The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Jim Webb to speak at N.H. college, stump for Shaheen as he tests presidential waters

Placeholder while article actions load

Former Virginia senator Jim Webb (D), who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, will be in New Hampshire next month to speak on the campus of Saint Anselm College and campaign for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

Webb will deliver remarks on Oct. 20 at the small Catholic college near Manchester, N.H., which has long been a testing ground for White House hopefuls and host to presidential primary debates.

An official at the school confirmed Webb’s appearance.

Webb will discuss his memoir, I Heard My Country Calling, which was published earlier this year, as well as foreign and domestic policy. His presentation will be hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, which is operated by the college.

Details of Webb’s campaign work for Shaheen are still being finalized but are likely to revolve around outreach to veterans, according to Democrats familiar with Webb’s plans. Shaheen is running against former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, a Republican and retired member of the Army National Guard.

A Marine who earned two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, Webb served as secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration. Running on an anti-war platform, he was elected to the Senate in 2006, defeating then-senator George Allen (R). He opted against seeking reelection in 2012.

In August, Webb went to Iowa to campaign for Rep. Bruce Braley (D), who is running for Senate against state Sen. Joni Ernst (R), a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard.

Jessica Vanden Berg, a Webb adviser, said the trip will be his second visit to the Granite State this year. In May, Webb attended a “Salute Our Soldiers” gala in Portsmouth, N.H.

On Tuesday, Webb spoke at the National Press Club in Washington and said he is taking a “hard look” at running for president. He also criticized the Obama administration for its foreign policy, which he described as a “tangled mess.”

Speaking hours after combined U.S.-Arab airstrikes began targeting the Islamic State’s military compounds in Syria, Webb said the administration needs to be “very careful” and expressed concern about its “judgment.”

New Hampshire, home to the first presidential primary, is getting plenty of attention from other potential Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden visited Portsmouth earlier this month. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.) will be in the state on Friday to give the keynote speech at the Portsmouth City Democrats Fall Dinner. And former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the party’s 2016 nomination, will headline a Sept. 30 fundraiser for New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro (D), a longtime ally, in Washington.