What a difference a day makes in the Shirley Sherrod fiasco. According to three sources who spoke to Politico’s Ben Smith, White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina praised the speed at which the administration acted, and reportedly said Tuesday morning:
We could have waited all day — we could have had a media circus — but we took decisive action, and it’s a good example of how to respond in this atmosphere.
And here is White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, just a few minutes ago:
Without a doubt, Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology. I will do so on behalf of the administration. … A disservice was done for which we apologize. … The secretary [Tom Vilsack] is trying to reach her. I hope that the secretary reaches her soon and they have the opportunity to talk. The secretary will apologize for the actions that have taken place over the past 24-36 hours, and on behalf of the administration, I offer our apologies.
I certainly hope Gibbs stretched properly before backpedaling so furiously. You can hurt yourself doing that.