Shirley Sherrod’s Phone Call With President Obama Didn’t Go Exactly As She Imagined It


Earlier this morning, Shirley Sherrod told Meredith Vieira that she’d like to speak to President Obama on the phone — not to get an apology, but to give him the hard truth about the lives of the poor rural people she helps every day. “I’d like to talk to him a little bit about the experiences of people like me,” she said. “People who live out there in rural America. People who live in the South. I know he does not have that kind of experience. Let me help him a little bit with how we think, how we live, and the things that are happening.”

Well, Sherrod got her phone call this afternoon. But she and Obama only spoke for seven minutes, according to the White House. During that seven minutes, Obama “compared some of the events this week surrounding Sherrod to things he has written about in his books,” a CNN producer who was present at the time says. Obama also “expressed his regret,” reiterated Tom Vilsack’s sincere remorse, and told Sherrod “to continue her hard work on behalf of those in need.” With Obama seemingly hogging all the talking time, Sherrod probably didn’t have much of a chance to regale him with the struggles of Southern farm people. Nevertheless, she was still “very, very pleased with the conversation,” CNN reports. She even extended Obama an invitation to visit her in Georgia, which he presumably sidestepped as politely as possible.

Sherrod speaks to President Obama in a telephone call [CNN]
Shirley Sherrod “Very Pleased” After Phone Call with Obama [Political Hotsheet/CBS]