You know, I personally don’t think Jim Webb is racist. Is he perhaps a little awkward in his communications with black voters? Maybe, but he’s getting better. Doug Wilder, the first black governor of Virginia, thinks Webb needs to do more to get his endorsement. Wilder’s endorsement is critical in any contemporary VA race and Webb needs it badly given this tight contest.

From the Washington Times:

Mr. Wilder said that he has spoken with both nominees — and with Mr. Webb as recently as Thursday.
“I told him that I think a lot of people are looking to see which of the candidates has a concise clear message that distinguishes one from the other,” he said. “It’s not a matter of voting against somebody but reasons that people would want to vote for Jim Webb.”
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, knows the power of a Wilder blessing: He was endorsed by the mayor Nov. 2, less than a week before last year’s election.
“It helped a lot,” Mr. Kaine told The Times. “At that point, we felt like we had momentum and it was a confirmation of momentum, which created more momentum.”

Webb needs black votes. Facing South asks why Webb isn’t doing better and comes up with a few answers, including his popularity with African-Americans.

Then there’s the issue of race. Given Allen’s “macaca moment” and other episodes, this should be Webb’s ace in the hole. But as recently as 2000, Webb was bashing affirmative action (a position he’s since retreated from) and in 1990, he addressed Confederate descendants at the National Confederate Memorial, asserting that Southern soldiers believed they were fighting for “sovereignty rather than slavery.” It has added up to a problem…

I think Wilder wants to come out for Webb given his statement like:

Wilder told the Free Press that “he would keep searching for [Virginia State] Sen. Lambert’s justification for backing Sen. Allen, who has voted for the policies of Republican President George W. Bush 97 percent of the time.” Wilder added that he was “mystified” and “wanted to know the reason.” (Source: Not Larry Sabato

Webb hasn’t given him the opening Wilder’s looking for apparently.

There are a lot of reasons to vote for someone other than George “Noose” Allen. I think there are reasons to vote for Webb though. He’s a good candidate and would make a solid Democratic senator. He just needs to demonstrate his understanding of black folks and our issues. Let’s hope more people agree with me come election day. Including Doug Wilder.

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