaries will be able to adjust what you're going to do or not do. And we don't have that, I think it's a major concern for our foreign policy right now."

Webb also discussed the 2011 crisis in Libya, which saw the U.S. lead an international military force into the North African nation with the goal of protecting Libyan citizens from crimes against humanity at the hands of Col. Muammar Gadhafi. Air strikes pummeled strategic targets in the country, including Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli.

"We had no Americans at risk, we were not pre-empting a potential attack," Webb said. "There was nothing other than this very vague concept of humanitarian intervention. If you turn a president loose with that, that could mean anything under the sun."

Webb, who served as assistant secretary of defense and then secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration, served in the Senate starting in 2007 but decided not to run again. He left office shortly after the 2012 election.

"It’s a healthy thing to step away," Webb said Monday. "I'm not saying I'm stepping away from the political process as a whole. It's always healthy to look at things from the outside."

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