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Sheehan Backs Away from Barr, Peace and Freedom Ticket

Cindy Sheehan is brave and determined. She’s stood up to George W. Bush, gotten arrested, and done her best to keep the anti-war community alive during the Obama years.

All of those things turned out to be easier than working with Roseanne Barr.

Barr, the multimillion dollar celebrity who bought the Peace and Freedom Party presidential nomination after the Greens rightly declined the offer, will now have to campaign without her VP nominee Sheehan, who has suspended campaigning due to health and personal reasons. She explains on her web site:

Candidate Barr and I have irreconcilable differences on how best to serve the Peace and Freedom Party. I believe between my health issues and the disparity of our Political approach; both the Campaign, Ms Barr and the Party would be better served by my resignation. I wish nothing but good things for the Party and campaign.

I’m willing to bet everyone involved in alternative politics thinks this is a good idea. I haven’t heard a single positive thing about Roseanne Barr’s awkward lumbering into progressive politics. On Sheehan’s web site, reader Patrice Greanville reflected a sentiment I’ve thought myself, and heard from others:

Celebrities like Roseanne Barr, despite their rebel image, are political dilettantes, lightweights much too insulated from reality and acquired privilege to stay the course and walk the walk. While they can momentarily attract publicity, in the end, due to their superficiality and wackiness, not to mention the insidiousness of the corporate media, they end up damaging the image and prospects of the left.

I asked Cindy, whom I’ve interviewed four (?) times, to elaborate, and she said that was out of the question until after the election. In the meantime, she is recovering from a root canal and trying to pitch her own work, which is definitely worth supporting. In the meantime, I’ll be talking to her about other stuff on the podcast soon.

The Peace and Freedom Party’s nominee selection process angered a lot of legitimate, dedicated activists. The PFP’s opportunistic embrace of Barr led Socialist Party VP nominee Alex Mendoza to write:

I learned that if you are a B-list celebrity who wants to enhance your “political” resume, you can simply announce a newfound epiphany towards socialism to a supposedly radical socialist party in the most populous state in the country, and you will win that party’s presidential nomination!

Although it would be better if she could just get her name off the ticket (easier said than done), I’m glad to see Cindy Sheehan distance herself from it in any way possible — whatever the reasons for her signing on in the first place.

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About Matt J. Stannard

Policy Director for Commonomics USA, longtime writer, speaker, and legal & policy consultant on economic justice and public deliberation.