Washington (CNN) - Should he decide to seek another term in 2012, Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb has ruled out the possibility of running as an independent.
“I’ve been through a journey in my life on this. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s probably my role model. He was very comfortable serving in a Republican administration. I’m very proud to have served in the Reagan administration. But in terms of the political values – when they’re implemented properly – the Democratic Party is the party that I identify with,” Webb told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Tuesday.
In the interview, which aired on Tuesday’s “John King, USA,” Webb expressed ambivalence about running again, but he was clear that he will make his decision by March 31st of this year.
“We’re still talking about that particularly inside my family,” he said. “It’s an eight year commitment for us. People get excited about elections, but it’s eight years, so I’ve said that I’ll make a decision before the end of the first quarter, and we will.”
His 2006 foe and former Republican Sen. George Allen’s interest in a rematch will not affect Webb’s decision-making. Webb said, “That’s not even in the formula, it’s whether or not we want to make the decision to be up here for another eight years and do what it takes to do that.”
When pressed on his slow fundraising operation, the senator explained, “Well, I don’t want to be asking people for money unless they can you know be certain I’m going to use it for a campaign.”
However, should he decide to run, Webb added, “When you go back to the ‘06 campaign, I announced nine months almost to the day before the election with zero dollars and no campaign staff, and we were 33 points behind, raised enough money to win. I don’t want to go through that process again, but I’m not worried about the fundraising side, this is a personal family decision that we have to resolve.”
On President Obama, Webb told King, “The president, I think, finally hit that spot in the lame duck when he brought people together on the extension of the Bush tax cuts but also the provisions in there that extended unemployment and gave business credits and those sorts of things.” He continued, “I hope you’re going to hear tonight that same sort of formula. We’ve got to come together for the good of the country despite philosophical differences and move things forward.”
However, he added, “This is not a parliamentary system. He is not the prime minster so I am not obligated to agree with the president at every issue either so I’ll be looking very carefully at what he’s proposing and I hope to be able to agree with him but I don’t feel obligated to.”
As for the new bipartisan date fad striking the U.S. Capitol for the big speech, Webb indicated he is going stag. “It’s a little silly but it’s not harmful,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of friends who are Republicans, and I don’t quite see walking up to them and asking them if they want to sit with me. I have my favorite spot which is fairly close to the door – I’ll probably stay in that spot.”