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Now that this diary seems on its way to getting the attention it deserves, I will shamelessly recycle a comment I made on the open thread:

Lyndon Johnson defined the art of politics as consisting of "knowing when to hold a knife to a man's belly and when to push it in."  My sense for Webb is that he knows both.  I am sick unto death of wimpy, timid democrats. I want someone who will stomp holes and drive stakes through the sons of bitches that have got us into this mess, someone who knows how to do business up close and personal with a knife.  I think Webb qualifies on these counts.  The simmering anger shows through in TV interviews.  He seems good on his feet.  

It is in this regard that I have the greatest concern about Obama.  He might make a great Secretary of State.  But what we need now is a domestic "war leader" who will aggressively and cunningly cut out the cancer that is at the heart of the US political and economic order.  It needs to be done quickly. The first hundred days. Of the major democratic candidates I favored Edwards because, in part, he had fought the vested interests on behalf of the lowly and won. I think Webb might be even better, but neither is an option now.

I just hope that Obama has personal qualities he has not yet shown.  He will need them if elected.  He could compensate by selecting a strong staff and cabinet.  I do believe Obama could use the presidency to sell the people on the need for getting the Ship of State off the shoals before the hurricane hits.  Webb could help from the Senate. I would rather see him there than as Secretary of Defense.  Edwards would make an excellent Attorney General.  Impeach Chief Justice Roberts and replace him with Hillary.

To this I would add that whoever becomes president this time, should they seriously attempt to right previous wrongs and get the ship of state off the shoals, had better be prepared for the trip to be one way.  The pack of wreckers who are currently in process of striping said ship will not meekly go away.  Were Obama willing and able to let Webb be his "tough guy" alter ego and give him the prominence Clinton gave Gore, I would be happy with Webb as V.P.  He could be the attack dog from Hell on the campaign trail, and someone who could credibly stand up to McCain.  But for that to work, Obama's campaign would have to forget about changing the tone of national politics until after they have won on the opponents home court, no quarter asked or given.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 10:55:02 AM EST
Were Obama willing and able to let Webb be his "tough guy" alter ego and give him the prominence Clinton gave Gore, I would be happy with Webb as V.P.  He could be the attack dog from Hell on the campaign trail, and someone who could credibly stand up to McCain.
A good-cop/bad-cop routine, also after taking office?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 11:00:07 AM EST
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Only that would fully justify his leaving the Senate.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 12:20:35 PM EST
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Exactly what I was thinking.  Webb could single-handedly stop the Democrats are soft on defense meme in its tracks.  He would clip every argument McCain could make at the knees.  McCain would be left with Bush's twenty percent dead enders and not much else.  Obama would be free to pursue his more idealistic change in Washington campaign without having to mudwrestle with McCain.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 12:31:54 PM EST
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Then he could be point on the effort to bring the looters to justice, while Obama tries to set a new tone. But a new tone will just be a happy face pasted over cancer if the abuses that have accumulated since LBJ aren't cut out and incinerated.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 01:24:07 PM EST
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I choose to think, for the moment, that Obama's mild-mannered reporter persona is in large part because he's been reluctant to smack down Hillary, given as how she's ostensibly a Dem, too. Some of his recent responses to McSame comments have been encouraging.

But I could be wrong. I was very enthusiastic about Bill until he'd been in office for a couple of months and it became apparent that he was an accommodationist.

by Mnemosyne on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 02:21:14 PM EST
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He is showing encouraging signs.  If he is willing and able to be or to appoint and support a real bulldog there is hope for more than just a 4 yrs pause in the descent.  I understand the reluctance to get specific---but damn.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 04:29:48 PM EST
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