Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Webb Interview Re State of the Union

For the second year in a row a Virginian has been chosen to deliver the Democratic response to the President's State of the Union speech. Newbie Senator Webb has been picked by Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi to make the response. Webb was interviewed by phone for WAVY 10 in Hampton Roads.

Freshman Senator Jim Webb back in national spotlight

In 2006, Jim Webb stunned the Commonwealth with a win to unseat a favored incumbent.

His victory over Republican George Allen gave Democrats control of Congress.

In 2007, the nation will hear him speak, after the President's address to a joint session of Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave him the good news.

"I feel honored that he asked me, and I'll do my best to carry the load of the Democratic party and also to say things that are dear to my heart," Webb said by phone.

Webb said he hasn't had much time to craft a speech, but dear to his heart are issues he campaigned on, an end to the war in Iraq, and a fair economy for all.

"Obviously, the President's gonna have a lot more time than we will. But, we hope to be able to make the key points that will demarcate the differences in approach to governing the country," Webb said.

No doubt, the President's plan to bring 20,000 new troops into the warzone will be discussed. It's a move Democrats are fighting. Webb said he's gained insights on two committees he serves on: the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Foreign Relations.

"I think there are a number of people in both parties who are seeing it the same way. We have to do something affirmative to bring this war to a conclusion."

Webb follows in the footsteps of another Virginia lawmaker in the national spotlight.

Governor Tim Kaine gave this same speech last January.

"We've got some really good leaders here in Virginia, people who are trying to solve problems. I think it's great," Webb said.

The President's State of the Union address airs Tuesday, January 23rd.

Senator Webb will speak for about five minutes shortly after Bush's address.

Webb Interview re SOTU

Five minutes to respond to a speech which has been in development for months is not much time. I hope the Senator's staff is spending some serious time with him working on major points, but I look forward to the response. No matter how well the President dresses his pig it's still just a lot of fatback and squealing. My advice to the Senator would be to prepare for all possibilities and then go out there and have a good time.

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