RIP, Jim Webb Campaign - Rolling Stone
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RIP, Jim Webb Campaign

Webb has dropped out of the Democratic primary to explore a run as an independent

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Jim Webb announced the end of his Democratic bid for the presidency Tuesday.

Joe Raedle/Getty

A moment of silence for Jim Webb‘s bid for the Democratic nomination; it died Tuesday afternoon shortly after 1 p.m.

The cause? A lack of broad support, anemic fundraising figures and not enough damn time during the first Democratic debate.

Webb’s campaign was 112 days old. It will be best remembered for one extremely uncomfortable moment at the first Democratic debate during which the ex-Marine bragged about killing an enemy combatant during the Vietnam War.

In his remarks Tuesday, Webb retooled his infamous answer to swipe at Hillary Clinton – who said at the debate the Republican Party is the enemy she’s most proud of making – and to hint at the possibility he may revive his beleaguered campaign and run as an independent.

“I know what an enemy really is, from hard personal experience in combat. The other party in America is not the enemy; they are the opposition,” Webb said.

On paper, the former senator ticks a lot of boxes traditionally associated with a viable presidential candidate: He has solid political experience (as U.S. senator from Virginia), military experience (Webb received two purple hearts for his service in Vietnam) and a plain-speaking manner that could make him relatable to a lot of American voters.

Unfortunately for Webb, none of that seemed to count for much in the 2016 Democratic primary. So, he’s going to explore other options. It’s unclear, though, what he’ll do. As Webb said Tuesday, “I know the history of independent candidacies…they tend to top out around 20 percent.”

Maybe he’ll shock everyone and become the most sane person running for the Republican nomination? Whatever happens next, Webb said, “will depend on what kind of support I am shown in the coming days and weeks as I meet with people from all sides of America’s political landscape.  And I intend to do that.”

In This Article: Election 2016, Jim Webb


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