Some think Jim Webb could be the liberal Democratic alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Perhaps it's more likely, though, that Webb could position himself as something the Democratic Party — or any party, really — hasn't seen in some time: the vocal champion of the working-class white man.
The former Virginia senator offered this critique of his party to Matt Bai over at Yahoo!, and it sounds like something that you might hear on the campaign trail going forward.
“I think this is where Democrats screw up, you know?” Webb said. “I think that they have kind of unwittingly used this group, white working males, as a whipping post for a lot of their policies. And then when they react, they say they're being racist.”
Rather than run as a liberal (which he is not, in a whole host of ways), Webb could run as a kind of anti-Hillary. He would be an explicit counter to the sort of progressive, feminist narrative that would inherently undergird a Clinton run. He would also be the anti-Obama, a break from the sort of identity politics around race, gender and ethnicity that have, in Webb's telling, excluded working-class white men.
(A white woman running for president after the nation's first black president could certainly underscore the "what about us" feeling among this demographic.)
So let me get this straight: Jim Webb is running on "You know what, we gave black people six, eight years out of 240. That's more than enough. So, sorry Hillary, but it's time to get back to white guys running the place, and white guys voting for him."
And this is a Democrat running on this.