Senator Jim Webb, D-Virginia, will not run again. Instead he will retire after a single term.
Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb plans to announce today that he won’t seek reelection, the Senator confirmed Wednesday.
Webb appeared likely to face a rematch with former Senator George Allen, whom he beat in a bruising 2006 contest. He had expressed ambivalence about the prospect of another run, and has said he never planned a life in politics.
Keeping Webb — a Vietnam veteran, former Reagan defense official, and author — in the Senate had been a top priority for the Democratic leadership, with no Democrat of Webb’s prominence, and his centrist politics, openly exploring the race. Senate Democratic leaders view Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, the former Virginia governor, as a top prospect to replace him, despite Kaine’s disavowals that he’s looking at the race. Kaine, the source said, hasn’t shut the door on the possibility. Former Congressman Tom Perriello, who is close to the White House, could also be a candidate.
How bad were his internal polls? Well, given the run-the-table Republican wins in Virginia in the last election, I expect they were grim indeed. But Webb also never seemed all that passionate about being a Senator to me. Nor has he been particularly visible.
But the Democrats chances of holding the Senate just got considerably worse.