Sunday, December 03, 2006

"Rumsfeld Urged Changes before Resigning" on the Day Before the Election (and This Is What the President Said to Him…)

An AP writer (he cites an earlier NYT article) tells us that on Nov. 6, the day before the mid-term elections, Rumsfeld wrote in a memo to the White House that "[I]n my view it is time for a major adjustment. Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough."

The article goes on to quote Rumsfeld's trusty ex-spkesman:

Lawrence Di Rita, who was Rumsfeld's chief spokesman before he left the Pentagon last spring, said in a telephone interview Saturday evening that the broad range of options presented by Rumsfeld belies the notion, often cited by his critics, that he is inflexible and reluctant to consider alternative approaches.

"I see this thing as classic Rumsfeld," Di Rita said. "This is the way he operates."

Perhaps. But I'm not sure George Bush appreciated this change of heart. Look at this transcript from a White House tape later in the day:

POTUS: Don, what's this memo?
Don: Oh, that? I've been doing some thinking, George, and I decided to put my thoughts down. Consider some new options.
POTUS: But Don, this is stuff people have been talking about for the last couple of years, and all this time you've been telling me things were hunky-dory. Tomorrow's election day, what the heck am I going to do with this? And call me Mr. President.
Don: But George, I just had these thoughts today. Even an old dog can learn new tricks, heheh.
POTUS: Not if it's dead it won't. You're fired.

Mr. Di Rita makes a valliant attempt, but there are some things you just can't spin.

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