Found this article by Emmett Tyrrell, American Spectator's editor-in-chief, who had an encounter with Jim Webb during the Reagan years. Even at that point, 20-plus years ago, Webb demonstrated boorish behavior. Tyrrell recounts having dinner with Webb at that time:
As it happens I did dine with Webb, sometime after his brief stint at the Department of the Navy. He is a pretty good novelist and in print at the time had expressed some ideas of which I approved, particularly his scruples against women in combat, though other of his references to women strike me as coarse. At any rate, I invited him to dinner for what turned out to be a gruesome evening.
Webb is one of those people of whom it is said he is uncomfortable in his skin. At first I thought his discomfort might come from the fear he was going to have to pay his way. It was a classy eatery. I reassured him that he was my guest. I went on to make clear I considered him a fine writer. Nothing I said reassured him, not even my insistence that he have dessert. I left baffled.
Most of the military men I have known are gents. Many writers are cads, but I thought a writer who had also served high up in the Reagan administration might be civilized. After that dinner I never made the mistake of inviting him anywhere again.
What I find interesting about this event is that the memory of Jim Webb's behavior stayed with Emmett Tyrrell all these years.
Tyrrell went on to comment about Webb's behavior during the recent senate campaign:
His campaign was a prolonged demonstration of his caddishness. He who had called President Bill Clinton's administration the most corrupt in modern history invited Clinton to campaign with him. He actually exploited his own son's present service in Iraq for political advancement. While campaigning he paraded around in his son's combat boots! There were others in the 2006 election with sons in Iraq. One is a leading opponent of the war. None put a son in such an embarrassing and potentially dangerous position. Once elected, Webb took his boorishness to the White House.
Tyrrell ends his article with these questions:
It makes me wonder why his stay at the Department of the Navy was so brief. Did the Reaganites shove him out? Did one of them make the mistake of taking him to dinner? Or did they catch him acting up at a White House reception that has gone unreported? Some reporters should have looked into this.
I agree that some reporters should have looked into a lot of things during the recent senate campaign. Due to a lack of investigative journalism and a willingness of the mainstream media to cover up or ignore the truth, Virginians are stuck with this man for six years.
Or ... maybe not. Will he last that long? His track record isn't promising. Which brings up another question.
Did the dems purposely choose Webb thinking, in the unlikely case he was elected, and knowing his track record of not sticking with things, that if he quit he could be replaced by someone of their choosing?
The senate seat replacement would be chosen by the Governor ... DEMOCRAT Tim Kaine ... so the dems could put whomever they wanted in that seat.
Six years is a long time for a hothead like Webb. This is going to be interesting to watch.