Manu Raju of Politico has a piece today about retiring Virginia senator Jim Webb. The last three paragraphs read:
Webb is showing party loyalty on the campaign trail ahead of next week’s state elections, stumping for local candidates during last week’s recess. Asked if he would do the same for Obama in 2012, Webb said: “I don’t want to talk about next year yet.”
Webb — who was once considered a potential 2008 vice presidential candidate before he took himself out of the running — was asked about the changes in the past few years between him and his party. He said he hadn’t changed, but wouldn’t say whether his party has.
“If I had to say what is my calling, my calling in life is not politics — it’s leadership, leadership is trying to bring people to places where they might not have gone themselves,” he said.
One gets the sense from reading the rest of the article that Webb just does not like being a United States senator. It is tedious work and hard to get things down in Washington. And Webb, the article suggests, is more of a doer than a talker.
But it's still a bit revealing. It's not that it isn't politically prudent for Webb to say he'll campaign for Obama's reelection--it doesn't matter, after all, to Webb since he's retiring at the end this term, which just so happens to be his first term. Political considerations do not matter as much when one is not in politics. Instead, Webb's hesitation would seem to suggest that the Democratic Virginia senator isn't sure whether President Obama has been doing a good job.