Alternate headline: “Obama can’t catch a break on anything.” Two clips here, one of the presser with Vilsack and the other of a follow-up interview with CNN, but after watching both I’m still not clear on why she’s refused the job. She doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings towards the USDA; on the contrary, she accepts Vilsack’s apology and wants some sort of relationship with the Department going forward. Maybe she figures, understandably, that her newfound fame would be a constant distraction if she took the position? Or maybe commenters in our Headlines item are right and she’s simply keeping a polite distance in preparation for a lawsuit over her firing. Given how often and how effusively Vilsack has apologized — “I disappointed the president, I disappointed this administration, I disappointed the country, I disappointed Shirley” — she should have no problem proving that her termination was wrongful. Although even then, I wonder: Is it against the law to can an employee based on something you mistakenly thought she meant? Ah well. I’m sure the USDA will settle regardless.

Exit question: Does the bit at the end of the second clip about moving on mean there won’t be a suit after all?

Tags: Barack Obama