Sour Grapes From Rumsfeld?
On the Dec. 11 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, Donald Rumsfeld told host Sean Hannity that his departure from the Pentagon was directly tied to the Republicans' poor showing in the midterm elections.
RUMSFELD: I think that this time the outcome of the election ... created a situation where I personally believe, and the president agrees, it is better for someone else to be leading this department with that new Congress. And it’s better for the military; it’s better for the department; and it’s better for the administration. And I feel comfortable with that.
That disagrees with what President Bush said last month:
BUSH: And so he and I both agreed in our meeting yesterday that it was appropriate that I accept his resignation. And so the decision was made — actually, I thought we were going to do fine yesterday. Shows what I know. But I thought we were going to be fine in the election. My point to you is, is that, win or lose, Bob Gates was going to become the nominee.
I'm inclined to believe that Bush is actually telling the truth, and that Rumsfeld is in "sour grapes" mode.
First, Bush said he had talked with Gates prior to the election, allowing him to be able to immediately nominate Gates. Bush was criticized for taking those steps, even as he was claiming that Rumsfeld was doing a "fantastic" job.
The mid-term election results may have solidified what Bush already knew: that confidence in Rumsfeld and his strategy had crumbled. Rumsfeld had been embarrassed immediately before the election by editorials in Army Times and other military newspapers demanding his resignation. But in the weeks leading up to the election, several Republicans, retired generals, and even soldiers expressed their disapproval with Rumsfeld, and/or said they wanted him to resign.
The final word? Rumsfeld told Hannity he has no advice for Gates.
“I wish him well. It’s a tough job,” Rumsfeld said.