Webb's response, in contrast, was strong, clear and just. His voice vibrated with outrage and urgency, and his speech laid out Democratic principles with a confident, spare, eloquence. By far the best SOTU response I've seen. I should note, as an interesting aside, that I spent a few minutes chatting with Webb earlier in the day, and he seemed perfectly at ease. Not a hint of anxiety in the freshman senator about to give a nationally televised response on behalf of his entire party. It struck me as vaguely odd at the time, but perfectly appropriate given the quality of his performance. Webb's appeal, I think, comes from his obvious and genuine conviction. He does have an ideology, and it makes him a far more compelling messenger than the technocrats and establishmentarians Democrats tend to rely on.
If by some miracle McCain does win the Nomination and the Presidency in 2008, I am picking Jim Webb as the Democratic Party Presidential nominee in 2012. If it's not him, it'll be a Southern Governor. You heard it here first. EDIT:Jonathan Alter at Newsweek gushes about Webb as well, though he downplays Webb's White House appeal.