I agree with Mario some about the timing. I had no doubt he’d resign soon after the election — if Republicans kept Congress, I figured it would be Thanksgiving or Christmas week — just looking natural (and it would be natural — the guy probably want to play with his grandkids, and he’s served his time and thensome and then again).
I hate two little things about the timing being yesterday, though i might serve a useful practical political purpose (maybe): Rumsfeld looks like the fall guy for the Republican electoral slaughter and although he deserves and gets criticism (some of it even, very legitimate!), he’s a great American whose done some great things. And he’s not the only reason things that have gone wrong in Iraq. And he’s far from the only reason for what happened Tuesday.
The other thing that bothers me about the timing is: If Rumsfeld really was going to leave anyway — and if Bush was talking to Gates, and they were all talking about this happening immediately after the election – he should have gone two months ago. It betcha it could have kept or got Republicans a seat or two.