Dealt a body blow by US voters, President George W. Bush says it is time for a new perspective for his government. The Democrats have swept the Republicans from power in the House of Representatives and now, it seems, the Senate. “I’m obviously disappointed with the outcome of the election and, as the head of the Republican Party, I share a large part of the responsibility. I told my party’s leaders that it is now our duty to put the elections behind us and work together with the Democrats and Independents on the great issues facing this country.” Bush told reporters.
The first casualty of the disastrous Republican result was Defence Secretary and key architect of the war in Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld. Bush insisted the decision was made well before the elections took place. Rumsfeld’s replacement is former head of the CIA, Robert Gates:
“The United States is at war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. We are fighting against terrorism world-wide and we face other serious challenges to our peace and our security. I believe the outcome of these conflicts will shape our world for decades to come.”
Gates is close to James Baker, who served as Secretary of State under George Bush senior. Baker will present proposals for a new course of action in Iraq to George W. Bush next week. Analysts say Gates could be the man to implement his plan.