Bob replaces the longest serving member of my Cabinet, Don Rumsfeld. History will record that on Secretary Rumsfeld's watch, the men and women of our military overthrew two terrorist regimes, brought justice to scores of senior al Qaeda operatives, and helped stop new terrorist attacks on our people. America is safer, and the world is more secure because of the leadership of Don Rumsfeld, and I am deeply grateful for his service.I don't know about you, but if you ask me there is a reason why the people voted for Dems on 7 November, and one of those was because they are not nearly as impressed with Rummy as the W is.
But what about his possible successor? On the surface, it already looks like Gates is substantially better than Rummy ever was. Should we believe the president? It's not like we will have much of a choice given that we still must endure the congress we have for the next month or so.
In the meantime, I have made an important change to my national security team. On Wednesday, I accepted Don Rumsfeld's resignation as Secretary of Defense, and announced my intent to nominate Bob Gates to replace him. Bob is a proven leader who has served six Presidents -- four Republicans and two Democrats. As a former CIA Director and the current President of Texas A&M University, he has experience leading large and complex organizations, and he has shown that he is an agent of change. As Secretary of Defense, he will provide a fresh outlook on our strategy in Iraq, and what we need to do to prevail.