Fresh Eyes

Friday, November 24, 2006
According to Fred Barnes Rumsfled was said to have told the President that he felt his job needed fresh eyes. In his article Son Knows Best Barnes attempts to lay to rest speculation that Bush has gone wobbly.

RARELY HAS THE PRESS gotten a story so wrong. Robert Gates, President Bush's choice to replace Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, is not the point man for a boarding party of former national security officials from the elder President Bush's administration taking over defense and foreign policy in his son's administration. The media buzz about the realists of Bush 41, so cautious and practical, supplanting the idealists of Bush 43, whose grandiose, neoconservative thinking got us stuck in Iraq, is wrong.

President Bush--the current one--decided to hire Gates two days before the November 7 election. He didn't consult his father. He didn't talk to James Baker, his father's secretary of state and now co-head of the Iraq Study Group, whose official advice on Iraq is expected in December. Nor did he tell Rumsfeld that he was lining up someone to take his job.

Before hiring him, Bush had to make sure Gates didn't think America's intervention in Iraq was a mistake and wasn't deeply skeptical of Bush's decision to make democracy promotion a fundamental theme of American foreign policy. With Gates, it came down to this: "The fundamental question was, was he Brent Scowcroft or not?" a Bush aide says.

If we are to believe Fred Barnes Gates is a staunch supporter of democracy. In fact according to the article Scowcroft was just what Bush did not want.

It does seem to me that the press went overboard with this development. But then, what is new? In the end Rumsfeld will have been the oldest and youngest Secretary of Defence {having served under Ford} as well as the longest serving. Maybe he is right, maybe fresh eyes are needed. One thing is for sure we can count on the Washington press corps to go nuts, after all it can not just be that it was time to move on now can it?


David Thomson said...

Fred Barnes is making me feel a little better about Robert Gates. Oh well, I will knock on wood and hope for the best.

George W. Bush, however, was foolish for not announcing his decison before November 7th. That alone might have saved the Republicans on election day.

terrye said...

Considering the amount of catterwalling going on about the change I wonder if it would have made a difference.

People did nothing but complain abut Rummy before and now all of a suden everyone is his friend. Not everyone, but a lot of folks.

But the SOD serves at the pleasure of the president so Bush does not need to get permission.

Syl said...

Because of the election results and the aftermath (rumsfeld gone, the commission, bolton most likely out) Syria and Iran really believe they have won.

Perhaps that is a good thing. The higher they are, the harder they will fall.

Go Bush!

My glass half full comment for the day.

terrye said...

syl, I love you. And you just might be right. That latest assination in Lebanon may have been a tad too obvvious.

But in truth, Rumsfeld had so many enemies it might have been well nigh impossible for him to be effective with a Democratic House in charge.