Sheehan won't challenge Feinstein for Senate
Peace activist says she would be more effective outside system
Cindy Sheehan says she will not run against Sen. Dianne Feinstein but will continue "to be a thorn in her side."
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SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- While criticizing Sen. Dianne Feinstein for supporting President Bush's war policies, Cindy Sheehan said Thursday that she won't run against the popular California Democrat because she could be more effective as a vocal anti-war activist.
"I, as an American and as the mother of a hero, pledge to do what I can as a citizen to end the occupation of Iraq," Sheehan told reporters. "I am not running against Senator Feinstein, but I will continue to be a thorn in her side and a thorn in the side of any representative who is not stridently working for peace."
Sheehan, who became an activist after her son was killed in Iraq, wore a pink ribbon over her heart bearing the number 2,260, representing the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq.
Behind her, supporters held a sign that said, "Peace is the most noble cause." A young girl clutched a sign that read, "Peace and love are the ONLY noble cause."
Sheehan blasted Feinstein for giving Bush the green light "to invade an innocent country" when she voted in October 2002 for a resolution authorizing the Iraq war, and for continuing to vote to finance the war.
"It is not enough to criticize the president's policies, while you are handing him more money to fund his policies. It is like giving an addict more money to purchase drugs when you would like him to quit," she said.
Sheehan was thrust into the spotlight after her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, 24, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. She has hounded the Bush administration since August, when she and hundreds of fellow protesters began camping outside his ranch near Crawford, Texas, demanding an audience with the president.
She also recently penned a book, "Not One More Mother's Child."
Last week, she was arrested in the U.S. Capitol ahead of Bush's State of the Union address for refusing to cover up her T-shirt, which read, "2,245 Dead. How many more?" Police later apologized and said she shouldn't have been booked. (Full story)
Sheehan has met once with Bush, along with other relatives of troops killed in Iraq, during a visit to Fort Lewis, Washington, in April 2004, shortly after her son was killed. During that meeting, she later said, the president refused to look at pictures of her son, didn't want to hear about him and "didn't even know Casey's name."
Bush has refused to meet with Sheehan again, and has taken issue with her calls for a withdrawal from Iraq.
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