The junior senator from Virginia is already living up to expectations:
At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.
"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.
"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.
"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?" "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
Webb later said he "wanted to slug" Bush for his tone. He then added that he didn't run for the senate to get a picture of himself with the president hanging on his wall.
Amen to that. Washington's version of the "ego wall" isn't degrees, awards, and newspaper clippings, but a collage of photos of one's self with people who wield political power, in descending order. So that pic of you with Clinton at the MS fund raiser goes at the top. The one with Rep. One-Termer at the bottom. My general impression after seven years in this town is that there's a direct correlation between the size of one's ego wall and the overall loathesomeness of his personality.
Webb's economic populism leaves a lot to be desired. But otherwise, I can't help but like the guy. Not only did he refuse a photo with the most powerful man in the world, he sassed him, too. Props, senator.