Bush accepted the resignation Friday, Powell said, adding, "It has always been my intention that I would serve one term."
But a senior State Department official characterized Powell's departure this way: "He was not asked to stay."
Condoleezza Rice has been named a likely successor. This likely means that the State Department will now be dominated by the same variety of neo-conservatives as those in charge at the White House, the Pentagon, the Justice Department and most other key governmental departments and agencies. However mild Powell's opposition to the neo-con thinking, even that little is likely to now become a thing of the past.