Obama’s VP Selection — Anyone But Webb
The Economist has a good article that summarizes why Jim Webb would be a nightmare pick for VP to people like me:
The main worry about Mr Webb, however, is that he is a genuine fire-breathing economic populist. He appears actually to believe the sort of stuff that Mr Obama only says during Democratic primaries. Since vice-presidents sometimes become presidents, this matters. American workers, says Mr Webb, “are at the mercy of cut-throat executives who are vastly overpaid, partly as a consequence of giving [the workers’] jobs away to other people.” Illegal immigration and globalisation “threaten to dissipate” the American middle-class way of life. He predicts that, unless the government acts to restore “economic fairness”, America “may well go the way of ancient Greece [or] greed-ridden Rome”.
America may be horribly unequal, but it is not, as Mr Webb imagines, apocalyptically so. And judging by his book, Mr Webb has only a shaky understanding of the economic system he decries. He thinks South Korea is more productive than America, and that “most” investors are among the wealthiest 1% of Americans. (In fact, about half of Americans own shares.) He is worryingly hazy about how he would make America fairer. But his instincts are plainly hostile to the free flow of goods, investment and people across borders. Mr Obama, who has recently started to sound less protectionist on the campaign trail and has appointed a team of impeccably centrist economic advisers, can surely do a bit better.
If the Republicans still controlled Congress, I would seriously consider voting for Obama. However, the thought of one party controlling both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is chilling given how it’s worked out in the past (Republicans and Democrats alike). Add Jim Webb to the ticket and a vote for Obama would be even less appealing to me.