Former Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb is one step closer to making an independent run for the White House in 2016 as his campaign announced Thursday the hiring of political consultant Sam Jones.
Jones, who served as super PAC Draft Biden’s national finance director, will act as a consultant for Webb. His first task will be to determine how the campaign can raise the money necessary to run a viable national operation.
According to former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson who ran on a third-party presidential ticket in 2o12, an independent candidate needs $8 million to get a campaign up and running, and gain ballot access in all 50 states.
Webb spokesman Craig Crawford gave the following statement: “After weeks of study, including consultations with ballot experts and independent activists across the country, we have a handle on what it takes to give voters in every state a real choice.”
Webb, a former Virginia senator and Navy Cross recipient, can be fashioned a Blue Dog Democrat. The fading coalition now only sports 15 members in the House of Representatives, but Sen. Webb sees political centrism as the only way forward in a polarized Washington.
“The extremes that have taken over the nominating process have become glaringly obvious,” Webb wrote in October. “An independent president who can bring a broad spectrum of talent into a completely new administration would be best equipped to face the hard choices and to put our government back on track again.”
The Webb campaign has also hired a technology company which specializes in political outreach to get the ball rolling.
As for Webb’s electability, some may argue that Hillary Clinton adequately represents the same faction of Democrats as the former senator. Others may disagree, as the Democratic front-runner is forced to the left by a progressive socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Webb criticized Clinton’s leadership as Secretary of State in December, calling her policies “inept” as Libya and Syria both have devolved into civil wars as a result of her support of the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
[Washington Post] [Washington Times] [The Hill]