Among the many pleasures of having John Dean on the blog today was this wonderful anecdote, which I had not heard before:
Rumsfeld came to the Nixon White House in 1970 some five months after I arrived. At the time, I asked White House chief of staff Bob Haldeman what Rummy was going to be doing. “Nothing,” Haldeman told me, explaining that they were placing him on the White House staff (giving him a sinecure) to bolster his chances to win a Senate race in IL.
In time, Haldeman — not to mention — Nixon came to distrust Rumsfeld. Many thought Nixon appointed him Ambassador to NATO as a promotion. In fact, they wanted to get him out of the White House. Haldeman called Rumsfeld “slimmy” in his contemporaneous diaries, and Nixon is heard on his tapes discussing Rumsfeld in less than flattering terms.
Most ironic, given Rumsfeld’s current position on Iraq, Rumsfeld argued that Nixon should get the hell out of Vietnam. Rummy was a cut and run guy back then.
Maybe all the Republicans trying to beef up their anti-war credentials for November by bagging on Rumsfeld can make use of it.
In the mean time, anyone who didn’t get to witness John Dean, Joe Wilson and Prof. Bob Altemeyer kicking it around in the comments section should treat themselves and have a look. It was a delight.
Update: Further inquiry has determined that there was a typo — it is "slimy" not "slimmy." Which makes a whole lot more sense, come to think of it.