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November 08, 2006

Timing Politics

I have to admit I was mystified why the White House would announce Rumsfeld's firing the morning after the elections. It seemed like an open admission that the Democrats' victories forced a change in course, which in turn seemed to give the Dems a share, at least, of the credit. Not exactly standard operating procedure for this White House.

Billmon may have hit on the answer: by doing the announcement today, the White House gets to shift the media's attention from the Democratic sweep to a story that reflects credit on the White House. It's all about dominating the news cycle — and looking conciliatory and constructive in the process. Politics.

Still, you have to wonder how much different yesterday's results would have been if the White House had fired Rumsfeld a month ago and made a big show of trying a fresh approach in Iraq back then. Luckily, we'll never know.

Posted by Jonathan at November 8, 2006 04:06 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


I was getting very frustrated reading what's happening in America at Past Peak, Common Dreams, books by Michael Moore, Molly Ivins, etc. But finally, the American people have spoken. I hope things really improve from now. I wish for the days that my father spoke of fondly - when he was taught English Literature by Peace Corps voulunteer at this small town in Malaysia back in the 60s.

Posted by: Thanneer at November 8, 2006 08:23 PM

I don't know. The new Speaker made it very clear in the middle of the election that change in Iraq is going to be a high priority for the dems. So the administration knew this was coming. If you're going to offer up a sacrificial lamb for media attention, after the election, at what time will you get the most bang for your buck? Do you do it the day after the election right in the middle of the opposition’s celebration party (when the countries giddy over the democratic process)? Or do you wait a little while for the dems to make a stink about it, and then follow their lead by offering up Rumsfeld when you can have the spotlight?

No, I didn't see this as an offensive move; I believe the administration was somehow put on the defense. I’ll let others speculate as to what scared them into such a dramatic and swift change.

Only one thing’s certain. Rumsfeld stepping down was decided without a trace of consideration given to honorability. It was pure strategy and tactics.

Posted by: Jeff at November 9, 2006 01:40 AM