Sheehan Considers Challenging Feinstein
By IAN JAMES, Associated Press Writer
CARACAS, Venezuela - Cindy Sheehan, the peace activist who set up camp near President Bush's Texas ranch last summer, said Saturday she is considering running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein to protest what she called the California lawmaker's support for the war in Iraq.
"She voted for the war. She continues to vote for the funding. She won't call for an immediate withdrawal of the troops," Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview while attending the World Social Forum in Venezuela along with thousands of other anti-war and anti-globalization activists.
"I think our senator needs to be held accountable for her support of George Bush and his war policies," said Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Feinstein's campaign manager, Kam Kuwata, said the senator "doesn't support George Bush and his war policies."
"She has stated publicly on numerous occasions that she felt she was misled by the administration at the time of the vote," Kuwata said by phone from California.
But with troops committed, Feinstein believes immediate withdrawal is not a responsible option, Kuwata said.
"Senator Feinstein's position is, let's work toward quickly turning over the defense of Iraq to Iraqis so that we can bring the troops home as soon as possible," he said.
Sheehan accused Feinstein of being out of touch with Californians on the issue.
She said she would decide whether to run after talking with her three other adult children. The Democratic primary will be held in June, and candidates must submit their statements for the voter guide by Feb. 14.
Kuwata said Feinstein and Sheehan appear to have a fundamental disagreement over whether troops should be pulled out right now. "That's why they have elections, and if she decides to file (paperwork to run), so be it," he said.
Sheehan said running in the Democratic primary would help make a broader point.
"If I decided to run, I would have no illusions of winning, but it would bring attention to all the peace candidates in the country," she said.
Sheehan, 48, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., said she would head to Washington on Sunday for protests against Bush's State of the Union address on Monday, and then return to California to discuss her idea of running against Feinstein with her son and two daughters.
"I can't see — if they think it's going to help peace — that they would be opposed to me doing it," she said.