CRAWFORD, Texas — Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized the anti-war movement, said yesterday that she plans to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.
Mrs. Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Mrs. Pelosi does not seek to impeach Mr. Bush by July 23. That's when Mrs. Sheehan and her supporters are scheduled to arrive in Washington, after a 13-day caravan and walking tour from the group's war protest site near Mr. Bush's Crawford ranch.
"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Mrs. Sheehan said. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said the congresswoman has said repeatedly that her focus is on ending the war in Iraq.
"She believes that the best way to support our troops in Iraq is to bring them home safely and soon," Mr. Daly said in an e-mail to the Associated Press. "July will be a month of action in Congress to end the war, including a vote to redeploy our troops by next spring."
The White House declined to comment on Mrs. Sheehan's plans.
Mrs. Sheehan plans her official candidacy announcement tomorrow. Yesterday wrapped up what is expected to be her final weekend at the 5-acre Crawford lot that she sold to California radio talk-show host Bree Walker, who plans to keep it open to protesters.
Mrs. Sheehan announced in late May that she was leaving the anti-war movement. She said that she felt her efforts had been in vain and that she had endured smear tactics and hatred from the left, as well as the right. She said she wanted to change course.
Her son Casey, a specialist in the Army's 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, was killed by Shi'ite militia in April 2004, after he volunteered for a mission to rescue fellow soldiers ambushed in Sadr City by forces loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr.
Mrs. Sheehan first came to Crawford in August 2005 during one of Mr. Bush's vacations, demanding to talk to him about the war, and staged a 26-day roadside vigil, which was joined by thousands.
Mrs. Sheehan, who has never held political office, recently said she was leaving the Democratic Party because it "caved" in to the president. Last week, she announced her caravan to Washington, an undertaking she calls the "people's accountability movement."
Mrs. Sheehan, 49, said Mr. Bush should be impeached because she believes he misled the public about the reasons for going to war, violated the Geneva Convention by torturing detainees and crossed the line by commuting the prison sentence of former vice presidential aide "Scooter" Libby. She said other grounds for impeachment are the domestic spying program and the "inadequate and tragic" response to Hurricane Katrina.
Mrs. Sheehan said she hopes Mrs. Pelosi files the articles of impeachment. But if not, Mrs. Sheehan said she is ready to run for office.
"I'm doing it to encourage other people to run against Congress members who aren't doing their jobs, who are beholden to special interests," she said, adding that Mrs. Pelosi "let the people down who worked hard to put Democrats back in power, who we thought were our hope for change."