During the former SecDef’s history setting lap dance (primed with the release of his memoir last February), Donald Rumsfeld gave an interview with verbal darts aimed at his fellow Bush administration officials, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
In this piece, Rumsfeld was critical of Condoleezza Rice, for her lack of experience in government.
“She’d never served in a senior administration position,” he said. “She’d been an academic. And, you know, a lot of academics like to have meetings. And they like to bridge differences and get people all to be happy.”
Fast forward to April 26, in the Sunday Mag of NYT (h/t to Laura Rozen of The Envoy)
Rumsfeld also implied that you were unfit for office. He wrote that you had “modest experience in the federal government and management.”
First of all, I didn’t have modest experience in management. Managing Stanford University is not so easy. But I don’t know what Don was trying to say, and it really doesn’t matter. Don can be a grumpy guy. We all know that.
There are a lot of people with strongly negative opinions of George Bush. Have you ever tried to dissuade anybody from hating him?
Well, no. But I think people caricatured the president, and the only thing that I couldn’t understand is why this man with such a curious mind, who in briefings always asked the question you wish you thought of, why that quality didn’t come across. And I fully admit that it didn’t come across. I think part of it is he has such a self-deprecating way about him that people tend to underestimate him. But he read five books for every one I read. He read something like 12 biographies of Lincoln in office.
I’ve read that people consider you almost incapable of admitting a mistake. What do you consider to be the biggest of your career?
You know, I’ve done pretty well. I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the past that way.
In 2005 you went to see “Spamalot,” and the audience booed you. Does that happen a lot?
It happens on occasion and, you know what, I don’t care. I don’t care, because I did what I thought I could do in service of the country. I did some things well and some things not so well. The overwhelming majority of people come up to me and say, “Thank you for your service.” If you’re a public figure, there are always going to be a few people who don’t like what you did. I’m just really glad I don’t have to listen to them.
I read that interview and discovered the secret of a good life. My first thought — well, so that’s how she sleeps well at night. No second guessing, and she does not have to listen to “them” or anyone she does not want to. Sweet.
On second thought – thank god we’re not related and I don’t have to spend Thanksgiving with these two!