David Weigel reports on the Jim Webb victory rally, where he ran into me and TAC editor in chief Scott McConnell. Webb isn’t much of a public speaker, unfortunately, but what was worse than his delivery was the emphasis of his remarks. Atrios relates the bit that has me worried:
There were a lot of misperceptions about why I got into this race. I was watching on election night some of the analysts and one of the frequent things that was being said about this campaign was that I came to the Democratic party purely on issues regarding the Iraq war.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I think I and a lot of people like me had aligned themselves with the Republican party on national security issues but were always concerned about issues of economic fairness and social justice.
That was followed by a commitment from the senator-elect to push for a minimum-wage hike as soon as he’s sworn in. Webb’s economic populism — or simply liberalism — was well known before his election. What was disappointing, though, was to hear him downplay the importance of his anti-war credentials to his candidacy (and victory). I much prefer the foreign-policy Jim Webb to the domestic Jim Webb and hope the latter doesn’t overshadow the former. We’ll see.