Speculation about Virginia Sen. Jim Webb's prospects as a candidate for the Democratic vice presidential nomination got a boost last week with the passage of an important GI benefits bill -- a signal achievement for a freshman lawmaker that won him praise from both parties.
The artfully crafted bill allowed Democrats to tangibly support U.S. troops while still opposing the war. The gesture toward troops straining to cope with near-constant deployments also drew no small amount of Republican support.
If President Bush signs the bill as expected, it will be one of the most significant pieces of legislation approved by Congress this year.
Just two years ago, the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat was waging a long-shot bid for Senate against popular Republican incumbent Sen. George F. Allen -- having switched parties in order to mount a campaign against the war in Iraq.