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Rumsfeld Out - I'm Stunned

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Rumsfeld has been thrown out on his ass.

The implications for Iraq are up in the air at this moment, but if we pull out totally we've handed it to terrorist organizations. On the other hand I said awhile back that Iraq better stand the hell up and get in gear, now I think they realize why.

CIA Chief Robert Gates has been nominated as Rumsfelds replacement.


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday.

Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld. The development occurred one day after midterm elections that cost Republicans control of the House, and possibly the Senate, as well. Surveys of voters at polling places said opposition to the war was a significant contributor to the Democratic victory.

President Bush was expected to announce Rumsfeld’s departure and Gates’ nomination at an afternoon news conference. Administration officials notified congressional officials in advance. In the days leading up to the election, Bush said he wanted Rumsfeld to stay on as defense chief until the end of Bush’s second term.

I'm simply stunned at this announcement so close to the lost elections.

Outside The Beltway had this to say

I have the news conference on and Bush is giving perhaps the worst performance I’ve ever seen from him, which is quite an accomplishment. Indeed, it comes across eerily similar to the Saturday Night Live parodies of Bush speeches.

He essentially told a reporter that he had lied last week when asked if Rummy would be going “because that was the only way to get you on to the next question.” Quite bizarre.

Even worse, the suggestion he didn’t want to make this announcement earlier because there was an election coming up. Hello! Major changes in course are something that one might want to mention to voters–especially voters who think the present course is a bad one. I’m simply baffled.

Other Commentary:

The Jawa Report
In The Bullpen

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Posted by Digger on November 8, 2006 02:17 PM (Permalink)

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I saw the press conference and didn't think Bush performed poorly. Some of the questions thrown to him were just wild and, needless to say, repetitions of previous questions.

Bush said he didn't mention Rumsfeld was stepping down because he hadn't contacted Gates yet. Whether that's true or not, who knows, but I would guess it has more to do with the expected results of the commission on Iraq than anything else.

Bush has never, ever been a political man. He claims he loves politics, and to a degree you must being in a political family and in politics for as long as he has, but he has never seemed in tune with the political ebbs and flows dating back to his tenure in Texas. He does what he thinks is right when he thinks it's right, not when things are more politically opportune. In fact, that's one reason why Karen Hughes supposedly stepped down before.

Posted by: Chad Evans on November 8, 2006 03:14 PM

Completely agree.

The President's assertation that he didn't want to affect the election is in direct conflict with what he was doing -- stumping for Repub candidates. Of course he wanted to influence the election. We was just wrong on what would do it.

I wonder if they try to push him through the lame duck Senate?

Posted by: Ken on November 8, 2006 05:02 PM

I was stunned as well.

Bush has been so loyal to his people. Everyone was calling for Rumsfeld's resignation including Rumsfeld, but Bush wouldn't have it. I've heard some people say he should have done it a few weeks ago to help the Republicans, but I don't know if it would have. I'm also not sure if this is the right decision.

Posted by: Scott on November 9, 2006 06:50 AM

This is where I question Dubya's common sense . . I'm not a "Bush Hater" . . . but . .

IF, he was considering canning Rummy . . Then he could've saved the Senate, and probably the House if he'd have canned him about two weeks prior to the Elections, and then waffled about his replacement . . naming two or three possibles . .

It shows me also, that possibly Rummy isn't the problem here, but inherent stubborness being a genetic fault in the Bush Family . . Hasn't it taken a 9.0 on the "groundswell richter scale" to get Dubya off center on any of his positions?

Posted by: large on November 13, 2006 11:36 AM

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