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Sheila Johnson: "I will never get involved in politics again"

Anita Kumar

Does Sheila Johnson, one of Gov. Bob McDonnell's top supporters, regret her recent foray into politics? It sure sounds that way.

Johnson, the wealthy co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, told Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast
that after supporting Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and Republican Bob McDonnell in 2009 that she may have had enough.

"Politics, oh gosh!" she told him. "I feel like I was thrown under the bus on that one... The lesson that I've learned in all of this is I will never get involved in politics again."

Here's what Grove wrote about Johnson and politics:

Sheila Johnson has had a rougher time as a political activist. A major Democratic Party donor (who supported her good friend Barack Obama over her good friend Hillary Clinton in the presidential contest), she took a walk on the wild side last year and backed Bob McDonnell, the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, because of his business-friendly emphasis on job-creation. Her candidate won, but otherwise things didn't turn out so well.

During the campaign, she got herself into trouble--and quickly had to apologize--when she spoke at a McDonnell event and mimicked the stutter of his Democratic opponent, Creigh Deeds. Then, after McDonnell was sworn in, she watched in horror as the new governor enunciated a variety of socially conservative policies, especially regarding a constitutional ban on gay marriage and other civil rights issues, and then declared a celebration of Virginia's "Confederate History Month" without any mention of slavery.

"Politics, oh gosh!" Johnson says with a groan. "I feel like I was thrown under the bus on that one... The lesson that I've learned in all of this is I will never get involved in politics again."

Although she was wildly enthusiastic about helping elect the first African-American president, Johnson is measured in her assessment of Obama's performance thus far. "I think the jury's still out," she says. "He's got probably the hardest presidency in the history of this entire country... I feel as though the health-care bill was a little bit rushed through--it was almost like we were force-fed this bill--and I would have liked to see more focus on jobs and the economy."

We tried to reach out to Johnson today, but she declined to talk to us.

Meanwhile, McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin told us : "Sheila Johnson is a great friend, and a great Virginia businesswoman. We can't say enough good things about all she is doing on a daily basis to make Virginia a more prosperous and better place."

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By Anita Kumar  |  April 30, 2010; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  | Tags: Bob McDonnell, Creigh Deeds, Sheila Johnson, Virginia  
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Next: Undeterred by Gulf accident, McDonnell to speak at off-shore drilling conference



Hey Democrats,

You're really out of touch when you let Ms. Johnson go and then replace her with Sharika




Posted by: kstobbe1 | April 30, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

nasty skank that has made her money poisoning the minds of viewers with junk....she is a bigger enemy of black culture than The Man could ever I said, she's just plain ol nasty.

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | April 30, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

If nothing else, we can conclude that Sheila Johnson doesn't know much about history (and, I'm guessing, much else). "[Obama's] probably got the hardest presidency in the history of this entire country."

Um, Abraham Lincoln, the country actually disintegrating, in CIVIL WAR? Franklin Roosevelt, the Great Depression and World War II?

Posted by: stumpff | April 30, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

she's a limousine liberal, how much more time would she have liked congress to deliberate over the health care bill? one entire year wasn't enough for her? how about the 15 years it's been argued over since the clinton proposal? she cares about her wallet first and foremost.

Posted by: nickgp1 | April 30, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@Sheila Johnson: Funny, Sheila, I think a lot of people feel you threw the Democrats under the bus. You're surprised at what Bob McDonnell does? The whole campaign of Creigh Deeds was an attempt to warn you about that.

Posted by: cmckeonjr | May 1, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

SHEILA,HONEY, doncha just HATE when that happens? Like, really, really hate it when you...nudge, nudge, wink, surprised by good ol' Bubba Bobby? Well gosh darn! Those crafty old racist politicians had you fooled didn't they? Didn't they?

You must be very shocked at finding out what kind of pol he really is.

Here's some good advice: Do the research next time around; read the theses, check out the law "schools" and then just... maybe keep your mouth shut.

Most of us think your cred has vanished like the "moderate" campaign Bubba ran.

He ain't whut he seemed; but you knew that.

Posted by: suzeq | May 1, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I think this is proof positive that she is a slow learner.

Posted by: candycane1 | May 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

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