As most of America slept early last Sunday morning, the Bush administration hustled and bustled to prepare for the Sunday morning talk shows – among
others Colin Powell was appearing on "Face the Nation" and Donald Rumsfeld was booked on "Fox News Sunday." Condoleezza Rice was not scheduled to
appear until prime time, when she would make a star appearance on CBS' "60 Minutes" – the last in a long line of media appearances that caused 9/11
Commissioner Richard Ben Veniste to quip that "Condi Rice has appeared everywhere but at my local Starbucks."
Well, others in the Bush administration did, apparently, make an appearance at the local Starbucks. And as the Washington Post reports today, one of
them – obviously readying himself to prep Defense Secretary Rumsfeld – left his notes on the table. Talking points, hand-written notes on spin tactics
that reveal the White House was worried about former Bush adviser Richard Clarke's charges, and a hand-drawn map to the Secretary's house were found
by a resident of DuPont Circle, who made them available to the Center for American Progress. The name of said resident is being withheld at his
request, as he fears that he may be accused on national television of being "disgruntled."
Eric's Rummy's new spin master. Wonder if he got fired.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has quietly added another official to the Pentagon public affairs office. He is Eric Ruff, a former government
and industry public relations specialist who was once a newspaper reporter.
Mr. Ruff, currently a public affairs specialist working for Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, is likely to become the principal deputy
assistant defense secretary for public affairs, the key deputy to Assistant Defense Secretary-designee Larry Di Rita.
Many Pentagon news reporters, however, are unfamiliar with the new spokesman.
Mr. Ruff was transplanted to the Pentagon from the Interior Department, where he was director of communications.
He also worked on Capitol Hill, where he was an aide to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican, and before that, he was an aide to Sen. John W.
Warner, Virginia Republican.
Mr. Ruff also worked in the first Bush administration at public affairs jobs in the Agriculture and Commerce departments.
As a news reporter, Mr. Ruff covered the Hill for Congressional Quarterly and before that, he worked for the Donrey Media Group.
He cut his newspaper reporting teeth in the 1970s and was the first to report the influx of Vietnamese refugees to Fort Chafee, Ark., in 1975 for the
Southwest Times Record."