Greta Van Susteren of Fox News
Lise Van Susteren, a forensic psychiatrist and sister of Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren, will announce Thursday she is running for the U.S. Senate, challenging President Bush on his war policy.
A 54-year-old Democrat, Lise Van Susteren moved to Montgomery County, Md., from the District of Columbia less than two years ago where she’s taught as an associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University.
According to campaign publicist Christine Black, Lise is not a member of the Church of Scientology, unlike her sister, Greta.
“Lise has to show she can hold her own,” Black told the Baltimore Sun. “She is articulate. She is a smart person. She cares. She has a nice life. She has three teenage daughters. She doesn’t need this. She is someone who feels that it is her responsibility to get into this, to take action.”
Black, who calls Lise “something of an X-factor” in the race, said Van Susteren will campaign against the Iraq War, believing the president made a “failure in judgment” about intervening in Middle Eastern affairs.
Van Susteren is slated to kick off her campaign with events in Baltimore and Bethesda, discussing the need to improve public schools and America’s health-care system, along with her opposition to the war.
WorldNetDaily has learned Lise registered the domain name VanSusterenforSenate.com, though there was no material posted on that website as of press time. Her e-mail is registered as [email protected].
“I love my sister,” Greta, 51, told the New York Daily News. “She’s smart and I hope she wins. And, since she is older, I take orders from her, not the other way around.”
Greta has made headlines not only for her support of Scientology, a religion based on the works of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard boasting members such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, her “On the Record” program has received surging ratings recently for its extensive coverage of the mysterious disappearance of Alabama student Natalee Holloway on Aruba.
She also received a large amount of publicity after undergoing plastic surgery in January 2002 as she was switching cable networks from CNN to Fox News.
“I did it on a whim because CNN benched me for a month when they found out I wanted to come [to Fox] to work,” Greta said at the time.
Though she is just beginning a career in politics, Lise Van Susteren already jumped into the fray over the REAL ID Act, federal legislation that would require states to check the citizenship of a driver’s license applicant, part of an attempt to reform a system manipulated by terrorists such as the 9-11 hijackers.
On March 29 of this year, she signed onto a letter with dozens of other health-care professionals, urging Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to give the Act thorough scrutiny, and not rush it through Congress attached to a military-funding bill.
“The REAL ID Act would, among other things, permit immigration judges to deny asylum based solely on an applicant’s demeanor,” Van Susteren wrote. “As health professionals who also do asylum evaluations, we fear that this is likely to lead immigration judges (who are not adequately trained in the symptoms of torture survivors) to deny asylum to those who need it most.”
Both the House and the Senate approved the Act, which was signed into law by President Bush, as an attachment to the $82 billion Iraq spending bill.
Lise Van Susteren already has opposition from two well-known Democrats, former Rep. Kweisi Mfume and Rep. Benjamin Cardin. Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a Republican, is also said to be considering a run for the seat which is becoming vacant with the retirement of Democrat Paul Sarbanes.
“If Van Susteren is the only woman in the Democratic field,” noted Josh Kurtz of Roll Call, “she could prove to be formidable.”
Lise is married to Jonathan Kempner, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington.