Rumsfeld Resigned Before Midterm Elections

Iraq not mentioned; GOP critics seize on Bush inaction
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 15, 2007 5:23 PM CDT
In this photo provided by Magnolia Pictures, U.S. President George W. Bush briefs the press next to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (left) and Vice President Richard Cheney (right) outside Washington...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Donald Rumsfeld's resignation letter, obtained by Reuters, shows he told President Bush of his departure as defense secretary one day before the 2006 congressional elections; though Bush saw the letter on Election Day, the White House didn't announce the decision until the day after polls closed. Republicans warned the delay was likely costly in an election in which the public voted its discontent over the Iraq war.

Rumsfeld, a key architect of the campaign and frequent target of the war's critics, did not mention the war explicitly in his letter, instead praising the president and American troops. "One of the things the president wanted to avoid was the appearance of trying to make this a political decision," a Bush spokeswoman said.