I’m watching President Bush’s State of the Union speech (no liveblogging here, just a comment), and I can’t believe that Cindy Sheehan (just back from visiting Hugo Chavez) was so stupid as to lose a golden opportunity to mug for the camera.

WASHINGTON – Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq who reinvigorated the anti-war movement, was taken into custody by police in the House gallery Tuesday night just before President Bush’s State of the Union address.
Police escorted Sheehan from the visitors’ gallery above the House chamber after causing a disruption, said a Capitol Police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the incident were sketchy.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., had invited Sheehan to the address as her guest.

All the Democrats can do is simply refuse to applaud. Cindy, on the other hand, could have done a lot more than refuse to applaud. She could have grimaced, rolled her eyes, gnashed her teeth, and maybe even looked like she was going to yell and scream. Instead (according to Fox News), she blew it all by trying to unfurl a banner.
The cameras would have been trained on her. Money can’t buy that kind of attention — especially for someone who’s running for Senate!
Who the hell is running her campaign, anyway?
MORE (9:56 p.m.): Cindy Sheehan’s unfurling of the banner (a violation of House rules) was confirmed by reports at CNN and CBS.
AND MORE: What did the banner say?
I don’t know, but take a close look at the document Hugo is holding as he hugs Cindy.

ChavezSheehan4.jpg

MORE: Reports are now saying that it wasn’t a banner but a T-shirt.

Capitol Police said Sheehan wore a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan that was covered until she took her seat. Officers said they warned her the display was illegal but she allegedly ignored them. She’s charged with unlawful conduct.

As to what the T-shirt said, here are some excerpts from Sheehan’s speech account:

I am speechless with fury at what happened and with grief over what we have lost in our country.
There have been lies from the police and distortions by the press. (Shocker) So this is what really happened:
This afternoon at the People’s State of the Union Address in DC where I was joined by Congresspersons Lynn Woolsey and John Conyers, Ann Wright, Malik Rahim and John Cavanagh, Lynn brought me a ticket to the State of the Union Address. At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said: 2245 Dead. How many more?
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I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; “Protester.” He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like “I’m going, do you have to be so rough?” By the way, his name is Mike Weight.
I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George’s speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable that I would be arrested…maybe I would have, but I didn’t.
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I have some lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the government for what happened tonight. I will file it. It is time to take our freedoms and our country back.
I don’t want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ulitmate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government. That’s why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. That’s why I am not going to let Bushco take anything else away from me…or you.
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Four hours and 2 jails after I was arrested, I was let out. Again, I am so upset and sore it is hard to think straight.
Keep up the struggle…I promise you I will too.
Love and peace soon,
Cindy

Speaking of T-shirt causes, I’m wondering whether Sheehan and her supporters would defend my right to wear one of these T-shirts?
MORE: Police have dropped all charges against Cindy Sheehan:

Capitol Police dropped a charge of unlawful conduct against anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday and apologized for ejecting her and a congressman’s wife from President Bush’s State of the Union address for wearing T-shirts with war messages.
“The officers made a good faith, but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol,” Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said in a statement late Wednesday.
“The policy and procedures were too vague,” he added. “The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine.”
The extraordinary statement came a day after police removed Sheehan and Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young, R-Fla., from the visitors gallery Tuesday night. Sheehan was taken away in handcuffs before Bush’s arrival at the Capitol and charged with a misdemeanor, while Young left the gallery and therefore was not arrested, Gainer said.

Does that mean I can wear my T-shirt too?