31 Years Ago In Time

Even at the start of DONALD RUMSFELD's first stint as U.S. Secretary of Defense, under President Gerald Ford, he was known for his brusque manner, and he inspired doubts among top Pentagon officials

He projects an air of aloofness; he also creates the impression that he is too clever by half, that he coolly evaluates everyone he sees. "Each time you meet him, it's for the first time," says a White House aide. Yet Rumsfeld's intense, controlled style is a nice counterbalance to Ford's fondness for relaxed good fellowship. The two men get along well ... The Pentagon's top officers are...

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