Defense Secretary Rumsfeld steps down

Tyrel Linkhorn

Resignation announced due to ‘political pressure’

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced his resignation yesterday afternoon shortly after the White House indicated Rumsfeld wasn’t going anywhere.

Rumsfeld, who had been with the administration since Bush’s inauguration, has faced increasing political pressure to step down in recent weeks.

Saturday, the Gannett-owned Army Times ran the editorial “Time for Rumsfeld to go.”

Christopher Banks, associate professor of political science at Kent State, said he believed that what the editorials coming out from the military journals communicated to the public had a significant impact on Rumsfeld’s decision to resign.

“There was too much pressure for him to legitimately be there,” Banks said.

College Democrats President Kelly Stellrecht said she wasn’t surprised with the resignation.

“I think the American people believe he should step down,” she said. “It’s good that he finally did.”

The surprise for Stellrecht came from when Rumsfeld announced his departure.

“It’s an interesting choice in timing,” she said in regards how close it came to Tuesday’s elections.

Banks also said he was surprised Rumsfeld hadn’t resigned earlier.

Stephen Albrecht, junior economics and mathematics major, said he didn’t expect a large impact from the shake-up.

“The people who have the final say are going to be the same,” he said.

Albrecht said he didn’t anticipate any more impact from this resignation than from previous resignations such as Colin Powell, who resigned as Secretary of State almost two years ago.

Banks too said the move is “more symbolic than anything else” right now.

However, he did say Rumsfeld’s leaving sends an important sign that the Bush administration might be more willing to work with the Democrats, who took control of the House in Tuesday’s election, and perhaps consider a new method in Iraq.

Freshman nursing major Megan Reed said she thinks it will be good to get someone else in the office.

“We’ve been doing the same thing for so long,” she said.

While Stellrecht said it is too early to tell if the move could signal a major shift in the policies of the Bush administration, Rumsfeld’s resignation does show that the administration is “more likely to find a new direction.”

Stellrecht said she doesn’t expect the move to be seen as a victory for Democrats as Secretary of Defense isn’t an elected office.

“We don’t look at it as politically as people think,” she said.

The College Republicans were unable to be reached for comment.

Following the resignation, Bush nominated Robert Gates, a former CIA director and current president of Texas A&M University. He also served as Deputy National Security Adviser in the first Bush administration.

Contact student finance reporter Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].