Farewell, Rummy BELT­WAY

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By John McCaslin

The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor’s 2006 Robert L. Bart­ley din­ner on Nov. 15 was “off-the-record,” but we can tell you that out­go­ing De­fense Sec­re­tary Don­ald H. Rums­feld’s key­note ad­dress made clear that the United States should not aban­don Iraq any­time soon.

Sub­se­quent re­marks from Mas­sachusetts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney, which were filled with praise for Mr. Rums­feld and the U.S. mil­i­tary (sev­eral in­jured Iraq war vet­er­ans were in the packed au­di­ence at the Man­darin Ori­en­tal ho­tel), echoed the sec­re­tary’s sen­ti­ments.

Mas­ter of cer­e­monies Grover G. Norquist pointed out that Ron­ald Rea­gan’sul­ti­mat­e­vic­to­ryintheCold Warn­ev­er­came­un­til1991—nearly three years af­ter he left of­fice. Pa­tience, he said, be­ing the key word.

One of our fa­vorite lines of the evening was com­pli­ments of Michael Barone, se­nior writer for U.S. News & World Re­port, who was pre­sented with the 2006 Bar­bara Olson Award. With­out nam­ing names, he touched on the prob­a­bil­ity of one po­ten­tial 2008 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date “throw­ing her broom into the ring.”

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