Bush answered America’s call for change by accepting the resignation of Secretary of State, Donald Rumsfeld, in a press conference held in the East Room of the White House.  Starting his speech by saying “Why all the glum faces?”, Bush went on to congratulate the Democratic Party on it’s many victories November 7th.  He even went on to state that he was extending the bipartisan hand of friendship to new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi by giving her the names of Republican decorators that she can use to spruce up her new office.

After touching on Iraq, Bush announced with little fuss that Rumsfeld’s replacement, pending confirmation of the Senate, will be ex-CIA Director Robert Gates.  Gates is the President of Texas A&M University and a close friend of the President. 

Pundits are speculating that this move has been in the works for many weeks now as alarmed Republicans have been closely monitoring the polls and anticipating this political shift in the House, and now possibly, the Senate.  This move is also coming at a fragile time in Iraq with many Iraqi leaders fearing that a new direction by the U.S., especially a pull-out of U.S. troops, will ignite a bloody civil war.  During the press conference, Bush clearly addressed this issue and assured Iraq that the U.S. would not abandon them and reiterated that the appointment of Robert Gates was designed to put a “fresh perspective” on this complicated issue.

After 6 very stormy years as Secretary of State, I think this was a very good call by the Republican Party and the President.  Although many will undoutedly call into question Bush appointing yet another of his buddies, Gates has a great reputation and has the background and political chops necessary for this tough assignment.  It was also good to see Bush do something, anything really, to show the American people that he is not deaf and is hearing their calls for change in Iraq.


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