The Democratic party got another new presidential candidate on Thursday; Former U.S. Senator from Virginia Jim Webb announced that he is running for president in 2016. Webb is seen as a long-shot candidate, and is probably not very well known to those of us who have not lived in Virginia. (He was in office from 2007 through 2013.) Plenty will come out about Webb's politics and aspirations for the country now that he is a candidate for president, but what about other aspects of his life? Family-wise, Webb's wife, Hong Le Webb, has played a somewhat public role in her husband's political career, and has worked on his previous Senate campaigns. But what else do we know about her?
Webb was born in Vietnam, and she and her family left the country after the fall of Saigon in 1975, she told Daily Kos in 2006. She also told the website that she grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, and later attended college at the University of Michigan, and then received her law degree from Cornell. She was an accomplished securities and corporate lawyer in Washington D.C., and has also been active and vocal in her husband's campaigns. All of this on top of being a parent, as well.
Mrs. and Mr. Webb were married in 2006 and had their first and only child together that same year, which was also the same time that Mr. Webb was campaigning for his first Senate term. Asked about being a working mother, Mrs. Webb told Daily Kos that "I am not unique in the issues I face as a mom with a career. I've had to balance competing interests relating to childcare, long hours as a lawyer, staying actively involved in my daughter's education and extra-curricular activities, and my own maternal desire to be involved in my daughter's life in every respect." Currently Mrs. Webb works as an international consultant for the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.
Mrs. Webb and her husband have been involved in a matter that could be considered controversial, especially now that Webb is making a bid for the presidency. According to The Washington Post, a PAC chaired by Mr. Webb has paid approximately $90,000 to Mrs. Webb, and also to one of his daughters, for work they did for Webb's various websites. Mr. Webb denies any wrongdoing and released a statement claiming that the money paid to his wife and daughter was for work that was "real and provable."
Given that Mrs. Webb was vocal in her husband's senate campaigns, it stands to reason we could see and hear more from her in the coming months. CNN reports that Mr. Webb's aides have claimed she is his closet adviser. Her experience as a lawyer and an international consultant certainly make her an asset to anyone running for president, so it seems that Mr. Webb has a solid partner at his side as he seeks the democratic nomination.
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