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'Rumsfeld's Rules' cribs from Chinese, Democrats, Jon Stewart

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

In his new book "Rumsfeld's Rules, Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life," former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld blows past his longtime rule of having no more than 10 rules to include "rules" from several Chinese thinkers, six from Democrats, even liberals, and one from TV comic Jon Stewart.

"It's says 'Rumsfeld's Rules' on the book, because you have to have a title, but they're not Rumsfeld's either," the longtime Washington figure said Tuesday night at a party to debut his certain blockbuster.

Rumsfeld's rules have been famous ever since former President Ford asked him to compile his collection of wisdom when Rumsfeld was Ford's White House chief of staff. That short list of rules has grown to 380 in his new book, which ends with a classic: "If you develop rules, never have more than 10."

He includes several quotes from Chinese thinkers like Confucius, liberals like former Rep. Mo Udall, and even one about 9/11 heroism from Stewart. The book hits shelves on May 14.

"Rumsfeld's Rules," the result of a monster seven-figure deal from HarperCollins Publishers, took Rumsfeld six months to research and write. It ended up being a collection of life stories and anecdotes that flesh out each of the rules. He broke it up into 14 chapters including "Running a Meeting," "What Wrestling Can Teach" and "The Case for Capitalism."

While the tone of the book is often serious, the Georgetown book party at the home of defense consultant Michael Pillsbury and wife Susan was filled with humor and sarcasm. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who introduced Rumsfeld, said, "I get to speak first because I was the best secretary of defense."

Pillsbury, meanwhile, poked fun at the eight Chinese rules. "I can guarantee you one thing because of all the quotations from the Chinese sources of wisdom: I think it's going to be a best-seller in China," said Pillsbury.