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Presidential election update: Webb drops out, Biden waves bid

Joanna Harlow
Online Editor
ejh1498@lhup.edu

Jim Webb wikimedia.org

Jim Webb has ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, and announced at a press conference that he will consider running as an Independent. Vice President Joe Biden has also ended months of intense speculation about his political future on Wednesday by announcing he wouldn’t seek the presidency. Webb said at the press conference Tuesday that the Democratic Party has moved away from “millions of dedicated, hard-working Americans.” Webb’s campaign never really got off the ground and was seen by some as more of a vanity play than an actual presidential bid. Webb spent only four days campaigning in New Hampshire and 20 days in Iowa, far fewer than his challengers, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. According to the National Journal, Webb raised less than $700,000 and was averaging about one percent in national polling. In last week’s debate, Webb spent much of his time complaining he wasn’t getting enough time .Webb, who at one time was a Republican, notably served as secretary of the Navy under then-President Ronald Reagan after a decorated military career. “Some people say I am a Republican who became a Democrat, but that I often sound like a Republican in a room full of Democrats or a Democrat in a room full of Republicans. Actually, I take that as a compliment” Webb told CNN. “The very nature of our democracy is under siege due to the power structure and the money that finances both political parties,” Webb said at the press conference, but his campaign funding strategies have also come into question. Added to the money Webb reimbursed himself, more than two-thirds of the campaign contributions spent since he left Congress went directly into the pockets of a Webb family member according to the New York Post. Webb’s campaign insists the family payments are for honest work. “Amy [Webb’s daughter] runs the website,” a Webb campaign spokesman told the Chicago Tribune. Webb’s exit leaves four major contenders still in the race for the Democratic nomination: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

wikimedia.org Vice President Joe Biden

wikimedia.org
Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden also made an announcement Wednesday morning after three months of intense speculation over whether or not he would run. His candidacy could have meant the fracturing of the Democratic party, as he and Hillary were part of the same administration. At the press conference which took place at the White House, Biden said the window for a successful campaign “has closed,” noting his family’s grief following the death of his son, Beau. Biden’s aides were divided over whether Mr. Biden, should try to run again. Many of the party’s top donors and veteran strategists, including some of President Obama’s old advisers, are supporting Mrs. Clinton.

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