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Jim Webb

American politician, military officer and author

James Henry "Jim" Webb, Jr. (born February 9, 1946) is an American politician. He was a United States Senator from Virginia from 2007 to 2013. He is also an author and served as Secretary of the Navy from 1987 to 1988 under the Ronald Reagan administration. He is a member of the Democratic Party.


Jim Webb
Jim Webb official 110th Congress photo.jpg
United States Senator
from Virginia
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byGeorge Allen
Succeeded byTim Kaine
United States Secretary of the Navy
In office
May 1, 1987 – February 23, 1988
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byJohn Lehman
Succeeded byWilliam Ball
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs
In office
May 3, 1984 – April 10, 1987
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byStephen Duncan
Personal details
Born
James Henry Webb, Jr.

(1946-02-09) February 9, 1946 (age 73)
St. Joseph, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Barbara Samorajczyk (1968–1979)
Jo Ann Krukar (1981–2006)
Hong Le Webb (2006–present)
ChildrenAmy
Sarah
Jimmy
Julia
Georgia
Emily (Stepchild)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
United States Naval Academy
Georgetown University
AwardsNavy Cross
Silver Star
Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart (2)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceSeal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service1968–1972
RankUS-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant
UnitDelta Company
1st Battalion 5th Marines
Battles/warsVietnam War

Webb announced on November 19, 2014 that he is forming a committee to run for President of the United States in 2016.[1] On July 2, 2015, Webb announced that we will run for president in 2016.[2] He suspended his campaign and withdrew from the election on October 20, 2015.

Early lifeEdit

Webb was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. His father, James Henry Webb, served in the United States Air Force. His mother, Vera Lorraine Hodges, was a housewife. His family descended from Irish-Scots immigrants. Webb went to many schools in the U.S. and in England. He was raised in Bellevue, Nebraska.

Webb graduated from the University of Southern California, Georgetown University Law Center, and from the United States Naval Academy.

Early careerEdit

Committee on Veterans Affairs (1977-1981)Edit

 
Webb in the 1980s

From 1977 to 1981, Webb worked on the staff of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. During this time, he also represented veterans pro bono. Webb also taught at the Naval Academy and was criticized for a 1979 article published in the Washingtonian magazine titled "Women Can't Fight"[3] (see "Senate Election" below).

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (1984-1987)Edit

During the Reagan Administration, Webb served as the nation's first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs from 1984 to 1987.

During his time as Assistant Secretary, Webb sought to reorganize the Marine Corps. He was gravely concerned with the disarray the Marines had fallen into post-Vietnam: drug use, racial infighting, and low morale within the Corps left him with the impression it was no longer America's premier fighting force.

United States Secretary of the Navy (1987-1988)Edit

In 1987, he served as Secretary of the Navy, becoming the first Naval Academy graduate to serve as the civilian head of the Navy. As Navy Secretary, Webb pushed the appointment of Alfred M. Gray Jr. as Commandant of the Marine Corps, hoping that Gray could reshape the Corps into the elite unit it once was.[4]

Webb resigned in 1988 after refusing to agree to reduce the size of the Navy. Webb had wished to increase the Navy to 600 ships. As revealed in The Reagan Diaries, President Ronald Reagan wrote on February 22, 1988: "I don't think Navy was sorry to see him go."[5]

After his resignation, Webb earned his living primarily as an author and filmmaker. He won an Emmy Award for his 1983 PBS coverage of the U.S. Marines in Beirut.

United States Senator (2007-2013)Edit

On February 7, 2006, he announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the 2006 Senate race against incumbent Virginia Senator George Allen.[6]

In the Democratic primary on June 13, 2006, Webb faced longtime businessman and lobbyist Harris Miller. Webb won with 53.5% of the vote, in a race with low turnout.[7] On January 4, 2007, Webb was sworn into the 110th U.S. Senate, accompanied by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., a fellow former Secretary of the Navy; and former Virginia Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb, who held the same seat before losing to Allen.

