Secretary Rumsfeld deserves the thanks of all Americans for his leadership in the war on terror.  I trusted his opinion following the attack on America on September the 11, 2001. It was undoubtedly one of America's darkest days and Secretary Rumsfeld demonstrated leadership in making the right decision to go after the terrorists on their turf, not ours. I am also pleased the President now has the opportunity to appoint someone new to the position that will reassure Americans that he is a President capable of making needed change to provide Iraqi stability, U.S. security, and change tactics in the war on terror without risking defeat.

Yesterday's elections sent a message to the President, and the entire U. S. Congress, that greater flexibility is needed to do a better job in achieving positive results in Iraq.  Recent reports indicate that the young Iraqi government is moving in the right direction to quell the violence, disarm the insurgency, and empower the Sunni minority.

I hope the President's choice of former CIA chief Robert Gates, will have a perspective that will allow the American people to have greater confidence in our mission.