Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jim Webb: A Time to Fight

Webb Fight.jpg

I met Senator James Webb last June in Washington DC, I was lucky enough to spend half an hour with him in his Capitol Hill office, with Edwin Poots, Edgar Jardine and Paul Givan. We got on very well, we invited him to visit Northern Ireland (he's been a regular visitor over the years, researching his family tree and the historical connections) and he signed my copy of his great book about the Ulster-Scots, Born Fighting: How the Scotch-Irish Shaped America. I asked him to sign page 65, which amused him greatly, laughing aloud as he went to get his pen. (Have a look at it yourself and you'll see why he wrote a huge "Indeed!" and then signed it underneath!)

Webb's being talked about as a potential Vice Presidential candidate to run alongside Barack Obama in the election later this year.

Webb himself has repeatedly said "if this cultural group (the Scotch-Irish) could get at the same table with black America, you could really change American politics..."

With perfect timing, his new book, A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America, has just been published.

It'll be interesting to see the spin-off for Ulster-Scots/Scotch-Irish awareness if Webb does run, and if he does become the Vice President. If he does, he'll be the first Vice Presidential candidate to write about his Ulster roots since Whitelaw Reid, who ran for the job in 1892. His excellent book The Scot in America and the Ulster Scot, published in 1912, was recently reprinted and is available here.

(Pics of me - beardless - with Senator Webb, Edwin Poots and Edgar Jardine are below)