WASHINGTON (NBC) - On the heels of an historic victory for Democrats, President Bush announced his plan of action Wednesday. That plan begins with the replacing of controversial Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The president made the announcement today, and promised a fresh look at the war in Iraq. Of course the move comes after an election many expects labeled as a referendum on the war in Iraq. And voters made their feelings known.
Early into election night, it became clear: the Democrats were coming out on top. They easily won more than enough seats take control of the House for the first time in a decade.
And a presumptive victory late Wednesday in Virigina, was the final push Democrats needed to win control over the senate as well.
Virginia senator George Allen had been a strong backer of president Bush and the Iraq war. His projected defeat Wednesday night, and the projected election of Democrat Jim Webb that gives Democrats the controlling majority of the Senate, the day after they won the House, sealed yesterday's election disaster for President Bush.
His first move today was to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with former CIA director Robert Gates.
Rumsfeld still brimmed with self confidence.
"I have benefited greatly from criticism, and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof" said Rumsfeld.
Some generals called him arrogant, a micromanager, who refused to send enough troops to Iraq. The day after voters tossed out more than two dozen Republicans, giving control of the
House and the Senate to democrats, President Bush conceded that Iraq was the main reason... and the war's chief architect was gone.
"Secretary Rumsfeld and I agreed that the timing is right for new leadership at The Pentagon" said President Bush.
Democrats, Republicans and ex-military agreed.
"A signal that the president is willing to change direction finally in Iraq" said Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan.
"A fresh opportunity to examine all aspects of our strategy and tactics" said Senator John McCain of Arizona.
"I think it's extremely good news for all of us that are worried about 140,000 troops that are in combat in Iraq" said General Barry McCaffrey, US Army (Ret).
But as Rumsfeld exits, President Bush promises no quick withdrawal of American troops. And the commander-in-chief says winning in Iraq, remains his plan.
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