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In 1975, Dick Cheney Complained That Donald Rumsfeld Drank Too Much Coffee

Shaunacy Ferro
Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney at Transition Headquarters
Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney at Transition Headquarters / David Hume Kennerly/GettyImages
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Young Dick Cheney, it seems, did not look kindly upon coffee addictions. When he was Deputy Chief of Staff in Gerald Ford’s White House, the future Vice President sent a terse memo regarding Donald Rumsfeld’s coffee consumption. In September 1975, the then-Chief of Staff had spent more than $100 on coffee in a month—adjusted for inflation, about $500 in today's dollars. And it appears this wasn’t the first time. 

“Can you please tell me what’s going on?” a 34-year-old Cheney wrote to Staff Secretary Jim Connor. Rumsfeld’s nine-person staff (and their guests) had consumed a whopping 200 pots of coffee—about 50 pots per week.

In a handwritten note, Connor laid out the facts: “They are drinking too much coffee and have too many people drinking it!”

"Can you please tell me what's going on?"
"Can you please tell me what's going on?" / National Archive

Not even the president’s right-hand men need to be that perky—according to Dick Cheney, anyway.

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