 
Jim Webb with his son Jimmy and George W. Bush, March, 2008

On November 15, 2006, Senate majority-leader-in-waiting Harry Reid assigned Webb to three committees: the committees on Foreign Relations, Veterans' Affairs, and Armed Services.[8]

 
Webb's official senate portrait

On January 23, 2007, Webb delivered the Democratic response to the President's State of the Union address, focusing on the economy and Iraq.[9] Webb's speech drew positive reviews, and was regarded as one of the stronger State of the Union responses in recent memory.[10] Webb, a decorated war veteran, spoke of his family’s military past, his own passionate attachment to the military, and the way in which previous presidents had always attempted to ensure that all precautions had been taken when sending young Americans into harm's way.

On August 14, 2009 Webb visited Myanmar (Burma), seeing its junta's leader, Gen. Than Shwe, and also the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest. During Webb's visit with Than Shwe, Webb negotiated the release and deportation of an imprisoned American, John Yettaw.[11]

On February 9, 2011, Webb announced that he would not run for re-election of his Senate seat in 2012.[12][13]

2016 presidential campaignEdit

On November 19, 2014, Webb announced the formation of an exploratory committee in preparation for a possible bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States in 2016.[14][15] He made the announcement via a video posted on his website, as well as on YouTube.[16]

On June 15, 2015, Webb announced he would make a decision regarding a presidential bid by the end of the month.[17] He made a formal announcement on July 2, 2015.[18] He suspended his campaign and withdrew from the election on October 20, 2015.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Webb married Barbara Samorajczyk in 1968. They divorced in 1979. Then, Webb married Jo Ann Kruckar in 1981. They divorced in 2004. Webb is currently married to Hong Lee since 2005. Webb has five children and a step-child.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Jim Webb: No to VP, door open for 2016". Politico.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  2. "Democrat Jim Webb joins 2016 White House race". Fox News.
  3. Webb, James (November 1979). "Women Can't Fight". Washingtonian (Washingtonian Magazine, Inc.). http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/mediapolitics/2182.html. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  4. Ricks, Thomas E. (1997). Making the Corps. New York: Scribner. ISBN 0-684-83109-0.
  5. Reagan, Ronald (2007). The Reagan Diaries. HarperCollins. p. 580. ISBN 978-0-06-087600-5.
  6. Shear, Michael D. (2006-02-08). "Reagan Navy Secretary Will Run for U.S. Senate". Washington Post. p. B05. Retrieved 2006-10-29.
  7. "Official Results: Primary Election, June 13, 2006". Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved 2006-06-19.
  8. Maze, Rick (November 15, 2006). "Webb to serve on key Iraq-related Senate panels". Air Force Times.
  9. "Webb's 'aggressive' Democratic response to Bush 'State of Union' speech [includes transcript of Webb's response]". The Raw Story. January 23, 2007.
  10. Kurtz, Howard (January 25, 2005). "The Long Goodbye". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-03.
  11. "Senator wins release of US prisoner in Myanmar". Associated Press. August 15, 2009.
  12. Geraghty, Jim (February 9, 2011). "As Predicted, Jim Webb Won’t Run for Reelection in 2012". National Review. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20121020060033/http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/259372/predicted-jim-webb-wont-run-reelection-2012. 
  13. Smith, Ben. "Webb won't seek reelection". Politico.
  14. Berman, Russell (November 20, 2014). "President Jim Webb?". The Atlantic. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  15. Haberman, Maggie (2014-11-20). "Jim Webb launches 2016 committee". Politico. Retrieved 2014-11-20.
  16. Haberman, Maggie (November 20, 2014). "Jim Webb launches 2016 committee". Politico. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  17. ABC News. 15 June 2015 http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/jim-webb-decide-2016-run-end-month-31785769. Retrieved 16 June 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. Rachel Weiner (July 2, 2015). "Jim Webb announces 2016 presidential bid". Washington Post.
  19. "Jim Webb drops out of Democratic primary race". news.yahoo.com.

Other websitesEdit