War protester Cindy Sheehan, who sought to be a thorn in President George W. Bush’s side over the Iraq war, has set her sights on a new war, Afghanistan, and a new U.S. leader, President Barack Obama, this week.
Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004, set up a small “Camp Casey,” named for her late child, near Blue Heron Farm, the compound on the Massachusetts island Martha’s Vineyard where Obama and his family are spending a weeklong holiday. While Bush was president, she was a frequent protester during his vacations in his adopted hometown of Crawford, Texas. She began visiting Crawford in the summer of 2005 when she wanted to meet with Bush while he was vacationing at his ranch. Bush had met with her after her son died but did not see her again, although he sent two top aides to talk to her.
Sheehan became perhaps the most public face of opposition to the Iraq War, but some strident statements made some observers categorize her as more of a fringe figure over time.
Sheehan’s supporters shouted at Obama’s motorcade as he drove by on his way to play golf. Some members of her group had posted small placards reading “World Needs Vacation from War” near a filing center set up for the traveling press, and distributed handouts noting that soldiers had died in Afghanistan while Obama played golf this week.
But her efforts drew scant attention. On Martha’s Vineyard, happy crowds have greeted the Obamas wherever they have traveled this week. Only about a dozen people turned out for Sheehan’s public statement Thursday morning, and several of those were with her entourage.