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Thank You, Mr. Secretary

When I think about future former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which I'll admit is not that often, it is always in the context of media interviews or press conferences.

And when I think about those media appearances, I am reminded of the old Mad Magazine feature, "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."

It always seemed to me that Rumsfeld was the master at putting questioners on the defensive by acting like he was talking to a two-year-old who had added one and one and gotten three. The skill with which he has parried questions with a pithy retort dripping with dismissiveness from adult journalists who presumably have not all just rolled off the turnip truck and who could probably add pretty well has no precdent in my memory, and I hope no sequel."

Some of that may be on the questioners for not snapping back more often, but mostly I think it is on the Secretary. If your'e going to be rude, you also need to be right.

It was a tactic that often seemed to work in moving the discussion onto more solid footing for the secretary, but surely did not endear him to many in the journalistic community, myself included.

By John Eggerton