Jim Webb has complained that the Democratic race is "rigged" for Hillary Clinton, and he's apparently done playing along. The former Virginia senator announced Tuesday that he's dropping from the Democratic race, reports Politico. As for a rumored run as an independent, Webb clearly kept his options open. "How I remain as a voice will depend on what kind of support I am shown in the coming days and weeks as I meet with people from all sides," said Webb. He added that his views don't mesh with the "power structure" of the Democratic Party, adding that candidates in both parties "are being pulled to the extremes." (See a roundup of key quotes here.)
Two views on a potential independent run:
- Do it: "Webb is a voice to be heard and a figure to be respected, even if the dynamics of the Democratic contest were not allowing him that role," writes James Fallows at the Atlantic. "An independent path may give him a chance to make his case in the way truest to him."
- Could hurt Republicans: At the conservative site Hot Air, blogger Allahpundit makes the case that an independent bid by Webb could hurt Republicans. In this election, protest votes are far more likely to come from Republicans than Democrats. "We're not talking about huge minorities of the GOP in any of these scenarios, but you wouldn't need huge numbers to be decisive in a close election."
(Read more Jim Webb 2016