Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jim Webb - a 2016 Contender?

So far, although several Republican presidential hopefuls have eagerly thrown hats into the 2016 ring, with others "still considering" doing so, Democrats remain coyly reticent, possibly unwilling, or financially unable to face the colossus that is the Hillary Clinton campaign. Bernie Sanders hasn't yet said a definite "No"; Elizabeth Warren has, several times. This piece by Andrew Levine, at Counterpunch, puts another name, Jim Webb, into the mix: The Last Chance to Derail the Clinton Juggernaut?

Now would be a good time to dust off an old idea: “critical support.” That idea, along with much else associated with the Left, effectively went missing during the 1980s.

It may seem like splitting hairs, but critical support is not quite the same thing as unqualified support. When critical support is offered, support is qualified and disagreement is expressed. With straight out support, disagreements, if any, are overlooked.....................................

However, there is a candidate running for President in the Democratic primaries next year who will merit at least critical support from the Left — what is left of it, that is.That candidate is Jim Webb, the former Senator from Virginia. Webb has not yet declared his candidacy, but he is showing all the signs.

Voters who could care less where a candidate fits on a left-right spectrum – the majority of voters nowadays – may find, as they learn more about Webb, that they have no problem supporting him outright.

But those of us who look forward to a time when an authentic Left reemerges, do care. We care that Webb is soft on capitalism, not that any other Democrat is better; and we are queasy about where he still stands on the Vietnam War. He may not be the best candidate in the field on gender issues either, though the evidence on that is ambiguous at best.

In any case, the plusses swamp the minuses – to a degree that is unprecedented in recent decades. This is why, for us, critical support seems about right...............

A complete natal chart isn't possible without a time of birth, which isn't known at present, but here's a 12 noon chart for Jim Webb's date & place of birth:
9 February 1946, St. Joseph, Missouri. Let's see what his astrology has to say:

There's a nice Airy circuit going on! Sun/Mercury/Venus conjoined in Aquarius; Jupiter in Libra; Uranus in Gemini. This guy is not lacking in mental acuity - thinking "on his feet" comes naturally to him, as easily as deeper, analytical, thinking. His natal Moon could be in Gemini too, depending on time of birth, otherwise in late Taurus.

Mars conjunct Saturn in Cancer links to his military family background and career.

I like what we know of his natal chart! The two planets in Cancer will have been "feeling" recent opposition from Pluto in Capricorn, also linked to the pesky set of Uranus/Pluto squares of recent times. Beyond that, I don't see anything major coming up for him soon, though by November 2016 Pluto will be back at 15 Capricorn, opposite natal Mars after a few months of to-and-fro.

A piece, The Jim Webb Story, mainly a book review written in 2008 by Elizabeth Drew on one of Webb's books, A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America, includes dozens of clues about Jim Webb's personality, aims and more about his Scots-Irish and military background, his entry into politics. It's an all-round interesting read, and one I'll go back to, if and when Webb confirms he will run in the 2016 presidential election.

A few snips from the piece:

Relating to his campaign for a Senate seat:
Webb ran an unconventional campaign, going more with his intuition than with the advice of Democratic Party professionals, who at times despaired over him. He chose his own pacing and for a stretch in the summer evinced little interest in campaigning at all. He is not one to be guided by focus groups; he doesn’t play the angles. Like a boxer or a military man, Webb decides on his targets and charges straight at them. “We picked our themes and stuck with them,” he says. His three campaign themes were the war, the growing chasm between the wealthy and the working class, and the exceptionally high rate of incarceration in the US.........

