Rumsfeld resigns to spend more time with his family, and Bush admits to lying to the press.
War Room - Salon.com
The first casualty of the election: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is resigning, effective immediately.
Less than a week ago, George W. Bush said that he hoped that Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney would serve in his administration through the end of his second term. “Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them,” Bush said in an interview.
At a White House press conference going on now, Bush all but conceded that he misled reporters who asked him about Rumsfeld last week. “The reason was that I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of the campaign,” he said. “The only way . . . to get you on to another question was to give you that answer.”
Subsequently, Bush insisted that he hadn't made his final decision about replacing Rumsfeld until after he told the reporters that the secretary of defense would be stating. Bush said that he hadn't had his “final conversation” with Rumsfeld then. Nor, he said, had he met with the man he's nominating as Rumsfeld's successor: former CIA Director Bob Gates.
Will this have significant consequence? Who knows. Cheney is still in charge.