House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will not seek reelection to the Republican leadership when his members return as a minority party after taking heavy losses in Tuesday’s elections, a Republican official tells TIME. Hastert, 64, a low-key former high school wrestling coach, was beloved by members as a “good cop,” compared to the enforcer style of the longtime number two leader, former Rep. Tom Delay (R-Tex.). But Hastert was badly damaged by questions about how much he had known about former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and his contact with pages, and members felt Hastert also handled the aftermath of the revelations clumsily. more
So, is this the dismantling of Delay’s machine? The machine that delivered vote after vote for Bush?
For mountain Democrats, the defeat of eight-term Republican Congressman Charles Taylor was a long time coming — 16 years, to be exact.
And it took a political newcomer, former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, to do it.
Shuler, 34, claimed victory Tuesday night with 123,856 votes to 106,632 for Taylor, with all 298 precincts reporting in unofficial tallies. Shuler collected 53.7 percent of the vote, to 46.3 percent for Taylor.
“We’ve talked about it — how our country deserves better — and it’s going to get better,” Shuler said to raucous Democrats gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville.
Outstanding. Charles Taylor was a joke. I hope that Heath will do us proud.
President Bush introduced Robert Gates on Wednesday afternoon as his nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense, saying the country needs a “fresh perspective” on Iraq.
Gates, a former CIA chief, was a member of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that is making recommendations to Bush on how to proceed in Iraq.
Gates traveled with the panel to Iraq earlier this year, an experience, Bush said, that will enable Gates to come up with “new ideas on how America can achieve our goals in Iraq.”
Gates, 63, said Wednesday he accepted the nomination because “the United States is at war” and the president called.
“I believe the outcome of these conflicts will shape our world for decades to come,” Gates said.
Bush announced Rumsfeld’s departure earlier Wednesday. more