Reid considered Webb such a valuable new asset to the Democrats—a moderate with military credentials from a swing state—that he also took the unusual step of inviting the freshman to give the Democrats’ response to the President’s State of the Union address. Webb tore up the draft supplied to him by the Democratic leadership staff and wrote his own speech. He gave the staff members fits by refusing to show them his version until shortly before the speech was to be given. In his speech, Webb went straight at Bush over the war in emotional and somewhat personal tones,

So Jim Webb arrived to the Senate with a reputation for being unpredictable, even a little weird, a little bit out of control, a little hotheaded. The sense in Washington that he was—well—different was enhanced by his famous first encounter with President Bush after the election, when at a November White House reception for newly elected members of Congress, Webb refused to shake Bush’s hand....
The author of the piece found a different personality:
When I was about to meet with Webb for the first time, in 2007, I expected to find someone who would be difficult to talk to, a little bit strange—someone with whom I had to be very careful not to put a foot wrong, lest I set off some land mine. What I found was completely surprising. Webb turned out to be an easy conversationalist with a low, gentle voice, a ready smile, and a sometimes very full laugh. During an hour-and-a-half-long conversation over sandwiches in his office, I kept waiting for him to be weird, but that never happened. Even Webb’s looks are surprising: on television his large, flat face, with its broad forehead, looks like a potato—pale and pasty. In person his complexion is ruddy—with piercing blue eyes that suggest a man who might in fact have a wild side, a man whom one doesn’t want to cross. Yet there is an air of almost preternatural calm about Webb, of a man who knows who he is. He is reserved; one gets the sense that he’s seen things he just doesn’t want to talk about. (This is a characteristic shared by other Vietnam veterans.)
From talks with his colleagues and others in and around the Senate, it became clear that his reputation belied the actual Webb. A senior Senate Democratic aide said, “He’s proven all that wrong.” Others described Webb in unusual terms, as applied to elected politicians: “polite” (I heard this several times), “shy,” “modest,” “a very nice person.” His close friend Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, also a Democratic freshman senator, told me, “The fact that Jim is so grounded separates him and makes him seem more complicated than he is. He’s not a complicated person.”
This different kind of senator doesn’t much share in the folk habits of the body he serves in. He’s not a back-slapper; he doesn’t engage in the touchy-feely behavior of most of his colleagues on the Senate floor, and, as McCaskill put it, he’s “not much of a schmoozer.” He knows that a certain amount of collegiality is necessary to being effective in the Senate, but he doesn’t go overboard. Webb is as plainspoken on the Senate floor as he is elsewhere; he observes the required courtesies, but his speech is unadorned with the flummery of much senatorial oratory.

Well, well, well....I'm now hoping for Jim Webb the presidential candidate - it'll make the "race" as a whole and especially the struggle for Democratic nomination far more interesting!


mike said...

Jim Webb certainly has the background and intelligence to support his bid as a potential candidate, and with stronger credentials than Hillary. He has demonstrated a platform of beliefs that are 50-50 with me. I certainly like his stand on American war involvement (understanding American involvement in foreign conflicts), legalization of drugs (removing them from the legal arena to the psychological-medical), and incarceration. He formerly was weak on women-equivalent-to-men positions though this was from four decades past, he isn't supportive of immigration leniency, supports gun rights, wasn't supportive of gays, and he appears partisan without equanimity (though I kinda like that!). Hillary is somewhat his antithesis in platform...she will have the immigrant, LGBT, and female support, should Webb continue with his previous ideologies.

I believe his real casualty is in the transits to his natal astrology. Of course, these could be strengths, but there is a strong negative attractor to his transits over the next 18 months. He's already developed an image of a loner, independent, and a moderate, probably in large part due to his natal Aquarius Sun-Mercury-Venus, particularly inconjunct Mars-Saturn. However, over the next 12 months, he will have a yod forming with those same natal planets (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn) with transiting Jupiter and the N Node in Virgo. As you indicate, Mars-Saturn will be opposed by Pluto and also squared by Uranus (T-square). Transiting Saturn will oppose Uranus and inconjunct Mars-Saturn close to the 2016 elections. I don't see these aspects as invigorating his campaign. His public image, due to the personal planets involved, won't be favorable.

