'Redneck' Lawmaker Gives Obama Unlikely Boost

Webb helps Dem's credibility on national defense
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2008 2:41 PM CDT
Many Democrats consider Jim Webb, a highly decorated war veteran who opposes the Iraq war, Barack Obama's point man on issues of the military and national defense.   (AP Photo/Meet The Press, Alex Wong)
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(Newser) – Jim Webb, Virginia’s firebrand junior senator, is becoming Barack Obama’s wing man for courting pro-military and national defense voters. A respected war veteran and best-selling novelist, he is also among the more colorful candidates for Barack Obama's VP slot. But the politician who calls himself a "redneck" does have his liabilities, the Wall Street Journal notes.

He sometimes flouts political etiquette, once refusing to shake President Bush’s hand when asked about his son’s Iraq deployment. And, in 1979, he opposed military service for women. Still, many Dems regard Webb as their best shot at upstaging fellow vet John McCain on military issues. Of the VP slot, Webb says, "I just don't think that's a good job for me."