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RET’s account of his dining experience with Webb, albeit humorous, appears to be a major factor in his evaluation of the senator to be. But how many who question Webb’s ability to handle properly his fork and knife (he is, after all, a graduate of the Naval Academy), or his excessive pugnacity, have ever met the man? Allow me to raise my hand.
While I served as press attache at the U.S. Embassy in Norway during the mid-80s, Webb, the then Assistant Secretary for Reserve and Manpower, visited. At that time, the U.S. and British Marines, along with other NATO forces, held joint military exercises in Norway above the Arctic Circle, for there was a threat to “the northern flank” of NATO due to the presence of Soviet submarine bases in the Kola Peninsula. I was assigned the serve as Webb’s embassy “control,” mainly, I might add, due to the fact that I had read his three (at the time) published novels.
During the luncheon held in the ambassador’s residence, Webb spoke of the Soviet naval threat with precision and knowledge; his responses to all questions were carefully thought out and measured; in short he was in his element. If memory serves, he did not drool or talk with his mouth full of food either. But what followed I retain, twenty years after, as an indelibly etched memory: I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with him, and Webb, always a gentleman, allowed your scribe to question him, among other things, about his article, “Why Women Can’t Fight,” the plight of the military academies, as well as the state of the Cold War. He was nothing short of impressive, and quite comfortable in his own skin.
What I believe is missing in these three accounts of Webb’s lese-majeste is the disgust that has welled up in sizeable portions of the U.S. population toward both parties. There is a floating animus among (former) Republican voters who claim that they have been betrayed by their party, and if that means electing someone else from the other party, well, so be it. I, for one, will keep an eye on the new senator-elect, to see how long he will eschew the Washington cocktail circuit. And, yes, Webb should consider his manners the next time he sees the president. For truth be told, it was the vote against the president that got Webb elected, and one should always be thankful — and civil — to folks who, even unintentionally, are helpful to your cause.
Finally, I cannot help but think that Webb, flawed as this triumvirate thinks he may be, is someone to watch. When is the last time that an underdog Democrat won a Senate race against an incumbent Republican in a putatively GOP stronghold? The Democrats know they cannot win the presidency in ‘08 without splitting “the solid Republican South,” and I don’t think that thought has been lost in Clinton’s campaign headquarters.p>Pax tecum. br> — Vincent Chiarello br> Reston, Virginia /p>
First Mr. Bowman, Bush should have said ‘“how is your son,” not your boy…There are no “boys” in Iraq. There are men.
Second, why don’t you comment on as to why Bush called to congratulate Harry Reid, but snubbed Mitch McConnell?p>The boor is Bush who insulted both men. br> — Mark Hodges
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?