So after saying just last week that Rumsfeld is his man for the duration of his term, the day after the election the President dumps him and chooses one of daddy's boys, Bob Gates, to be the new Defense Secretary. It is a hopeful sign that may signal a much-needed change in Iraq strategy.
But who are the people most unhappy with Bush about this turn of events? It has to be all of those Republican Representatives that went down in defeat in part because they were caught up in the wake of the country's unhappiness with the war. They were sacrificed on the altar of Bush's stubborn reluctance to dump Rumsfeld.
If he had made this move two or three months ago it would have made Rumsfeld the scapegoat and allowed the House members to say the President is signaling a change of course in Iraq and they wholeheartedly agree with him. I daresay the House might well have stayed in Republican control. But Bush waits until after the election and they suffer a colossal defeat.
If I am one of those defeated Reps I am mighty unhappy with my President tonight. The Rove magic is definitely gone.