Tuesday, July 27, 2010

27 JUL 10: Shirley, He's Running

What a fast couple of weeks it's been for Shirley Sherrod. One day you're a middle-level Agriculture Department employee. Then you become an Internet star. Then you get an apology from the President. And now Sherrod may be finding new short-term work -- as the Democratic Party's answer to Sarah Palin.

Shirley Sherrod made a surprise visit to downtown Columbus Monday evening, to endorse Rep. Sanford Bishop for re-election. Sherrod gave an endorsement speech at the Government Center - but local TV stations didn't learn the lesson of last week, and only played short soundbites from it.

Shirley Sherrod says she's known Sanford Bishop for years. In fact, Bishop helped Sherrod obtain her first job with the Georgia Department of Agriculture years ago. Of course, critics might call this one good handful of dirty politics leading to another.

Shirley Sherrod describes herself as a "simple country girl" - but she said the events of the last ten days have shown she's a "fighter." I'm not sure how much "fight" really is involved in answering questions on morning TV newscasts. But then again, maybe Elizabeth Hasselbeck argued with Sherrod on "The View."

Shirley Sherrod adds the Internet and media attention has reached the point where "I can't even go to the cleaners" without getting noticed. At least she's going there herself - after Andrew Breitbart practically took her there.

(Sherrod admits she's thinking about suing Breitbart, for posting that video clip from her speech to an NAACP banquet in Coffee County. Wow - imagine the lawsuits Republicans could file against Michael Moore and Sacha Baron Cohen.)

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary has offered Shirley Sherrod a new job, dealing with civil rights matter. Sherrod told reporters she still hasn't read details of the offer, and she's waiting "for the spotlight to fade." There's no better way to accomplish that than by joining a Congressman on the campaign trail, is there?

Shirley Sherrod was with Rep. Sanford Bishop in Albany, before the appearance in Columbus. One online comment I read claimed they arrived with an escort from Muscogee County Marshal's officers. What are those officers supposed to do - sit around and wait for Tony Adams to return from Orlando, before serving papers to him?

It's easy to conclude Sanford Bishop is taking advantage of his friend's "15 minutes of fame" in an election year. But then again, I wonder if Shirley Sherrod is testing some political waters herself - perhaps to become a special niche campaign endorser. She could be the "President Obama did me wrong, but vote for these other Democrats anyway" speaker.

But if that's Shirley Sherrod's plan, she's taking a big personal risk. You'll notice Andrew Breitbart never has publicly apologized for what he posted last week. The reason seems to be as I suspected - Breitbart is hunting for more evidence against her. The latest has clips of Sherrod's husband, and even notes her daughter is named Russia. So where is the outcry about Vladimir Guerrero playing U.S. baseball?

The Shirley Sherrod appearance actually made Sanford Bishop's Government Center event a two-parter. She arrived 90 minutes after the Congressman.... well, WTVM said he "announced his campaign for re-election." Why would Bishop wait six days after the Georgia Primary to do this? Did all the Democrats forget to vote for him last week, because he was unopposed?

The surprise appearance by Shirley Sherrod may have distracted some people from the previously scheduled Columbus campaign event of the day. Mayoral candidate Teresa Tomlinson had a "meet and greet" open house at her campaign headquarters. In contrast, Paul Olson still will get his five-minute griping time at Columbus Council today shown on CCG-TV.

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E-MAIL UPDATE: One reader apparently has been mulling over last Tuesday's topic, involving a pit bull attack....

So - when are the cities around here going to step up and do the Right thing.


The link is to a story about Mississippi towns requiring pit bull owners to obtain special permits. One city is about to make owners put their dogs in a pen with a six-foot-high fence and a roof. The owners also would have to obtain $100,000 in liability insurance - which is a creative new approach to a government stimulus plan.

Speaking of "animal stories," we must update Monday's main blog topic. The large cockroach in the honey jar expired Monday morning. Let the record show it survived in the 16-ounce jar three-and-a-half days. All middle school science students now have the challenge of beating that time, one way or the other.

Let's move on to other Monday headlines....

+ WLTZ reported someone attacked and injured a man at an apartment on Sixth Avenue with a "toilet fixture." The person who did this is nothing short of a Lowe's-down bum....

+ Columbus Police arrested a man, after finding 11 video gambling machines in a back room at a Buena Vista Road shopping center. That center includes a Rent-a-Center store - but I hope this wasn't a creative way of helping people behind in their payments.

+ WLTZ revealed members of Fort Benning's Third Brigade will leave Iraq several months early, with the first wave of soldiers returning in August. I'd tell you more about it - but the patriotic side of me refuses to look at all those documents posted by WikiLeaks.

+ Columbus Northern's game in the Georgia Little League baseball tournament was suspended, due to a thunderstorm. I was stunned to see people put a tarp over the infield at Double Churches Park. That's how you know Columbus is a serious baseball town - because where I grew up, parents and coaches simply would let the dirt infield get as hard as a rock.

(Is everybody happy with the Northern All-Star roster this year -- especially compared with 2006? I noticed a couple of African-American players in the lineup. And for all I know, Kobi Buglioli may be like Kobe Bryant and grew up in Italy.)

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