Jim Webb: Help my ‘under-financed insurgent campaign’
Former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb is trailing well behind in the polls in his bid for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He’s also trailing in the money race, and as much as he hates the money part of politics, well, that’s the way the game is played.
“The time is finally right for our under-financed insurgent campaign to be taken seriously, in the media, among Republicans and independents, and even in the inner circles of the Democratic Party’s power structure, which has been wrongly assuming that this election cycle would be nothing more than a coronation for one candidate,” Webb began an email to supporters that was sent out Thursday, appealing for campaign funds.
Webb, who served in the U.S. Senate from 2007-2013, is at 3 percent in the most recent Public Policy Polling national survey of Democratic Party voters, a distant fourth, with Vice President Joe Biden still not included in those numbers, but polling very well elsewhere.
“To be blunt, I don’t have tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of people on my staff, or a Super PAC where a few individuals can write million-dollar checks. But with enough financial help to keep us in the game, the moment has come for us to break into the political mainstream and seriously compete for the presidency,” Webb wrote in the email.
More from the email:
“Everywhere I go, I can see it in the eyes of the people – frustration with the political process and loss of faith that it can ever be better. They are tired of business as usual in Washington. They are looking for a return to the kind of leadership that will put the good of the country ahead of personal gain. The true task of leadership should never be personal aggrandizement but stewardship for the common good, measured by the well-being of those who elected him (or her), and the continued greatness of the United States of America.
“America deserves a President who is truly unbought and unbossed, a leader who is steeped in foreign policy experience, who understands the complicated governing systems in Washington, who can offer the American people a record of broad experience and results, and who comes to the table with a proven independence in giving a voice in the corridors of power to the people who otherwise would have no power.
I can bring you those results. And as I have proven over and over again from my days as a young Marine on the harsh battlefields of Vietnam, I will never forget those who have trusted me to be that voice. And I will tell you that our country needs this kind of leadership, as never before.
“But as I’m sure you understand, this will not happen without the support of people such as yourself, who share these concerns.
“It’s hard to remember a time when public opinion has been so unsettled regarding the future of our country, and so disappointed in our leaders. By a large margin, Americans have grown cynical and even disgusted with the current political class. In a recent column, noted commentator Peggy Noonan pointedly wrote of the “deepening estrangement between the elites and the non-elites in America.” Quoting a political consultant’s definition of America’s elite group as “political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests,” she outlined his concern that “more than half of the American people believe ‘something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel that they no longer have a voice,’” Ms. Noonan remarked that “deep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged,” seeing “corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them.”
“These elites have power – the power of money, the power of access, the power to threaten, persuade and get their way. The rest of us – the non-elites – must rely solely on the arm and the shield of the people they elect to public office.
“What we are actually seeing reflected in the polls is a strong desire for a leader who will live up to this simple standard, who has not been compromised and who at the same time knows how the system works and how to get things done. Our TV screens are busied with Presidential hopefuls dealing little more than hype and noise. We don’t need this kind of inexperience or trumped-up hyperbole. The fact of the matter is that we have no time for practice runs or re-runs, not at this critical point, and lip service won’t do us any good, anymore.
“I am putting my record in front of the American People. I am not a career politician, but I am proud of my four different periods of public service: as a combat Marine in Vietnam, on the Hill as a legislative counsel in Congress, in the Pentagon as an assistant secretary of defense and Secretary of the Navy, and as a member of the United States Senate. I am also proud of the independence and societal insights I’ve gained as the author of ten books, a journalist, filmmaker, literature professor, defense planner, and business consultant in the private sector.
“During my time in the Senate you know how hard I’ve worked on economic growth and foreign policy, the two most important issues facing our country, and also as a pioneer in fixing our broken criminal justice system. You know my history of working across the aisle, being inclusive, and finding solutions. We must now repair our economy and design a long-term doctrine that clearly enunciates our foreign policy.
“With the right financial backing we still have time to mount a solid campaign, and to win.
“Americans want leadership they can trust, and the right sense of priorities in the Presidency. When the circus of this early political season quiets and people have had time to reflect on the direction of our country, they will be looking for a leader who can actually get things done and bring the diverse factions of our multicultural society together. I am ready to step into that vacuum, and to dedicate myself to making this happen.
“But when this moment comes, there will be no Super PAC waiting in the wings to pour millions of dollars into my campaign; it will be fueled by people like you, or it will not happen at all.
“We’ve only just begun. The noise will calm down. Reason will prevail. And with your help we will be ready, as always, to serve our country, and to preserve its unique greatness.”