A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests that while a slight majority of Americans think George W. Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan, her vigil outside his Crawford compound has done little to change their thoughts about the war in general — 10% say they are now less likely to support the war, 10% say they are now more likely to support the war, 80% haven’t changed their minds.
I’m not much for polls, because I think people lie, not only to pollsters but also to themselves. Whether Cindy Sheehan has changed many minds at this point is debatable. What she has done is become a leader for the huge numbers of people who have disagreed with the war in Iraq from Day One but have been afraid to voice it because of “patriotic” intimidators who insist anti-war equals anti-troops.
Only someone like Cindy Sheehan, someone who has felt real loss instead of cheering or booing from thousands of miles away, has the credibility to be a real leader for those who oppose the war. Her “vigil” is likely just the beginning for those who’ve been wary of speaking out up to this point — and while I can’t imagine there will be widespread support for pulling out of Iraq entirely, those poll numbers are likely to continue shifting toward Cindy Sheehan’s viewpoint.
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