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In-House Counsel

Safeway General Counsel Apologizes to Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi for Pig Joke

Posted May 29, 2012 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Safeway general counsel Robert Gordon regrets his attempt at humor during the company’s annual meeting earlier this month.

Critics didn’t find Gordon's joke funny, and neither, apparently, did Safeway CEO Steve Burd. The CEO called the joke “inappropriate” in a letter of apology to the two women targeted in the humor: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, report Corporate Counsel and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Bottom Line blog.

Burd's letter said Gordon was sending his own letter of apology as well.

A prior Corporate Counsel story published Gordon’s joke, labeled as sexist by critics. It begins with an observation that the Secret Service is attempting to improve its image. The joke continues:

Among the instructions given to the Secret Service agents was to try to agree with the president more and support his decisions. And that led to this exchange that took place last week, when the president flew into the White House lawn and an agent greeted him at the helicopter.

The president was carrying two pigs under his arms and the Secret Service agents said, "Nice pigs, sir."

And the president said, "These are not ordinary pigs, these are genuine Arkansas razorback hogs. I got one for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and one for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."

And the Secret Service agent said, "Excellent trade, sir."

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