Reader Greg Miller has alerted us to Jim Lehrer’s interview with Secretary Rumsfeld on the News Hour this evening: “Newsmaker: Donald Rumsfeld.” Greg describes Rumsfeld as “nothing short of stellar” in the interview.
This past Halloween Rumsfeld provided me the opportunity to meditate on the “mojo” that has been attributed to him. We had come across an item that looked like a ScrappleFace story hacked into the CNN site, but it was authentic: “Rumsfeld unsure of missing ‘mojo.'”
According to the lead in the CNN account: “U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he does not know whether or not he has lost his mojo, as a leading news magazine suggested, largely because he doesn’t really know what mojo is. ‘Is Rumsfeld Losing His Mojo?’ was the headline in Time magazine above a story about Rumsfeld’s recent difficulties concerning Iraq policy and differences with U.S. lawmakers. ‘Have you lost your mojo?’ CNN’s Jamie McIntyre asked Rumsfeld during a Pentagon briefing.”
CNN helpfully concluded the story by noting, “Legendary blues singer Muddy Waters also famously sang in the 1960’s, ‘I got my mojo working, but it just won’t work on you.'”
As Power Line’s resident pop music fan, I pointed out that the definitive version of Muddy’s great “Got My Mojo Working” (his trademark song, recorded several times) is the live version on the recently reissued “Fathers and Sons” recording that Muddy cut with Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, and Otis Spann in 1969. On “Fathers and Sons” it comes in two parts, “Got My Mojo Working Part One” and “Got My Mojo Working Part Two,” recorded live in Chicago at the Super Cosmic Joyscout Jamboree. Muddy and the gang take it to the limit on that one, a glorious moment in the history of Western civilization.
The CNN story about Rumsfeld reminded me of my one personal encounter with him, coincidentally in 1969 when I was working as an intern for then-Senator Walter Mondale. Rumsfeld was serving as a congressman and had spoken to a group of interns in a presentation that my roommate and I had attended. A few days later we went to see the movie “If….” at a sold-out showing in Georgetown.
The movie is a somewhat bizarre blend of fantasy and reality. After the movie we noticed Rumsfeld among the crowd streaming out of the theater. My roommate shouted to him, “Mr. Rumsfeld, what did you think of the movie?” “I didn’t get it,” he said with a bemused shrug of his shoulders, in a manner that I am sure was akin to his reaction to the mojo question posed by the CNN reporter last fall.
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