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THE NATION

Rumsfeld Knows No Mojo

October 31, 2003|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday he does not know whether or not he has lost his mojo, as a leading news magazine suggested, 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?" a reporter asked Rumsfeld during a Pentagon briefing.

Rumsfeld said he did not consult a dictionary -- as he has for words including "slog," about which he has sparred with reporters -- but he spoke with an aide who had.

"And they asked me that, and I said, 'I don't know what it means.' And they said, 'In 1926 or something, it had to do with jazz music.' "

Rumsfeld added, "And I guess the answer is that beauty's in the eye of the beholder. I don't know enough about mojo to know."

The Webster's New World Dictionary defines mojo as "a charm or amulet thought to have magic powers," or "power, luck, etc., as of magical or supernatural origin."

The word is thought to be of Creole origin.

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