i lunch with a mover and a shaker

“Oh, I have some great stories about Rummy.

“We were in one of his conference rooms and at the end of the meeting, somebody asked, ‘So, what’s it like to be the Secretary of Defense of the United States?’ Rummy thinks for a moment then says ‘Come with me.’ We follow him through another conference room and into his office, then he goes into the bathroom. We all look at each other and he sticks his head out and says, ‘No, no, it’s all right, come in.’

“So we follow him in and there we are, ten or twelve of us crowding into his private bathroom, and the walls are lined with cartoons lampooning him, all of them framed. He reads four or five of his favourites out to us, laughing, then turns to us and says, ‘Gentlemen, this is what it’s like to be Secretary of Defense of the United States.’

“On the way out I see a photo of him as Secretary of Defense under Ford, shaking hands with what looks like a young Colin Powell. I ask him about it. ‘Yep, that’s Colonel Powell,’ says Rummy. ‘Hasn’t he done well? General, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State. And here I am in the same job.’

“I knew Rummy had been a wrestler for Princeton, so I asked him about it during a photo op. ‘How’d you know that?’ he asked. ‘Well, sir, I wrestled for Penn.’ He gives me this look and he says, ‘I never lost to Penn.'”

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