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Webb Takes Himself Out of VP Race

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has taken himself out of the running to be Barack Obama's vice presidential pick, telling the Democratic nominee's campaign that he would not accept an offer to join the ticket if one was forthcoming.

"Last week I communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my firm intention to remain in the United States Senate, where I believe I am best equipped to serve the people of Virginia and this country," Webb said in a statement released by his Senate office. "Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for Vice President."

Webb's name is one of several that have circulated as potential ticket-mates for Obama. The freshman senator's background in defense and national security -- he is a decorated Vietnam veteran and former Navy Secretary -- and his ability to win in the crucial swing state of Virginia have been seen as attractive attributes for a vice president. But Webb himself has never expressed much interest in the job, and his maverick tendencies and apparent dislike of political glad-handing made him seem an unlikely choice.

Here's the rest of Webb's statement:

"A year and a half ago, the people of Virginia honored me with election to the U.S. Senate. I entered elective politics because of my commitment to strengthen America's national security posture, to promote economic fairness, and to increase government accountability. I have worked hard to deliver upon that commitment, and I am convinced that my efforts and talents toward those ends are best served in the Senate.

"In this regard, the bipartisan legislative template we were able to put into effect through 18 months of work in order to enact the new, landmark GI Bill will serve as a prototype for my future endeavors in government. This process, wherein we brought 58 Senators from both parties to the table as co-sponsors, along with more than 300 members of the House, gives me renewed confidence that the Congress can indeed work effectively across party lines and address the concerns of our citizens.

"At this time I am also renewing my commitment to work hard to make sure that Senator Obama wins both Virginia and the presidency this November. He is a man who speaks eloquently about our national goals and calls for the practical solutions that must be put into place to obtain them. I will proudly campaign for him."

By Ben Pershing  |  July 7, 2008; 3:43 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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