New Democrat Jim Webb, the freshman senator from Virginia, is set to give a bold 8-minute response to Bush's State of the Union address.
Apparently, though, he was so excited this morning about getting a shot at the president that he spilled coffee all over his blue dress shirt.
I'm sure Democrats are hoping that Webb, who is relatively new to politics, will do better tonight. (Live-blog below the fold)
--Oops, NBC called him the "new Republican senator". Russert chimes in to note that Webb may have been Reagan's secretary of the Navy, but he was always a Democrat at heart.
--Webb and the Democrats "hope the president is serious." He notes that this is the seventh time Bush has called for energy independence, but the first under a Democratic Congress.
--"A proper conclusion." That's what Webb wants to see in Iraq.
--Webb's speech isn't quite the barn-burner it was billed to be. His tone is rather subdued, actually, though he conveys an air of pursed-lip impatience.
--Webb's recantation of traditional Democratic talking points on domestic policy is incongruous, given his single-issue focus during his Senate campaign.
--Democrats clearly chose Webb as someone who could point to his own biography for credibility on matters of war and peace.
--Webb says we are now "held hostage" to the disarray in Iraq. Now, he can point to the fact that most Americans are unhappy with the war. But when it comes to time to propose a solution, he brings up the Biden-Levin plan, which hasn't exactly fired the imaginations of the populace.
--Dwight Eisenhower, the president who ended the stalemated Korean War, makes a rare appearance in a Democratic speech.
--If Bush doesn't lead, Webb says, "we will be showing him the way." But the way he said it had the air of threat about it. And that's it for tonight.