Exclusive: Rumsfeld taps Jon Stewart, Sammy Davis Jr. for new 'Rules' book

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Rumsfeld's Rules, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's highly-anticipated new book, includes lessons from TV comic Jon Stewart, Rat Pack icon Sammy Davis Jr., and football bully Mike Ditka, according to sources who've seen the galleys.

The book, especially sought by GOP officials hopeful of picking up some new leadership advice, is due out May 14, but Secrets received an exclusive sneak peak at the cover. It shows Rumsfeld, a former White House top aide and corporate executive, testifying under the words: Rumsfeld's Rules. Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life.

It also includes a promotional blurb from former Vice President Dick Cheney. He writes: "One of my first jobs in Washington was working for Don Rumsfeld. He was the best and toughest boss I ever had. I guess you could say I was an early practitioner of Rumsfeld's Rules. I learned from them. I taught them to others. And I came to regret it on the few occasions I violated them."

Broadside Books, a conservative imprint of HarperCollins, said Rumsfeld's Rules will break his Number One Rule: It will include more than 10. It will also fatten Rumsfeld's wallet: He received at least $1 million to write about the rules he has collected over 50 years.

What's most shocking is that it will include rules from others such as the sports and entertainment figures.

But the sources said that the key rules will be those learned by Rumsfeld and then tried out on world leaders. One includes how he used his old wrestling tricks to handle Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former Soviet spy chief.

"One of the more personal chapters is about wrestling and what the sport teaches about leadership in all walks of life. He discusses some of the lessons he learned on the wrestling mat, such as how to size up an opponent, and how they applied in his dealings with Vladimir Putin," said a source familiar with the book's contents.

Rumsfeld, 80, recently told Secrets: "Over the years I have had the good fortune of working with some historic figures, from Anwar Sadat to Margaret Thatcher to Ronald Reagan. And if you couldn't glean some wisdom and advice from people like that, then you weren't paying attention."

He added, "That's the heart of Rumsfeld's Rules - the distillation of practical advice for use in politics, government and business that I've gained over many decades. I see this book as something useful for college graduates, people entering politics or the business world, as well as folks interested in historic times and figures. This book will include hundreds of rules that I've collected and perhaps none are more important than the last one, 'if you ever have rules, never have more than 10.'"