Cindy Sheehan may no longer be in Crawford, Texas, but Katie Couric thinks any number of MoveOn.org protesters will do just as well. In an interview on today's edition of the Today show with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, she asked the former Republican congressman why President Bush can't just meet with the protesters camped outside his ranch: "Do you think that the President should have met with Cindy Sheehan, and what about the other protesters who are still there? Should he now meet with them?"
Dissatisfied with Scarborough's reply, Couric then asked why the President can't meet with Sheehan, after all, he's met with other military dead families before: "But in fairness to the President, he has met with many families who have lost loved ones in Iraq, so why not meet with her?"
Scarborough failed to correct Couric that the President already met with her in 2004, and that at the time, Sheehan is reported to be satisfied that the President was sincere in his sorrow at her loss, even though she also remarked that she had always had concerns about the war's prosecution, as reported by the newspaper of Sheehan's hometown Vacaville, California Reporter newspaper:
"We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled," Cindy said. "The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached."
The 10 minutes of face time with the president could have given the family a chance to vent their frustrations or ask Bush some of the difficult questions they have been asking themselves, such as whether Casey's sacrifice would make the world a safer place.
But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn't stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.
"We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn't have to take the time to meet with us," Pat said.
Sincerity was something Cindy had hoped to find in the meeting. Shortly after Casey died, Bush sent the family a form letter expressing his condolences, and Cindy said she felt it was an impersonal gesture.
"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."