It seems Rumsfeld is nearing a vacation. It is rather apparent, that increasingly vast amounts of high-level government officials are calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, and the President's loyalty to the defense secretary might not withstand the pressure...
Sally Quinn, in her recent WaPo op-ed, says Rummy has been the scapegoat for the administration's failures and he's thinking of leaving, but once he's gone Quinn suggests Cheney or Bush may take the hits directly:
...Until now George W. Bush has resisted all of the pressure to get rid of his defense secretary. But those in the know say that the president may have reached the point where he realizes that Rumsfeld has outlived his usefulness.As much as I like Rumsfeld, perhaps his resignation would be for the better. As war is not just a science, but an art, it can and effectively be fought well in many ways. While Rumsfeld transformed the Armed Forces for the better, much to the behest of top brass, a new change of leadership style may still bear fruit. Yet, should Iraq fail to improve under a new defense secretary, the Bush administration, and the GOP won't have a Rumsfeld to blame.
Still, the president must be aware on some level that once the pugnacious, outspoken and flak-attracting Rumsfeld leaves the stage, the focus will be on the president. Whether Bush realizes it or not, this is about a scapegoat.