Yochi J. Dreazen reports on the former defense secretary.

Donald Rumsfeld, pushed out as defense secretary by President Bush after the November election, has been blamed by many congressional Republicans for mishandling the war in Iraq and costing them control of the House and Senate.

But Rumsfeld appears to have kept at least some of his old fans. The Claremont Institute, a conservative California think tank, has announced that Rumsfeld would receive its “Statemanship” award at a Nov. 17 gala. The think tank, founded in 1979, says its mission “is to restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.” It wants to do that by putting in place a “limited and accountable government that respects private property, promotes stable family life, and maintains a strong defense.”

Still, the award may seem ironic since Rumsfeld prided himself on being a blunt-spoken defense secretary with little time for diplomatic niceties. During his six-year tenure, Rumsfeld famously belittled France and Germany as being part of “old Europe” and said the looting of Baghdad illustrated that “freedom is messy.”

And there was more Rumsfeld news from California today: the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica announced the first winner of a scholarship endowed by Rumsfeld in honor of his former Pentagon colleague Andrew Marshall. Rumsfeld, who made tens of millions of dollars in the private sector, gave $150,000 to create the award. It’s the second such award he has endowed; in 2001, he gave $150,000 to the school to create an annual scholarship honoring former FCC Chairman Newton Minow. RAND President and CEO James Thomson said that “Don Rumsfeld’s generosity” will help “produce young analysts who will find solutions years from now to some of the greatest challenges facing future generations.”