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Sue Bush
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Commentary: Changes Begin At the Top As Rumsfeld Resigns

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down from the post he's held for six years.
President George Bush announced the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during an early afternoon Nov. 8 televised press conference held just hours after the Democrats claimed huge gains at the state and national level during the Nov. 7 election.

Bush named former CIA Director Robert Gates as Rumsfeld's successor.

To all those who have ever said that one vote doesn't make a difference, the announcement seems proof of the error in judgement.

Votes do make a difference.

As city resident Marlene Bush said yesterday as she entered a polling place to cast her ballot, "No matter how little our voice may seem, we do have a voice."

And voices for change bellowed from the voting booths yesterday, and are echoing through the White House today.

Bush also confirmed, under questioning from a contingent of White House-assigned journalists, that when he met with a trio of reporters early last week and was directly asked about the future of Rumsfeld and Vice-president Richard Cheney, he said both would be staying on in part to get the reporter to "move on" to another question.

He then quickly added that no decision about Rumsfeld had been made at that time, that he had not had a final conversation with Gates about replacing Rumsfeld, and that he wanted to avoid "injecting" such an issue into the election campaign one week prior to the vote.

Final conversations with Gates occurred on Nov.5, Bush said.

Later during the press conference, he said he didn't know Rumsfeld would be departing when he met with the three journalists.

Also during the conference, Bush stated that he realizes, after the election results, that Iraq is "on the minds" of Americans, but he believes that other concerns, such as ethics, were part of the election equation.

Bush pledged to work with Democrats, called for bipartisan efforts, made repeated statements about congratulating Democratic victors and "moving forward."

And when asked how to convince the American people of the good intentions, Bush said "Do it. Sit down and do it."

He admitted he was not prepared for the extent of Democratic wins.

"The election is over and the Democrats have won," he said at one point.

And later on during the conference, Bush said "The people have spoken."

The people have spoken. The changes are underway.

This is not a happenstance or some sort of weird coincidence.

The people have spoken. The people have voted.

And each and every vote made a difference.

When the people work it, democracy works for the people.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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