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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sit Room Interview with Jim Webb

[Personal note: My favorite line in the interview was during the intro when Blitzer referenced his earlier interview with George Allen regarding "His Jewish heritage and all the other mistakes he has made". Does Blitzer think being Jewish was one of Allen's mistakes?]

Hopefully, this will be on again at 7pm.

Blitzer says Allen "clearly on the ropes", "by all accounts this is a dead heat"

Blitzer wanted to talk about the M-word, N-word, J-word stuff but Webb wants no part of it.

Blitzer lists the litany of Allen gaffes/character flaws then tries to play the "Women Can't Fight" crap on Webb.

Webb points out that he has apologized and that women support him especially after seeing Allen's negative ads.

Blitzer: "Horny woman's dream"

Webb: "OK, now you've said that twice." Webb points out that he opened up more billets for women than any other Secretary of the Navy and that he has many women on his campaign staff. He also points out that one of the women for originally decried Webb for his article now endorses Webb.

Webb: "Now, can we talk about foreign policy?"

Blitzer: [Apparently not.] "Do you believe George Allen is a racist?"

Webb: "It is not for me to comment on this stuff. It is irrelevant to what I'm trying to do...I've got a limited amount of talk about what I want to do as a US Senator and that is to improve our national security posture, address the issue of economic inequality in this country which have become very serious, and to talk about the abuse of power of the Presidency."

Blitzer asks about Foley.

"There is accountability to leadership." But he says he is not in a position to give an opinion.

Blitzer: What would you do in Iraq?

Declare that we want no permanent bases in Iraq. Convene an international conference with the countries that have ties to Iraq to get a diplomatic solution to get our forces out while preserving our capability to deal with terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere. Like we did after Gulf War I and Afghanistan. Hopefully, the Baker commission will propose something similar.

Me: One thing I love about Webb is he won't play the childish media game of jumping on scandal and piling on. He just says, "Look, I don't care about that crap. I'd like to talk about the botched war where our soldiers are dying with no end in sight. Is that OK with you, Blitzer?"

This really illustrates an important point. People have been decrying the tone of the campaign. That's legitimate. It should be about issues. Some on the right call Jim Webb "one-note" because Iraq is his most important (but hardly only) issue.

Here's the point. It doesn't really matter whether George Allen is a racist or if he is Jewish or if he wants to run for President. The single most important issue facing the United States today is the War in Iraq. On this issue (as with all others), Allen is a follower, Jim Webb is a leader. George Allen has no plan, Jim Webb has a thoughtful, actionable plan.

At this pivotal point in our history we cannot have Congress filled with sycophantic followers of either party. That is how you get Mark Foley, that is how you get Abramhoff, that is how you get the Iraq War.

We need leaders. Jim Webb is a leader. Let's make him our Senator on November 7th.

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