THE WINDS OF CINDY
Is it Crawford-by-the-Sea? Sounds like it. Peace activist Cindy Sheehan arrives in Obama Vacationland on Tuesday and will remain for the duration.
“My purpose for going to Martha’s Vineyard is to bring awareness to the country, the international community, the media and President Obama that there are still people in this nation who care about the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and our soldiers who are still dying in wars that have no ‘noble cause.’ And while the regimes may have changed in D.C., the ruinous foreign policies remain the same,” Ms. Sheehan tells Inside the Beltway.
“Our demand from the peace movement has always been ‘troops home now,’ and I am going to reassert the moral demands that we insisted upon from the Bush administration to an Obama administration,” she adds.
Ms. Sheehan — who lost her son, U.S. Army Spc. Casey Sheehan in Iraq in 2004 — spent considerable time camped near President George W. Bush‘s ranch in Texas to protest the war. She also called for his impeachment, starved herself, was arrested, protested alongside Susan Sarandon and ran for public office.
The politics appear fluid, however. More than two years ago, Ms. Sheehan made a public announcement that she was leaving the Democratic Party, telling Congress, “It used to be George Bush’s war. You could have ended it honorably. Now it is yours, and you all will descend into calumnious history with BushCo.”
We can only speculate if the “peace mom” has changed her act for the new administration. Will anyone listen?
“She may get some passing notice as one of the ‘goings-on’ on the island during the Obama stay, but I very much doubt she will earn anywhere near the attention she got when she could be used to amplify an anti-Bush message — even though there’s certainly a news angle to a left-wing antiwar protester holding a vigil against a liberal president,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker tells Beltway.
ABC News anchor Charles Gibson recently told Chicago radio station WLS “enough already” when he heard Ms. Sheehan was heading for Martha’s Vineyard.
BELTWAY BOOK CLUB
And now that everyone has heard at least 140,000 times what President Obama plans to read on his vacation, Beltway respectfully asks readers to send in their own suggestions for his reading list. Thanks. And, uh, behave. (You know what we mean …).
The national discourse on race continues, vacation time or not, meanwhile.
White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton was asked during the daily briefing Monday if Mr. Obama agrees — as New York Gov. David A. Paterson recently suggested —”that the criticism of African-American politicians is often racially based.” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick also warned that the president “would be the next victim of this kind of bias in the media.”
Mr. Burton replied, “In terms of media coverage and the president, he thinks that there are a lot of people who agree with him in the media, there are a lot of people who disagree with him in the media, and there’s a lot of folks who just report it straight. Whether or not race plays into that, I don’t think is the case. The president doesn’t think it’s the case.”
Consider that U.S. troops in combat get caffeine-enhanced Stay Alert Gum and Zapple — a carbohydrate-loaded applesauce — to boost their energy. Another edible has come on the radar.
Behold Perky Jerky, from the Performance Enhancing Meat Snack Co., described as “an invigorating caffeinated beef jerky combining premium strips of peppered beef with an energizing additive.”
Yes. Really. It contains 150 milligrams of caffeine and the herb guarana. The mind reels at the possibilities for soldiers, not to mention journalists and politicos who perhaps face combat of their own.
“Creating an energizing meat snack was only half the battle,” says Brian Levin, the Colorado entrepreneur who spent three years developing his product. He says it tastes good, contains 90 calories per serving and has 22 grams of protein. See all at www.perkyjerky.com.
POLL DU JOUR
*41 percent of Americans rate President Obama’s handling of Afghanistan as “good or excellent.”
*63 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans agree.
*84 percent say Mr. Obama will likely send more troops to Afghanistan.
*49 percent say Afghanistan is the “central front” in the war of terror.
*54 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Republicans say Mr. Obama will have troops out of Afghanistan “by the end of his first term.”
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Aug. 15-16.
*Complaints, happy songs, focus-group findings to firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/636-3085. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.