Instead, sources say, he had delegated the job to an intern, who was using rubber stamps of Rumsfeld's signature in red, yellow and blue ink, each decorated with a "happy face" smilie. The President, who signs all of his death letters personally, immediately ordered that Rumsfeld take a "time-out," stand in the corner for 15 minutes, and then write on the Pentagon chalkboard "I will sign all my condolence letters personally" 100 times.
In a statement, the Defense Secretary reported that he had also washed out his mouth with soap for using the Cheney-word, and directed himself to sign each letter by hand in the future.
Republican Senators Chuck Hagel, John McCain and Trent Lott have all called upon Rumsfeld to resign, as have 137 House Republicans, the entire Democratic Congressional delegation, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani, who has been waiting expectantly for an assignment in the new Bush Administration, told reporters in Manhattan Saturday that he thinks he's up to the job of Defense Secretary, despite his history of divorces and rumored connections with the Mafia.
Presidential Press Secretary Scott McClellan repeated that Rumsfeld is doing "a really spectacular, expee-allidocious, catastrophically successful job in Iraq" and that President Bush was behind him "100 percent." He added that critical Senators should "cut the poor guy some slack. We think he may be in the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease, or possibly St. Vitus' Dance. The way he waves his hands around is an obvious symptom."
President Bush himself spends several hours each day signing condolence letters to the families of the more than 1,300 troops killed and 9,765 wounded in his war in Iraq. Aides stated that he signs each letter personally as "W," although he does sometimes have difficulty making his signature look more like a "W" than an "X."