Shirley Sherrod has turned down a new, higher-level post at the Agriculture Department, dashing the Obama administration's hope of patching up the embarrassing, racially tinged misunderstanding that cost Sherrod her job in March. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told Sherrod to resign after a conservative website posted video suggesting that Sherrod, who is black, had once withheld help from a white farmer. The clip turned out to have been misleadingly edited, and both Vilsack and President Obama personally apologized to Sherrod. Why did she decline the offer to come back? (Watch Sherrod's comments.) Here are 4 theories from the blogosphere:
1. Sherrod just wants a break: This ordeal must have been devastating for Shirley Sherrod, says Matt Negrin at Politico. She's not slamming the door on her old colleagues. In fact, she said she would like to rekindle "some type of relationship" with the Agriculture Department, some day. But it's hardly surprising that, after the nightmare she's just been through, she isn't ready just yet.
"Sherrod declines USDA job offer"
2. She's going to sue the Agriculture Department: Secretary Vilsack has apologized so profusely, says Allahpundit at Hot Air, so Sherrod "should have no problem proving that her termination was wrongful." Maybe "she’s simply keeping a polite distance in preparation for a lawsuit over her firing."
"Shirley Sherrod on Vilsack's job offer — er, no thanks"
3. She's suing Andrew Breitbart, who posted the video: Shirley Sherrod might just have higher priorities right now, says Andrea Mitchell at MSNBC.com. Sherrod said she didn't want to go into details, but made it plain that she will be suing Andrew Breitbart, the conservative web publisher briefly made Sherrod a pariah by posting the video clip as an example of black racism.
"Sherrod rejects administration job"
4. Vilsack mistreated her: Tom Vilsack has apologized, says Carl Franzen at AOL News, but the bottom line is he was "a jerk" to Sherrod, rushing to judgment and sticking to his demand that she resign even after hearing her side of the story. She probably just doesn't want to work for him again.
"REJECTED! Why Shirley Sherrod won't be going back to USDA (anytime soon)"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week