From the Washington Post “Powell Won’t Serve Second Term“:

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and his deputy, Richard L. Armitage, have signaled to the White House that they intend to step down even if President Bush is reelected, setting the stage for a substantial reshaping of the administration’s national security team that has remained unchanged through the September 2001 terrorist attacks, two wars and numerous other crises.

Armitage recently told national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that he and Powell will leave on Jan. 21, 2005, the day after the next presidential inauguration, sources familiar with the conversation said. Powell has indicated to associates that a commitment made to his wife, rather than any dismay at the administration’s foreign policy, is a key factor in his desire to limit his tenure to one presidential term.

Rice and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz are the leading candidates to replace Powell, according to sources inside and outside the administration. Rice appears to have an edge because of her closeness to the president, though it is unclear whether she would be interested in running the State Department’s vast bureaucracy.

Writes Scott Holleran of the Concord Crier:

This is great news, though it will remove Bush’s primary excuse for not fighting a real war; is Powell just jockeying for more power in a second Bush administration? Probably — it’s his method of beating the pro-defense Rumsfeld forces to date. And who knows whether Bush would appoint another appeasement liberal as secretary of state. But Bush without Powell would be an opportunity for Bush’s real convictions to be tested]

Related Reading:

Powell’s Paper Tiger Show at U.N. By Scott Holleran
“By having Colin Powell seek the world’s sanction, President Bush has compromised the sanctity of America’s defense.”

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