War Critic Sets Her Sights on Mrs. Clinton
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ
Cindy Sheehan, who has crusaded nationally against the war in Iraq since her son was killed there, called on antiwar activists yesterday not to support Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is seeking re-election next year. "I believe that any candidate who supports the war should not receive our support," Ms. Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview. "It doesn't matter if they're Senator Clinton or whoever."
Though Ms. Sheehan has criticized Mrs. Clinton's position on the war in the past, this is the first time she has urged people to withhold support from the senator.
Senator Clinton voted to authorize the president to wage war in Iraq, but she has been critical of the way his administration has conducted the war. Still, she has not called for either a withdrawal of American troops or a timetable for their withdrawal. Mrs. Clinton's office declined to comment on Ms. Sheehan's remarks.
Ms. Sheehan made headlines over the summer when she camped outside President Bush's vacation home in Crawford, Tex., to demonstrate her opposition to the war.
Since then, Ms. Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004, has traveled around the country with a band of antiwar protesters, including other parents who lost their children in the war, relatives of soldiers overseas and veterans back from Iraq.
In her interview, Ms. Sheehan suggested that Mrs. Clinton, who is considered a leading presidential contender in 2008, had made a political calculation in supporting the war.
"With her position as a senator," Ms. Sheehan said, "she's become more: `Let's see which way the wind blows, and what's going to get me re-elected or elected, or how am I going to benefit from this' instead of truly voting from her integrity."
Her comments came on a day when Mrs. Clinton was in Washington focusing on another politically potent issue: rising fuel costs.
In a speech that her advisers called a major policy address, the senator took aim at oil companies, proposing a plan that would direct some of their profits toward developing alternative fuel sources and energy-conservation strategies.
Specifically, Mrs. Clinton suggested establishing a strategic energy fund, similar to the federal trust fund that supports highway maintenance and construction.
But while the highway fund is financed by gasoline taxes and vehicle fees, the fund that Mrs. Clinton is proposing would be financed by oil company profits. Mrs. Clinton said the fund would promote existing clean-energy and conservation technologies as well as research into new energy technologies.
"The truth is that the current policies in Washington are clearly inadequate for the long-term crisis we face," she said.