He won't likely get much attention from the mainstream media, but one-term U.S. senator and former Navy secretary Jim Webb launched his presidential campaign on Thursday. Webb made the announcement on his campaign website and brings the total number of Democratic presidential candidates to five.
USA Today reports:
"After many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States," he wrote. In his statement, Webb acknowledged the odds he faced but said he believed "our country needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us." Webb formed an exploratory committee last November and since then has held events in early voting states, such as Iowa, to test the waters for what will unquestionably be an uphill White House bid.
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Some media outlets are describing Webb's candidacy as a long-shot, once again showing that the media has accepted the role of deciding for Americans who is and isn't a viable candidate.
Jim Webb doesn't have much name recognition for people outside of Virginia or who are not hardcore politicos. However, he did make some headlines last week for seemingly defending the Confederate battle flag on Facebook when the national debate over the issue reached its climax.
Webb, 69, served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. He also served as assistant secretary of defense and Navy secretary during the Reagan administration. He upset incumbent Republican U.S. Senator George Allen in 2006, but only served a single term in the upper chamber after he decided not to run for re-election.
Webb is expected to focus on foreign policy issues during his campaign, but his biggest concern will be building name recognition and garnering media attention, something that former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffe has so far failed to do. Very few people realize there are more than two people running in the Democratic field.
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