Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rumsfeld Resigned Before Elections

From the WaPo:

Rumsfeld Resigned as Defense Secretary on Day Before Elections

CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 15 -- Donald H. Rumsfeld, who came to symbolize the Bush administration's problems in the war in Iraq, resigned as secretary of defense one day before last fall's elections, although President Bush did not announce the move until the day after the elections.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday that Rumsfeld's letter of resignation was dated Nov. 6, 2006, the day before voters -- many of them furious about the war in Iraq -- evicted Republicans from the leadership of the House and Senate.

Deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino said that Bush received the letter and accepted Rumsfeld's resignation on Election Day. The president waited until the next day to announce that he was replacing Rumsfeld with former CIA chief Robert M. Gates.

Bush said that the decision to oust Rumsfeld had come after a series of conversations with the then-defense secretary. That revelation angered many Republicans who thought GOP electoral losses would have been reduced if Rumsfeld had been removed earlier.

"If Rumsfeld had been out, you bet it would have made a difference," Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said at the time. "I'd still be chairman of the Judiciary Committee."

Not only did Bush not telegraph his intention to replace Rumsfeld, but he also publicly stated in the days before the elections that he envisioned Rumsfeld serving in his administration for the foreseeable future.


Here's the moolah quote from the article:

"I know that one of the things that the president wanted to avoid was the appearance of trying to make this a political decision," she said. "And that was very important to him, and I think that the American people can appreciate not playing politics with such an important decision."

How is lying to the American people the day after an election about something that happened the day before the election not political? It paints the picture that W didn't want the administration and/or the party to appear either weak or unstable or wrong. And the simple fact of the matter is that he withheld the truth and then lied about it. Odds are if he had allowed Rummy to resign the GOP would have a few more seats in the senate and congress. Maybe pride doth goeth before a fall after all.