Is Jim Webb Still Running for President?

Amidst all the hub-bub over Bernie Sanders’ “launch” yesterday and Martin O’Malley’s announcement coming up on Saturday, it occurred to me that I had not heard anything about Jim Web for a good while.

Then I saw this Jennifer Jacobs item at the Des Moines Register:

The Democratic strategist who was running the Iowa effort for presidential hopeful Jim Webb has resigned, Iowans told The Des Moines Register Wednesday morning.

Rania Batrice confirmed the news in an email to the Register.

“I resigned last week,” she said Wednesday.

Batrice, a Texas native, declined to explain further. A spokesman for Webb’s presidential exploratory committee didn’t immediately answer the Register’s request for information about her departure.

Until a week ago, Batrice’s Twitter account was full of positive chatter about Webb, a 69-year-old Vietnam War veteran who served as U.S. Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan and represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate for one term from 2007 to 2013. If he jumps into the 2016 presidential race, he would be a long shot with tough odds against the heavy Democratic favorite, Hillary Clinton.

But Batrice’s last two tweets were about how “change is as good as a holiday” and that “cowards die many times before their actual deaths.”

I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that Webb lost his Iowa director, or that nobody apparently noticed for a week. I guess it would be an understandable oversight, though, since Batrice was only hired in March.

Jacobs reports that Webb was last in Iowa in May 7. His exploratory committee’s web site notes he was testing the waters in New Hampshire as late as May 15. So it’s not like he’s vanished from the campaign trail entirely. But you’d think with the competition coming alive this week, he’d be in the news for something more than losing staff in Iowa.

Maybe next week we’ll check in on Linc Chafee.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.