Ex-Sen. Webb not interested in leading VA

Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) has taken his name out of the running to be the next chief of the Veterans Affairs Department.

“I’m always happy to give advice, but I’m really not interested in being in the administration right now,” Webb said this week on CNN’s "State of the Union."

“I’m better when I have my own voice. That’s one of the reasons I stepped away from the Senate,” said Webb, who served in the chamber from 2007 to 2013.

Webb’s service in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War earned him two Purple Hearts. He also served as secretary of the Navy in the late 1980s.

His military career, coupled with his familiarity with Capitol Hill, made some experts put Webb’s name on the short list of those could replace Eric Shinseki.

The four-star general resigned as head of the department on Friday following a pair of reports that showed systemic fraud in the VA healthcare system. President Obama tapped VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson to run the agency until a permanent replacement is found.

Webb said the department needs “someone who knows how to run institutions and who understands the nature of government bureaucracies.”

Asked about a possible presidential bid in 2016, the former lawmakers said he’s taking things “one day at a time."