Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rummy Is Toast

President Bush is in political trouble.

A botched good war and pain at the pump would do it to any President.

When crisis strikes, a good politician shifts responsibility. Who better to pin the blame on than the Secretary of Defense? Dumping Rumsfeld will represent a material accountability moment for all that's gone wrong in the prosecution of a valid war.

This is what we predict will happen within months, perhaps even weeks.

The real issue is to find a credible person to take Rumsfeld's job. Two names come to mind. General Powell (incompetent as he is, he remains quite popular with Americans) and Senator McCain (Vietnam war hero, maverick politician). Either one would restore American confidence in the winnability of the war. What it'll all come down to is the political price to pay for this. Both men (or similarly credible others) would likely demand (and undoubtedly get) the Republican nomination for Presidency in 2008 -- if successful in turning this ship around.

The stakes are suddenly much higher than the fate of Iraq.

1 comment:

Rajagopal said...

I doubt either Powell or McCain would seriously consider taking the job even if they were offered it, which isn't very probably either. Powell has a problem with this administration and he wouldn't want to be the Sec Def when the shit hits the fan. McCain probably wants to run for President and therefore wouldn't be in any hurry to take the job when the situation in Iraq is dire.

Also, this administration has been loath to admit any errors in its plans (not to mention the WMD's that haven't been found yet), that it is hard to imagine them jettisoning such a high profile and important member of the cabinet. They wouldn't want him pinning the blame on Bush and Rice and Co. The media would love that and Rumsfeld's voice would carry greater weight than Paul O'Neill or Richard Clarke or Christine Todd Whitman. So I don't see this happening.


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