The Administration has begun its grueling cleanup process after the hasty firing of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, following Andrew Breitbart's latest idiot nonsense. At today's White House press conference, press secretary Robert Gibbs apologized on behalf of the administration.

Who knows if they can even offer Shirley Sherrod her job back now. She's lashing out quite a bit more today and talking amorously about filing a lawsuit, and the book deal offers will probably start flooding in soon. These things would be 100 times more fun than having a job at the USDA, right?

Anyway, kudos to Robert Gibbs and the White House for ceasing the gamesmanship of trying to deflect all blame on Tom Vilsack for the firing, while swooping in to take credit for the reconsideration.

The secretary is trying to reach her. I hope the secretary reaches her soon, and they have an opportunity to talk. The Secretary will apologize for the actions that have taken place over the past 24 to 36 hours. And on behalf of the administration, I offer our apologies.

He also issued a summer essay assignment for everyone:

I think everybody has to go back and look at what has happened over the past 24 to 36 hours, and ask ourselves how we got into this. How did we not ask the right questions? How did you all not ask the right questions? How did other people not ask the right questions?

The problem is that most everyone will have the same answer: I DID NOTHING WRONG, fleshed out over a minimum of five double-spaced pages.

God. It's dreadful following politics in these Washington summers, too humid.