Jim Webb Finally Claims Gun, Makes Up with Bush
Senator Jim Webb has finally admitted that the gun an aide was arrested for attempting to get past Capitol security was his in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Sen. Jim Webb has dispelled any lingering mystery about it: The pistol involved in the arrest of a top Webb aide was the senator’s. “It’s my gun,” Webb, D-Va., acknowledged in an interview last week. Webb declined again to talk about whether he complies with the District of Columbia handgun ban.
This was largely a foregone conclusion but his reasoning for hanging his aide out to dry is rather bizarre:
Q: Will you discuss questions involved in the gun arrest of your aide? You said at the time you didn’t want to prejudice the outcome of the case. It is over now.
A: “It was a matter under legal consideration, and I was precluded from saying anything. That was my major point.
“And I hope you’ll understand that in matters of self-defense up here, it doesn’t do anybody’s safety a lot of good by talking about this stuff. We’re pretty vulnerable up here.
“When I was secretary of the Navy I had a 24-hour-a-day bodyguard. Harry Reid has a 24-hour-a-day bodyguard. The governor has a security detail.”
Q: Was the gun yours?
A: “It’s my gun. But what I said in the [March] press conference is true. I did not give it to Phillip, nor did I ask him to do anything with it.”
Q: Will you talk about the question of whether you comply with the District’s handgun law?
A: “I don’t think we need to discuss that any more.”
While I don’t condone lawmakers flouting the law, it’s hard to blame Webb in this case. There’s little doubt that he’s more likely than the average guy to be the target of a nut. Still, it would be far easier to abide by his flouting D.C. law if he were working to change it. Certainly, he’s in a strong position to bring gun rights to D.C. residents.
This is interesting, too:
Webb disclosed he was invited to the White House on Wednesday as part of a small, bipartisan group of lawmakers who met with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The group included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Webb said he discussed concerns and ideas about the situation in Iraq and in the broader Middle East, and he “felt like I was listened to.”
(After that meeting, Webb introduced his son, Jimmy, who recently returned from the Marine Corps in Iraq, to Bush in the Oval Office, according to Webb’s spokeswoman. The visit was private and “very respectful,” said the Webb aide, Jessica Smith.)
(In November, Webb had a chilly exchange with Bush at the White House after the president inquired about Jimmy. It was based on that situation that Webb now wanted the president to meet his son, Smith said. Webb has been a vocal foe of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.)
I’m not quite sure what to make of Bush’s inviting Webb back after the rude response he received to a thoughtful inquiry to a father about a son serving in harm’s way. Perhaps Webb subsequently apologized or Bush simply accepted that Webb’s response was a genuine reflection of pain. In any case, it says something good about both men that this meeting apparently went well; that the Jimmy Webb was part of it was a nice touch.
via Political Wire