Rumsfeld Doesn't Know if He's Lost His Mojo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said 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 (news - web sites) policy and differences with U.S. lawmakers.

"Have you lost your mojo?" a reporter asked Rumsfeld during a Pentagon (news - web sites) briefing.

Rumsfeld said he did not consult a dictionary -- as he has for words like 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.'"

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.

Mojo has most recently come into popular culture in connection with the "Austin Powers" movies, starring Mike Myers, in which mojo was portrayed as the secret behind the title character's libido. At one point, Myers complains, "Crikey, I've lost my mojo!"