News Brief – November 8, 2006
The US mid-term elections have brought major changes in Washington’s political landscape. Not least of these is the resignation today of Donald Rumsfeld.
The Democrats resurgent showing in the elections was not unexpected. However Rumsfeld's resignation will likely be seen as a sop to growing anti-war sentiment in the US.
His resignation came the day after midterm elections in which Republicans lost control of the House and may lose Congress too.
Surveys of voters at polling places indicated that opposition to the war was a significant contributor to the Democratic victory.
In acknowledging his resignation, President Bush said Rumsfeld was a "trusted adviser and friend," and that he's "deeply grateful" for his service to the country.
Bush said he and Rumsfeld agreed that "the timing is right for new leadership" at the Pentagon.
Rumsfeld, 74, was in his second tour of duty as defense chief and is generally seen as one of the prime architects of America's war in Iraq.
Short of the president and vice president, he is the most senior member of the Bush administration to have fallen to growing public anger with the war.
Former CIA Director Robert Gates will take over from Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.
Last updated 10/11/2006