Fired for backing Kerry, hired by Kerry himself!


Mark Follman
September 15, 2004 3:43AM (UTC)

Perhaps that's the latest addition to wronged Alabama worker Lynne Gobbell's bumper sticker collection? The former employee of the company Enviromate, who, as War Room noted yesterday, was fired by her Bush-loving boss Phil Geddes for refusing to remove a pro-Kerry bumper sticker from her car, has been offered a new gig by none other than John Kerry himself.

As Slate's Timothy Noah reports today, a wave of blogger and media attention on the issue has prompted Geddes to step down from his pro-Bush bully pulpit and offer a well-deserved apology to Gobbell. But it's too little, too late:

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"By this morning, Geddes, who has declined to comment publicly on the matter, had apparently had enough of the bad publicity. Through an intermediary, he offered Gobbell an apology and said she could have her old job back. But Gobbell said she wouldn't return without some written guarantee that Geddes wouldn't turn around and fire her once he was out of the spotlight. Then, late this afternoon, Kerry himself phoned Gobbell. 'He was telling me how proud he was that I stood up,' Gobbell told me. 'He'd read the part where Phil said I could either work for him or work for John Kerry. He said, You let him know you're working for me as of today. I was just so shocked.'"

No word yet as to what Gobbell will be doing for the Kerry campaign, but she's confident it'll be a step up.

"Gobbell accepted Kerry's job offer, 'so I reckon I'll be working for John Kerry.' Kerry left it that someone from his campaign would call Gobbell to work out the details. Let's hope there's quick follow-through (I'll be checking!), because Gobbell told me she couldn't wait to tell Geddes that she had a better offer."

No doubt the Kerry campaign is pleased to make political hay of Geddes' grossly pro-Bush, antidemocratic behavior, but Noah also makes sure to point out the serendipitous timing of his reaching the giddy Gobbell.

"I should emphasize that [the Kerry campaign] did not tip me to Gobbell's story. By sheer coincidence, I happened to call Gobbell while she was on the line with Kerry, and got a busy signal. When I called back a few minutes later, Gobbell explained who she'd just been speaking with. In a political campaign, I should note, it's entirely appropriate to hire somebody based on that person's politics."

War Room reckons that at least a few of this election season's dark political stories can have bright endings.

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Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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