"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
After Mr. Obama's comments were reported, his presidential campaign faltered badly, due in part to those remarks and in part to the anti-American ravings of the Bill Ayers.
In choosing Mr. Webb as a running mate, Mr. Obama would be selecting a Republican-turned-Democrat who is a reliably liberal vote on issues ranging from taxes to the war in Vice President Dick Cheney and other supporters of the war did not serve in combat.
Many Democrats figured that with Iran without preconditions.
Another reason to put Mr. Webb on the ticket is that Democrats have a chance to carry Virginia in the presidential election - something that has not happened since 1964. A new Rasmussen poll has Mr. McCain slightly ahead of Mr. Obama in the state (47 percent to 44 percent). But it remains to be seen exactly how much added political strength Mr. Webb (who defeated incumbent Republican George Allen in November 2006 by 9,000 votes out of more than 2.3 million) would bring to the national Democratic ticket in Virginia.