The Democrats have swept the Republicans from power in the House of Representatives and are within just one seat of victory in the Senate. The outcome, widely seen as a result of public dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, led to the immediate resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.
US president George W Bush: “I know there is a lot of speculation on what the election means for the battle we are waging in Iraq, I recognise that many Americans voted last night to register their displeasure with the lack of progress being made there. I also believe most Americans and leaders here in Washington from both political parties understand we cannot accept defeat.”
“Secretary Rumsfeld and I agreed that the time is right for new leadership in the Pentagon. Our military has experienced an enormous amount of change and reform during the last five years by fighting the war on terror, one of the most consequential wars in our nation’s history. Donald Rumsfeld has been a superb leader during a time of change, he also appreciates the value of bringing a fresh perspective during a critical period in this war,” said Bush, adding:
“I have asked Bob Gates to serve as a secretary of Defense. Bob is a former director of a CIA and the current president of Texas A&M University.”