President Bush said he “reluctantly” accepted the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whom he called a “man of integrity, decency, and principle.” Bush said Gonzales’ critics had kept the attorney general from doing his job. “His good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons,” Bush said.
Lawmakers had accused Gonzales of lying to Congress over the firings of U.S. attorneys, and some had called for him to step down. “Our country needs a credible, effective attorney general,” said Sen. John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican.
Gonzales’ “overdue” departure shows why presidents shouldn’t put cronies in important jobs, said USA Today in an editorial. Gonzales -- the son of Mexican immigrants -- was a huge “success story” until Bush promoted him from White House counsel to attorney general. Gonzales never seemed to understand that the nation’s top law enforcement officer must put “duty” before “loyalty.”
“Democrats finally got their man,” said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Gonzales was hardly the “hyper-partisan” Democrats claimed. But his fate should be a lesson to Bush. He needs a new attorney general who can “explain and defend” his policies on the war on terror. The president will be in trouble if he doesn’t pick someone Democrats will confirm without a struggle.
Now that Bush’s “top yes man” is gone, said David Cole in Salon.com, maybe the president will “finally get some good legal advice.”
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