Fighting Dems Webb (Senate) and Weed (House) for Congress in the VA Primary - and New Jersey, too.

The Fighting Dem Vets Diary this week will be reminding folks of the CA primary that we posted on last week (read here) and featuring the VA primary coming up a week from Tuesday. This Tuesday is also the NJ primary and our solo candidate from NJ, Rich Sexton, will be live blogging with us today along with any of the other vets who can break away from church or campaigning.

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MyDD Conversation with VA-Sen Candidate Harris Miller

Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak with Harris Miller, one of two leading candidates for the Democratic Senatorial nomination in the commonwealth of Virginia (the other being James Webb, with whom we spoke a week ago).

Miller and I covered a range of topics, including the lobbying, telecommunications, net neutrality, port security, the Iraq War, and why he believes the blogosphere should get involved in the race. You can listen to the interview here (warning: a 13.9 .wav file) or read the rush transcript below.

Jonathan Singer: For better or  for worse, the word "lobbyist" has become a virtual four-letter word in American politics today, particularly as a result of the actions of Jack Abramoff. Do you think your background as a lobbyist will help or hurt your campaign?

Harris Miller: I don't think it will impact it one way or the other. What I have been is an advocate for the internet, information technology, education, training and global competition. And I'm proud of that advocacy. I've traveled all over the world. Last year I flew over 100,000 miles all over the world, traveling all over this country, promoting the idea that we need to put more resources into education, into training, into research and development in order to be globally competitive. Those are the things that I've talked about as the president of the Information Technology Association of America, those are the things I'm talking [about] as a U.S. Senate candidate, and those are the things I'll be talking about as a U.S. Senator

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George Allen is Out to Lunch

In all of his campaigning for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, it seems George Allen has forgotten that he has to run for reelection to the United States Senate this fall.

There has been quite a bit of talk inside the Beltway about George Allen's strong position in the race for the Republican nomination in two years as the conservative anti-McCain candidate (of course, one must remember that the Washington press corps does not understand that McCain, himself, is a fierce conservative). And Allen has been reading his press clippings, focusing not on his reelection bid in Virginia and instead on caucus voters in Iowa and primary voters in New Hampshire. Sheryl Gay Stolberg has the story for The New York Times.

George Allen makes little secret that he is bored with life in the Senate.

"I made more decisions in half a day as governor than you can make in a whole week in the Senate," Senator Allen said earlier this month as he dashed into a recent Republican fund-raiser in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Over eggs and hash browns with a Republican crowd in Davenport, he lamented about being in the Senate, "It's too slow for me."

Virginia voters will no doubt be interested to find out that Allen is apparently not interested in serving another term in the Senate. Do they really want to reelect someone who will spend more time outside of coddling conservative activists than representing the Commonwealth in Congress, especially when two strong Democratic candidates genuinely want the job?

Both James Webb, with whom we spoke last week, and Harris Miller, who we plan on interviewing this week or next, are highly credible challengers for Allen. Early polling from the race, courtesy of Rasmussen Reports, shows that Allen can't crack 50 percent against either Webb or Miller, a striking figure given the fact that neither Democrat had invested much in the race by the time the survey was in the field. (We should know more about the race when Rasmussen publicly releases its March polling on the race, which is now only available to paid subscribers.)

In many ways, the situation in Virginia today mirrors the situation in Pennsylvania slightly more than a year ago. In early 2005, Senator Rick Santorum spent a great deal of time engaged in the activities requisite for a run for President, writing an off-the-wall book and generally neglecting his constituents. Within just a few short months, however, Santorum was trailing his Democratic challenger, Bob Casey, by 20 points. How quickly things can change.

Virginia is not the same state as Pennsylvania, and George Allen is not Rick Santorum. That said, the strategy of contrasting the "presidential candidate" with the "senatorial candidate," which has thus far worked wonders for Pennsylvania Democrats, should be implemented in full force in Virginia to help ensure George Allen won't have to go back to his boring job come January.

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MyDD Conversation with VA-Sen Candidate James Webb

This morning, spoke with former Secretary of the Navy James Webb, a candidate for the Democratic senatorial nomination in the commonwealth of Virginia (we of course would also welcome a conversation with the other leading Democrat in the race, Harris Miller).

Webb and I spoke about a number of topics, including the War in Iraq, the use of civilian contractors, why Webb -- who served under Ronald Reagan -- is running as a Democrat, and why he believes the blogosphere should get involved in the race. You can listen to the interview here (warning: a 19.0 megabyte mp3) or read the rush transcript below.

Jonathan Singer: Is President Bush, and perhaps more importantly the Republican Senate, doing enough to protect America's national security today?

James Webb: Well I think that from 9/11 forward, they've made fundamental mistakes that not only have not increased our security but have caused us to be intensely disliked around the world, unnecessarily.

If you go back to after 9/11, when President Bush stood up and said "in the war against international terrorism, you're either with us or against us," I think a lot of people agreed with that, but when they started going after Iraq, it was a totally different* thing. And I think that they squandered an historic opportunity to really galvanize most of the responsible people around the world so that we could focus on the real problems. By going into Iraq, they created hostility, insulted countries that had been our allies for a long time - unnecessarily insulted them - and created a lot more potential dislike and terrorist incidences than if they'd handled it the other way.

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Why I support Webb: From a Virginia volunteer

After seeing the debate sparked by Matt Stoller's post about James Webb, I wanted to throw in my thoughts some of Webb's seemingly "contraversial" views.

In particular, I wanted to take on the notions that Webb is a "Reagan Democrat," that he has an ambiguous stance on same-sex marriage and that he is a Southern populist.  I would also like to explain to progressive bloggers and Webb-skeptics why he is a perfect candidate to run against George Allen

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