But it’s already been a week.
When President Gerald Ford bounced Secretary James Schlesinger in the famous “Halloween Massacre” in 1975, he immediately replaced him with then-White House chief of staff Donald Rumsfeld.
When President George W. Bush fired Rumsfeld right after what he called a “thumping” in the 2006 midterm elections, he had already picked former CIA director and then President of Texas A&M University, Robert M. Gates, as his successor.
But, while a week is hardly a long time for the post to be left with a lame duck in charge without a named successor, Hagel has been on the outs with the White House team for some time. And it would not have made for good optics to fire him just before the election.
Still, to resign Hagel shortly after the “Great Shellacking” — almost as if he were the one person in the administration most responsible for the crushing election defeat — seemed a bit odd given that no replacement was ready to go.