St. Michaels, MD – Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s wife, Joyce, is growing dismayed these days. More and more lately, she’s finding her husband in the basement giving pretend press conferences to no one. “I mean, he wears the suit and everything,” Joyce said. “It’s frightening sometimes.”
Joyce says she has taken to spying on her husband, out of desperation and confusion. “I’ll listen down there, without him knowing,” she says. “And I’ll hear him say things like, ‘Well, Barbara, let me tell you that that question implies a premise that, by golly, I just simply refuse to agree with. And you bet your bippy if you ask me a hundred times, I’ll refuse to agree with it a hundred times, and then some.’ I guess he means Barbara Starr? The CNN reporter? She seems to come up a lot down there. In the… in the basement. Oh, God!”
Rumsfeld’s rise to international fame came in large part on the strength of his memorable performances in the many press conferences and briefings he held. Rumsfeld resigned in November of 2006, after a very rocky and much-maligned final few years as Defense Secretary. According to Joyce, he’s now trying to relive what was his highpoint, those famous press conferences.
Joyce played an audio tape she made without the knowledge of her husband. She says she normally wouldn’t betray his privacy in this manner, but is distraught and doesn’t know where to turn for help. On the tape, Rumsfeld can be heard taking mock questions.
“No, Jim, I don’t think it’s fair to say, and let me tell you why,” Rumsfeld says at one point, likely referring to NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski. “Your question, on its face, presupposes a thesis which is illogical, though logical in its end result. And I am not inclined to support an illogical thesis, whether it looks logical at the beginning or looks logical at the end, or actually is logical or illogical, or not. Now, it’s just as simple as that.”
“See?” Joyce asks, seeming lost and looking desperately for an answer. “I have no idea what the hell he’s talking about. I mean, I didn’t then either, but at least there were actual people in the room back then.”