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ARMSTRONG BIKES WITH PRESIDENT OVER SHEEHAN GRAVE
By Greg Palast
Crawford, Texas - Celebrity bike champ Lance Armstrong joined President George W. Bush this weekend at the Crawford Ranch to celebrate the thirtieth day of the President's vigil against Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in action in Iraq.
Armstrong, fresh from his victory in the Tour De France, is seen here with Mr. Bush riding across the symbolic gravesite of Casey Sheehan, deceased Army specialist, son of the bereaved Mrs. Sheehan.
"We must stay the course," said a resolute Mr. Bush who vowed to "extend my vacation as long as necessary to accomplish this mission" and force Sheehan to give up her siege of the Western White House.
Armstrong set an upbeat tone when he said, "You know, I overcame cancer to become a hot-shot biker. It takes hard work and a belief in yourself that says, "Never give up, never say 'die.'"
A Presidential spokesman said that given the Commander-in-Chief's limited work schedule and attention span, he would not have time to see Mrs. Sheehan. However, a place in the schedule had to be made for Mr. Armstrong because the celebrity peddler, like the President, has several major corporate sponsors with urgent needs.
Armstrong said he thought it inappropriate to politicize the office of the president, noting that his own appearance at the ranch was arranged by the Discovery Channel, "for craven commercial purposes only."
Mr. Bush, backing over the symbolic gravestone, said he understood the difficulty of military families with kin in Iraq. During the war in Vietnam, the President was a combat pilot assigned to protect Houston from Viet Cong attack.
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Subscribe to his commentaries at www.GregPalast.com.