November 09, 2006

Rumsfeld's Rules (.pdf) In 1974, then-White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld compiled a handbook with advice for incoming White House staffers, which is still passed on to Washington newcomers of both parties. HTML link
  • Several he obviously forgot this time around: * Preserve the president's options. He may need them. * It is easier to get into something than to get out of it. * Don't divide the world into “them” and “us.” Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours. * You and the White House staff must be and be seen to be above suspicion. Set the right example. * Remember the public trust. Strive to preserve and enhance the integrity of the office of the presidency. Pledge to leave it stronger than when you came. * Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles de Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men. * Think ahead. Don't let day-to-day operations drive out planning. * Plan backward as well as forward. Set objectives and trace back to see how to achieve them. You may find that no path can get you there. Plan forward to see where your steps will take you, which may not be clear or intuitive. * Congress, the press and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent, rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal.
  • The White House wants Rumsfeld gone. I mean the building. The foundation cracks and the boilers throw up a little in their mouths whenever that war criminal strolls by.
  • When someone with a rural accent says, “I don't know much about politics,” zip up your pockets. I don't get it.
  • I don't get it. Avoid shysters/con artists. The irony of it all.
  • When someone with a rural accent says, “I don't know much about politics,” zip up your pockets You know, like Yalie Presidents with fake Texas accents.
  • Zing!
  • Mostly good. Thanks for posting.
  • Heh, good post! "The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind" Alright! "The country cannot afford amateur hour in the White House". Ulp. But he left out: "It's easier to give advice than to take it"