I know little about Lincoln Chafee, and there isn't much available, but his known, basic views are more similar to mine. He's a contender, but I can't imagine him going far by receiving the money needed to substantiate his bid, though his natal astrology is supportive. I like Joe Biden, but I don't believe he has much public support...his image does not match the man and he requires an image overhaul toward public perception should he be serious.

Hillary's natal astrology is much more supportive as a Democratic potentate and she has the money.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I agree that the astrology doesn't indicate much, except perhaps increasing struggle as time goes on during the coming months - which he'd have for sure if he enters the race.

Webb's nowhere near my perfect choice of candidate, Bernie Sanders would be a tad nearer to that, I guess. I'd love to see them both running against Hillary Clinton for the nomination.

I like Joe Biden too, but his stint as VP hasn't done him many favours image-wise. I have the gut-feeling that he is far, far better than that - could have been a fine president.
Maybe too late now.

I had in mind to do a post on Lincoln Chafee a week or so ago, but decided against it - couldn't feel much enthusiasm for some reason, though I'm sure he's a good politician (if there is such a mortal).

I'm unwilling, at this stage, to think that Hillary couldn't possibly be overtaken as Democratic nominee.
I think the right person could get the people excited enough that Hillary would find herself struggling. "The right person" though - easy to say, less easy to find, and even less easy to prevent the DNC from shoving them under that metaphorical bus.

LB said...

Twilight ~ This latest post ties in with a comment I left on your "Pregnant Cows or Pregnant Barley?" post a few weeks ago:

"On a separate subject, you popped into my dream early this morning. I think you were considering switching your support to another presidential candidate but didn't want to say who."


Maybe it was more a matter of you not knowing rather than not saying, at least back then.:)

Twilight said...

LB ~ Oh yes! That does tie in. :-)
Well done your dream!

I am interested to see whether, and how, Jim Webb would campaign. I like his natal chart for a president, I like that he's determinedly independent in his views (though that will not endear him to the Powers That Be). If nothing else the race will become more interesting with him in it...even better with Bernie Sanders too.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Until I read your post, I don't remember ever hearing anything about Jim Webb.:)

mike (again) said...

Martin O'Malley (x-gov of Maryland, DOB 1-18-63) is available, too. His natal chart has a T-sq between Venus-Jupiter-Pluto and transiting Saturn, ruler of his late-degree Capricorn Sun, will be conjunct his Venus from the end of this year through elections, setting-off his T-sq...maybe a few ghosts from his past are revived. He doesn't have much to offset this T-sq, so I doubt he'll make it through the vetting process.

I viewed Webb's political website and was disappointed that there is sparse information available. Where he stands on contemporary issues can only be extrapolated from his history. I'll reserve judgement until I know his established platform, though I find this lack to be novice of a nominee.

Bob said...

Too soon to say anything.

Anybody else watching the WHCD on C-Span? I tuned in late but had the option to watch live or from the beginning. Chose the latter as that is when you can see who is there or showing up as they continuously pan the ballroom. Saw Scalia hitting on Couric and pretty sure I saw Webb several times. Bernie Sanders and others.

Guys buy 1 tux and wear it for years. Gals gotta have the dress (not last year's old thing), the shoes, the jewelry [earrings, necklace, bracelets, rings], the purse, maybe the hairdresser?

Twilight said...

mike ~ I saw a few mentions of O'Malley here and there, but wasn't much impressed by anything I read. Seems his astrology isn't going to be helpful to him anyway. thanks for looking though.

I suppose Webb is waiting, holding cards close to his chest until he decides whether to run or not. Can't really blame him - the media will be on him, especially those in pay of DNC, trying to discredit the minute he decides to run (if he does).

Twilight said...

Bob ~ No, we were deep into X-Files! I'll look for reports of the "do" tomorrow.

James Higham said...

I've been looking at him as a possibility for some weeks now.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~ Early days, early days....anything can happen.