Former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, fired because of a edited video that incorrectly made her out to be a racist, is thinking about whether to take Ag Secretary Vilsack and President Obama himself up on their offer to return to the agency with an even better job than the one she had.
But Shirley ain’t stupid. She knows full well her 15 minutes of fame is far from up. We’re at, like, minute one. Her firing was an exercise not only in sublime incompetence, but in raw political calculation by the White House. The Obama people, as I wrote earlier today, were pretty sure that having what they thought was a racist around in the administration would detract from efforts to call their opponents racists.
That’s part of why she’s being asked to return quietly into the (large) bowels of the Department of Agriculture, where as a government bureaucrat she will be forced to quietly go about her business and make this whole disgraceful business go away.
Well, I guarantee you that Shirley isn’t returning Vilsack’s phone because she’s ON THE PHONE. She’s on the phone with some properly greedy agent who wants her to start negotiating right away for a book deal that will tell her life story, her metamorphosis from honky hater to lover of all mankind, and culminating in the vicious effort to purge her from the job she loved. A movie could follow.ds
A ghost writer who types 100 words a minute will be tapped to make sure the book is out within three months, while everyone’s memories are still nice and fresh. She’ll start doing paid speaking engagements on How to Stop Being a Racist or Why Can’t We All Just Get Along, she’ll analyze Obama’s role in race relations in this country, and discuss other topics she’s barely or not at all qualified to discuss, which is what most people you see on TV are doing anyway.
Then, having nothing left to say, she’ll put out a cookbook of recipes from her hometown in Georgia titled “Cooking with Black Pepper and White Pepper.”
And then she’ll start scooping up Manhattan real estate and providing venture capital for startups and be seen having dinner at Spago Beverly Hills with Sean Penn.
And that’s why she ain’t going back to the Department of Agriculture, at least if she has any brains, which she certainly seems to.