Election Fallout: Rumsfeld Gone
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years as secretary of defense, Republican officials said Wednesday. Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would succeed Mr. Rumsfeld.Say what you will of Rumsfeld, but one thing is clear: After yesterday, his ability to lead was severely undercut, so a change signals that Bush is willing to accept the new reality and work with it.
President George W. Bush said he and Mr. Rumsfeld agreed it was time for new leadership and a fresh perspective at the Pentagon. At a news conference, Mr. Bush said he didn't want to influence the election by making changes ahead of the vote.
Mr. Bush defended Mr. Rumsfeld's troubled tenure, calling him "a patriot who served this country with honor and distinction."
"I recognize that many Americans voted last night to register their displeasure with the lack of progress being made" in Iraq, the president said. "Yet I also believe most Americans -- and leaders here in Washington from both political parties -- understand we cannot accept defeat." (WSJ)
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