(AP/John Locher)

Jim Webb to drop out of Democratic race — but leaves open possibility of independent run

The Democrats won't have Jim Webb to kick around anymore, at least not until the general election


Scott Eric Kaufman
October 20, 2015 6:22PM (UTC)

Former Virginia Senator and man-who's-been-trying-to-get-in-the-conversation-now-for-10-minutes Jim Webb will host a press conference today at 1 p.m. EST in which he is expected to announce that he will no longer be seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for president.

That doesn't mean he will not be running, however, as many believe that the former Marine's dissatisfaction with both political parties will result in him running as an independent. He is not expected to make that announcement today, contrary to previous reports.

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Webb expressed no small amount of anger at the way in which last week's presidential debate was managed by CNN and Anderson Cooper, telling a group of reporters at the Council on Foreign Relations last week that he eventually resorted to inadvertently quoting "Breaking Bad"'s Walter White. "I even turned around to Bernie Sanders at one point and said, ‘Bernie, say my name, will you? Say my name,'" he said.

That debate, he believes, was "rigged" from the get-go. "It was rigged in terms of who was going to get the time on the floor by the way that Anderson Cooper was selecting people to supposedly respond to something someone else said," he argued. "It’s very difficult to win a debate when you don’t have the opportunity to speak the same amount of time on issues as the others did."

Given that he is currently polling between 0 and 1 percent among likely Democratic voters, it's possible that he could actually drum up more support with an independent bid, especially among conservatives who are unhappy with the reality show that is their current crop of candidates, or who esteem him for his military service.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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