Following this slip by Ben Carson, who is leading Trump’s exploratory VP committee, it seems clear to me that Jim Webb will be Trump’s VP choice.
The strategic case for a Trump/Webb ticket is incredible. Webb is more conservative than most of the GOP. He is a loyal, Second Amendment loving, Marine Vietnam veteran and classic American hero. If Trump can convince him to join the ticket this race would be over before it has even begun.
Webb can attack the Democrats as a former member who grew tired of their anti-Americanism. He worked for Reagan and left the Republican party because he was fed up with the cronyism and neo-conservatism, specifically the Bush era brands of it. He is a decorated Vietnam war hero and is more pro-second amendment than East Coast Republicans like Chris Christy.
Can you imagine Paul Ryan trying to attack Jim Webb on his record? It would be a blood bath. All the better for Trump, because Webb has crossover appeal, blunting Clinton’s claims he is divisive. Can you imagine Trump riffing “She says I’m divisive folks, well, I got a former Democrat, American hero Jim Webb, as my VP. Who is Crooked Hillary uniting besides the Washington insiders?”
Webb would be Trump’s masterstroke. It is by far the best move. Note, it is also probably one of the few real choices Trump has. Most of the establishment guys he might be expected to ask will not want to do the job, or couldn’t be trusted. Christie would be a bad fit, Sessions doesn’t expand his base, and Mathis and other military choices are too close to the Iraq war and Neo Con foreign policy. Gingrich is Gingrich. Why bother? But Webb. That would be the Trump choice. Bold. Game changing. Unexpected.
Consider Webb’s record and you will see why. Hell, you could almost argue Webb has been Trump longer than Trump has been Trump. Webb aligns with Trump on foreign policy, not to mention, he is practically the only person in America who correctly predicted the outcome of the Iraq war before it began.
Seven months before the beginning of the 2003 Iraq War, Webb wrote an essay for the Washington Post in which he “ questioned whether an overthrow of Saddam would “actually increase our ability to win the war against international terrorism” and pointed out that the measure of military success can be preventing wars as well as fighting them. He charged, “those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade.” He concluded, “the Iraqis are a multiethnic people filled with competing factions who in many cases would view a U.S. occupation as infidels invading the cradle of Islam. … In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets.”
Webb is on board with Trump’s negative view of globalization as it relates to depressing the American economy, and even has addressed how economic inequality has systematically encouraged illegal immigration.
An op-ed authored by Webb appeared in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Titled “Class Struggle: American workers have a chance to be heard.” The piece addressed the harmful economic inequality in the U.S., with the elites on one side and American workers on the other side. The article cites the “age of globalization and outsourcing, and with a vast underground labor pool from illegal immigration,” as well as extravagant executive compensation, the detrimental effects of free trade and globalization, iniquitous tax cuts, speedily rising health care costs, and stagnation in income as the reasons for the increasing disparity between the elites and American workers.
Webb is Pro-Second Amendment, which is basically the litmus test for the conservative electorate. Again, here he shines better than many so-called Republicans. The story of his political aide getting arrested also highlights his loyalty and unwillingness to back down to pressure to be politically correct.
On March 26, 2007, a senatorial aide of Webb, Phillip Thompson, was arrested for carrying Webb’s loaded pistol as he entered the Russell Senate Office Building and for carrying unregistered ammunition. The weapon was discovered when Thompson went through an X-ray machine with a briefcase that contained a loaded pistol and two additional loaded magazines. Charges against the aide were dismissed after prosecutors concluded it could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Thompson was aware that the gun and ammunition were in the briefcase. Webb responded to his aide’s arrest by reiterating his support for gun-owners’ rights:
“I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment; I have had a permit to carry a weapon in Virginia for a long time; I believe that it’s important; it’s important to me personally and to a lot of people in the situation that I’m in to be able to defend myself and my family.”
Some of you might be saying “There is no way Jim Webb gets the endorsement, Trump said no Democrats.” All fair and good, except Jim Webb will rejoin the Republican party, just like Trump did. The baptism of Jim Webb by Donald Trump would be a powerful narrative for the Trump campaign, signalizing a new direction for the Republican party. Adding fuel to the fire, in Trump’s comments on Webb following the first Democratic debate way back in October 2015, he notes that “He’d be a lot better as an independent than he would as a Democrat, because I watched [the first Democratic presidential debate] the other night and he was not registering as a Democrat.” In that context, Trump’s recent declaration that he won’t be nominating a Democrat is absolutely true. He wouldn’t be nominating a Democrat: he would be nominating Jim Webb.
Honestly, If I was conspiratorially minded, I would almost believe Webb and Trump were working together all along. Webb goes as a Democrat, fails to get the nomination because the party has degenerated into a crypto-communist mess, so he drops out while publicly stating he will not support Clinton, the likely nominee, but would not rule out voting for Trump or running independent. Meanwhile, Trump crushes the establishment crony capitalists in the Republican party, notably the Bushes who he harshly criticized on their neo-con foreign policy, setting the stage for Webb’s return to the party post-dynastic GOPe.
It’s Webb. It has always been Webb.
TRUMP/WEBB: Make America Great Again, Together