While driving through Missouri on Thanksgiving, on my way to my in-laws home, I happened to catch a 'best-of Sean Hannity' show on talk radio. I don't normally listen to Hannity, but I stayed tuned because he was talking to Newt Gingrich. Newt had some interesting things to say, among them some comments about the stepping-down of Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. When asked for his thoughts on the matter, he stated his respect for Secretary Rumsfeld, but then discussed the poor timing on the part of President Bush. According to the former Speaker, if decision to let Rumsfeld go was so imminent, why wait until the day after the election to announce it? This amounts to nothing more than conceding defeat to the Democrats. Instead, as Mr. Gingrich put it, had the announcement been made a week before the election, it may have swayed enough votes to maintain a Republican majority in the Senate, and perhaps a few House seats as well.
While there were many serious issues influencing this election, the war in Iraq is certainly one of the top issues facing voters. Secretary Rumsfeld has been under increasing scrutiny for the war, and has taken the heat for a lot of the negative aspects of the war, including many which were beyond his control or oversight. Likewise, many voters were likely dissuaded from voting Republican, hoping for atleast a change of direction. Thus, had President Bush been willing to change direction before the election--as opposed to only hours afterwards--he may have had an easier time come the next two years.