The world responds.
But from Paris to Pakistan, a repeated theme was hope that the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate would force Bush to adopt a more conciliatory approach to global crises, and teach a president many see as a "cowboy" a lesson in humility.
"Americans are realizing that you can't found the politics of a country on patriotic passion and reflexes," said French schoolteacher Jean-Pierre Charpemtrat.
"You can't fool everybody all the time and I think that's what Bush and his administration are learning today."
Italian Premier Romano Prodi said Rumsfeld's surprise resignation underscored the depth of what has happened in America.
"Even though U.S. politics had already started changing, Rumsfeld's resignation means an accentuation of this change," Prodi said. "We'll see over the next few days what the new direction will be. But certainly we have a political structure … deeply different from that of a few days ago."
In an extraordinary joint statement, more than 200 Socialist members of the European Parliament hailed the American election results as "the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has consistently railed against the Bush administration, called the election "a reprisal vote."
more giddy "furrrrners" here.