The Rumsfeld Interview
A Large Regular was lucky enough to score a few candid moments of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's time yesterday after the historic announcement of his resignation was made.
ALR: Mr. Secretary - thank you so much for taking this time on what I'm sure is a difficult day. Can I ask if you are perhaps feeling a little bitter at the President right now?
Rummy: I always have time for my friends Chris. As far as feeling bitter towards the President - goodness no. I serve at the pleasure of the President and have offered my resignation a number of times. If truth be told - I'm a little bit in awe. I mean I don't think I've seen such a fine piece of political Jujitsu in my whole time in public service.
ALR: Political Jujitsu? I'm sorry Mr. Secretary but I don't follow you.
Rummy: Nobody saw this move coming yesterday. Nobody was prepared. It was a brilliant shifting of weight. Yesterday was supposed to be the Democrats big day. They were all going to wear new suits and dresses and give speeches congratulating themselves and talking about how they were going to fix the country. Instead all the news programs spent that time speaking about my resignation and today all the print media will be talking about me and my successor. The Democrats can't even complain because they have been practically begging for my resignation. By the time this dies down - nobody will want to look at their new suits or pretty dresses and they sure won't want to hear their flowery speeches because the time would have been well past that. The bonus is that the Main Stream Media doesn't even see how they were used. Brilliant move by the President.
ALR: But Mr. Secretary are you saying your tenure as Secretary of Defense was ended simply to control news cycles?
Rummy: Goodness no. When all is said and done I will be the longest serving Secretary of Defense in history. All Secretaries of Defense step down. This just happened to be the right time for me and if the President was able to time the announcement to take the wind out the sails of some blowhards well then that's just gravy. The important thing to me is that our brave men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are honored and protected and I think this resignation helps with those ends.
ALR: Again Mr. Secretary I apologize but I don't follow your reasoning.
Rummy: Well Chris you understand the process involved here correct? It will be a few months before Bob Gates even gets his confirmation hearing. The administration will be able to use the confirmation hearings and my farewell tour to reinforce the case of what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
ALR: Mr. Secretary can you elaborate on that a little more?
Rummy: Sure Chris. You see between now and the confirmation hearings I will be going back to Iraq on several occasions. The media normally just covers bad news from Iraq but this time they will have no choice. They will have to get soldiers reaction to my resignation and how they feel about their mission in Iraq. A great percentage of the soldiers really believe in their mission and the American people will see that. Oh and the confirmation hearings are a trap for the Democrats. You'd think they would have learned from the Justice Roberts hearings but I guess not.
ALR: Can you share with us what you foresee happening at the confirmation hearings?
Rummy: Oh its going to be great theater. The back seat drivers will finally have to go on record for what they think is the best course instead of always complaining that we just missed a turn.
ALR: It sounds like you are actually looking forward to the hearings?
Rummy: Yes. Very much so. You see most of the complaining from the Democrats has fallen into two camps. Either they think that I haven't listened to my generals and that hundreds of thousands of more troops are needed or they advocate a running away from Iraq except they keep calling that strategy "redeployment". The hearings will put those people on the spot to explain exactly where they stand. Do they want to cut and run or do they plan to budget for hundreds of thousands of new troops? Can you picture Ted Kennedy stuttering his way out of that?
ALR: I think I'm starting to get it. The hearings are normally about a candidate's qualifications but nobody will be checking Bob Gates resume. Instead they will be pumping him for what he thinks about you and the job you have done in Iraq.
Rummy: Exactly. You know the President wasn't going to select a successor who was either going to cut and run or add hundreds of thousands of new troops but by the Senator's questions we get to see where they stand. When it comes time to vote on Bob Gates by that time his confirmation will be a referendum on the war. A vote for Bob Gates will be a vote for staying the course. A vote against Bob Gates could be spun as a vote that keeps me in office longer and to many on the left I'm the ultimate bogeyman. Its a lose-lose for any Democratic Senator who plans to run in 2008. And the funny thing is as the hearings are going on just remember that the Democrats practically begged for this to happen.
ALR: Thank you so much Mr. Secretary for explaining the situation. And I hope you enjoy your retirement you have certainly earned it.
Rummy: Oh Chris my retirement is still a long way off. By the way - do you think people will realize this was satire?