Early Returns

Joe Biden's Chances and Jim Webb's Drop Out

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

I usually do an item on candidates when they drop out of the presidential race, as Jim Webb did yesterday, but it’s hard to see any larger lessons here. Winnowing works, yes, but Webb appears to have been less winnowed than (as Jamelle Bouie points out) never really ran in the first place. If you declare a candidacy but don’t actually campaign, are you a candidate? He claims to be thinking of launching an independent bid, but getting on ballots is hard, at least in many states; it’s hard to see how that happens. At any rate: It takes a particular kind of gall to claim, as Webb did in his drop-out announcement, that Congress has allowed itself to become too weak -- when he gave up his Senate seat instead of trying to fix the (very real) problem.

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