Rumsfeld to stay a while longer...

The White House says that incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, whose confirmation is all but a sure thing, won't be sworn in until next year, because he "needs extra time to wind up affairs as president of Texas A&M University" -- an assertion that's apparently news to Gates, who has publicly said he's ready to quit as soon as he's been confirmed.

Another source (anonymous, natch) suggests that the White House may just be letting Rumsfeld break one last thing before he leaves: the record for longest-serving Secretary of Defense.

One source close to the White House, who spoke anonymously in order to keep his job, believes President George W. Bush has decided to wait until after Dec. 29 "as a personal gesture to Rumsfeld." On that date Rumsfeld would become the longest-serving Defense secretary, beating Robert McNamara's record of 85 months.
Crack out the bubbly. That's something worth celebrating.

(Via The Carbetbagger Report.)

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