Webb, an early opponent of the war in Iraq, might make his mark in the Senate in foreign and military affairs,” says a Washington Post Metro reporter with an interest in this turning out to be true. “Current and former politicians said they expect him to become the face of the Democratic Party’s antiwar movement.”
Some skepticism about the accuracy of that speculation aside, I’d like to see it become true; Webb has the right cultural and personal characteristics to sell an anti-war message. Post-9/11, I think an awful lot of Democrats have tried to compensate for having bad personal/characterological attributes for the politics of national security by adopting substantively bad policy positions — John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden come to mind — and this doesn’t work very well. Webb’s roughly the reverse, and feels no need to act defensive about being a patriot and supporting the troops and it worked well for him in the campaign despite the fact that he’s not a very natural campaigner.