It's called "good manners" and "protocol," Sen.-Elect Webb
I keep wondering when Jim Webb is going to realize he has just signed on to a six-year term as senator. This man has a reputation the past 30 years of having a short fuse, quitting, not sticking with things ... so how's he going to last six years in a stuffy senator's seat in Washington, D.C. where protocol and seniority is everything to life-long politicians?
Today's Washington Post has a report about Webb being rude to the President at the White House.
At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.
"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.
"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.
"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"
"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
Well ... isn't that just cozy and friendly of our new senator-elect? "That's between me and my boy"? What's that all about? The President simply asked a polite question ... so why did Webb become defensive?
But that's not the end of it. It's gets better ... er ... worse. Webb refused to have his photo taken with President Bush along with the other newly-electeds from around the country.
"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush. "No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. [But] leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is."
You know what? I have a photo of President George W. Bush with my daughter and me in the Oval Office that is hanging on my wall ... and I would wrestle Jim Webb to the ground if he tried to remove it. I am proud of my President and that I had the honor - the honor - to be invited into the Oval Office to visit and have that photo taken.
I have something to say to Jim Webb who will be representing me in D.C. As my representative ... and, like it or not, he's going to have to represent Republicans as well as dems ... I want him to be respectful to the President of the United States. I don't want an ass representing me in the Senate! Oh - I forgot that's the Party to which he currently resides. Okay, that may explain some of the postings I read from the lefty bloggers....
Jim Webb, this is no way to start out in your new job. My parents taught me to put your best foot forward in a new situation, don't rock the boat, and be a team player. You, Jim Webb, are not a team player.
I respectfully ask that you straighten out your act before meeting the President the next time.
h/t to The Ward View for alerting me to this WaPo article