So Rummy is stepping down to spend more time with his investments:
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stepped down as defense secretary on Wednesday, one day after midterm elections in which opposition to the war in Iraq contributed to heavy Republican losses.
Military officials and politicians dissatisfied with the course of the war had called for Rumsfeldâ€™s resignation in the months leading up to the election. Last week, as Bush campaigned to save the Republican majority, he declared that Rumsfeld would remain at the Pentagon through the end of his term.
But a source told NBC Newsâ€™ military analyst Bill Arkin that prior to the election, Vice President Dick Cheney argued with other politicians over whether Rumsfeld should stay. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and others said Rumsfeld should be removed, the source said. Both sides agreed the decision would be made after the election, when Bush would make the final call based on how Republicans did.
According to the source, Bush agreed Rumsfeld should be removed after seeing election results favoring Democrats. Cheney then lost another argument, protesting Gatesâ€™ nomination as Rumsfeldâ€™s replacement.
Sometime between “Dude, we should totally use 9/11 to invade Iraq” and last Tuesday, the road that Vice President Dick Cheney steered George Bush down dead-ended and they found themselves with four flat tires and out of gas. George Bush who has never been responsible for anything in his life, publicly blamed Karl Rove in the next day but kept his oedipal rage at Dick Cheney in check. Publicly, at least. Unable to sell Cheney Brand Booga-Booga Fear to anyone outside of Michelle Malkin’s Short Bus of Couch Warriors, the election was lost “big time” and so, sensing both the rising tide and the sinking boat, George decided to unload the Rummy ballast last week, yet delayed the decision until Wednesday.
Now Dick Cheney finds himself without his only ally in the inner circle, having lost the turf war with Condoleeza Rice and indications are that Robert Gates will be purging the Cheneyites at Defense:
Nor is it clear how Mr. Gates will deal with Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney worked for years to protect Mr. Rumsfeld, who had hired him for his first government job, and the top echelons of the Defense Department have been peppered with Cheney protÃ©gÃ©s. Many of them have told associates they expect to be leaving, as Mr. Gates takes over with a mandate, in Mr. Bushâ€™s words, to approach the job with â€œfresh eyes.â€
Having spent the last six years calling the shots with his best buddy Don, one wonders how long Dick is going to stick around and when, after enough time has passed so that it doesn’t appear he is cutting and running, he will have a “health crisis” that will dictate his retirement.
My guess is next summer handing his replacement the thin-candy coating of incumbency without the stink of the previous six plus years…