Former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia said Tuesday he is “seriously” considering running for president as a Democrat in 2016, presenting himself as a populist, anti-war alternative to Hillary Clinton.
Webb — a Vietnam veteran and former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan — acknowledged his interest in a White House campaign after delivering an anti-war speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions among people that I respect and trust about the future of the country,” Webb said Tuesday. “And we are going to continue having these discussions over the next four or five months, and I’m seriously looking at the possibility of running for president. But we want to see if there’s a support base for people who would support the programs that we’re interested in pursuing.”
Webb told the crowd: “I’m a Democrat. I have strong reasons for being a Democrat. Basically, if you want true fairness in this society, and you want to give a voice in the quarters of power to those who otherwise would not have it, I believe that will come from the Democratic Party. We’re taking a hard look, and we’ll get back to you in a few months.”
Over the last few months, Webb has hinted that he is interested in a White House run. “My wife and I are just thinking about what to do next. I care a lot about where the country is, and we’ll be sorting that out,” Webb said in May.
In August, Webb fanned the 2016 flames by traveling to Iowa: “I think we ought to have more Democrats coming out here. We need to stimulate a debate about where the country is.”
Webb recently released a memoir, “I Heard My Country Calling.”
“If Jim Webb runs, he’ll run flat out, and he won’t hesitate to define his differences with Hillary Clinton,” University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato told The Daily Caller. “Webb is to her left some on foreign policy issues and to her right on Second Amendment issues. This would be a campaign worth seeing.”