The Corner

Oh Boy

The more I know, the more I don’t want to:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 — President Bush was moving by late summer toward removing Donald H. Rumsfeld as defense secretary, people inside and outside the White House said Thursday. Weeks before Election Day, the essential question still open was when, not whether, to make the move.

Mr. Bush ultimately postponed action until after the election in part because of concern that to remove Mr. Rumsfeld earlier could be interpreted by critics as political opportunism or as ratifying their criticism of the White House war plan in the heart of the campaign, the White House insiders and outsiders said.

The White House has refused to divulge the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that went into Mr. Rumsfeld’s announced resignation on Wednesday. Those who were interviewed would speak only on condition of anonymity, but included officials at the White House and those in a close circle of outside advisers. They said the administration had been engaged in painful off-again-on-again discussions about Mr. Rumsfeld’s ouster for months, even as Mr. Bush said repeatedly that Mr. Rumsfeld was his man for Iraq.

House watchers wonder the GOP could have been spared 10-15 losses in the House if the Rumsfeld talking point was taken away from Dems. It could have meant keeping the Senate….