Secretary of State Colin Powell will be leaving the Bush cabinet, as widely anticipated. The recent departure of the Attorney-General and the Commerce Secretary from the Bush cabinet is the beginning of a reshuffle of the entire cabinet, with possibly upto half the team slated to go or change posts.
In a democracy, political cabinets are like a house of cards. In parliamentary democracies, like India, Japan & the UK, reshuffles are even more common. The jumbo cabinets of these countries are created often to meet coalition promises, and further specific agendas. A reshuffle can be done to return a favor or to silence critics. Ultimately, though, it is the civil service that has the real say in policy matters, even if they let their political masters think otherwise.
Colin Powell will likely be remembered with more respect and global esteem than other members of the cabinet. It is to be hoped though, that his memoirs will give voice to the silent battles of his heart and mind during his tenure. There is also the possibility this is the first step in a presidential run in 2008.