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George W. Bush
George-W-Bush.jpeg
Official portrait, 2003
43rd President of the United States
In office
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
Vice PresidentDick Cheney
Preceded byBill Clinton
Succeeded byBarack Obama
46th Governor of Texas
In office
January 17, 1995 – December 21, 2000
LieutenantBob Bullock
Rick Perry
Preceded byAnn Richards
Succeeded byRick Perry
Personal details
Born
George Walker Bush

(1946-07-06) July 6, 1946 (age 75)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Laura Welch (m. 1977)
ChildrenBarbara
Jenna
ParentsGeorge H. W. Bush (father)
Barbara Pierce (mother)
RelativesSee Bush family
EducationYale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
SignatureCursive signature in ink
WebsiteOfficial website
Presidential Library
Presidential Center
White House Archives
Military service
Nickname(s)
  • "Dubya"
  • "GWB"
  • George Bush Jr[2][3]
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
 • Texas Air National Guard
 • Alabama Air National Guard
Years of service1968–1974
RankUS Air Force O2 shoulderboard rotated.svg First Lieutenant
Unit
Awards

George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman. He was the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He is the son of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush. Before becoming president, he was the Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. He is a Republican.[4]

He flew warplanes in the Texas and Alabama Air National Guard. After graduating from Yale College in 1968 and Harvard Business School in 1975, he worked in the oil industry. In 1977, he married Laura Welch and ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, but lost. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team.

In 1994, he was elected Governor of Texas, defeating the incumbent governor, Democrat Ann Richards. As governor, Bush successfully backed legislation for tort reform, gave more money for education, set higher standards for schools, and changed the criminal justice system. Bush also helped make Texas the leading producer of wind powered electricity in the U.S.

In 2000, Bush was elected President of the United States when he defeated Democratic incumbent Vice President Al Gore in a very close election. He became the fourth person to be elected president without winning the popular vote. He is the second son of a former United States president to himself become president, the first being John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams.

Bush was inaugurated in January 2001. As president, his early focus was on domestic issues. He cut taxes, passed an education reform bill, made changes to Medicare, and changed abortion laws. On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists. As a result of these attacks, Bush created the Department of Homeland Security and started a "War on Terror" that began with a war in Afghanistan in 2001. He also signed into law the controversial Patriot Act in order to spy on people believed to be terrorists. In 2003, he ordered an invasion of Iraq, which started the Iraq War. The reason why he did this was because his administration claimed that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, and that the Iraqi government was a threat to the U.S. However, no WMDs or a program for WMDs were ever found.

He was re-elected to a second term in 2004. In his second term, Bush reached multiple free trade agreements and was able to nominate John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. He wanted to make major changes to Social Security and immigration laws, but these changes did not pass in Congress. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continued, and in 2007 he sent more troops to Iraq. Bush received criticism from across the political spectrum for his handling of Hurricane Katrina and for the midterm dismissal of U.S. attorneys. In December 2007, the U.S. entered the Great Recession. This made the Bush administration get congressional approval for multiple economic programs created to protect the country's financial system, including the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Bush left office in January 2009 and was succeeded by Democrat Barack Obama. He has a ranch in Crawford, Texas, which is near Waco.[5] In 2010, he published a memoir called Decision Points. His presidential library opened in 2013. He is not ranked very high in presidential opinion polls, but he has become presidency has been rated as below-average in historical rankings of U.S. presidents, although his public favorability ratings have improved since leaving office.

Bush was one of the most popular, as well as unpopular, U.S. presidents in history; he received the highest recorded approval ratings right after the 9/11 attacks, but one of the lowest such ratings during the 2008 financial crisis.

Early life[change | change source]

Bush was born at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut.[6][7] Bush grew up in Midland, Texas. He went to a high school called Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1964.[4][8] He went to school at Yale University from 1964 until he graduated in 1968,[9][10] with a bachelor's degree in history.[11] He joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968[12][13] (part of the United States National Guard) during the Vietnam War and became a fighter pilot but did not fight in the war. He left the Texas Air National Guard in 1973.[14] In 1975 Bush earned an MBA from Harvard University.[11]

Bush as an infant with his parents, 1947

On November 5, 1977, Bush married Laura Welch.[15] In 1978, Bush tried to get elected to Congress in West Texas, but lost. After that, he ran some oil companies and was one of the owners of the Texas Rangers baseball team. He thought about trying to become the commissioner of Major League Baseball, but went into politics instead.[16] Bush is a Methodist.[17] In 1994, he was elected to be Governor of Texas,[18] defeating incumbent Democratic Governor Ann Richards.[11]

Governor of Texas, 1995–2000[change | change source]

Bush declared his candidacy for the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. His campaign focused on four themes: welfare reform, tort reform, crime reduction, and education improvement. After easily winning the Republican primary, Bush faced popular Democratic incumbent Governor Ann Richards. Bush won the general election with 53.5 percent against Richards' 45.9 percent.

Bush used a budget surplus to push through Texas's largest tax-cut, $2 billion. He extended government funding for organizations providing education of the dangers of alcohol and drug use and abuse, and helping to reduce domestic violence.

In 1998, Bush won re-election with a record 69 percent of the vote. He became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to two consecutive four-year terms.

Throughout Bush's first term, national attention focused on him as a potential future presidential candidate. Following his re-election, speculation soared. Within a year, he decided to seek the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.

2000 presidential election[change | change source]

Bush ran against then-Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 United States presidential election.[19] More than 100 million people voted on November 7, 2000.[20] But the election was very close. When they began counting the votes, it became clear that whoever got the most votes in the state of Florida would win the election. But there were many issues with the ballots in Florida. Gore sued to get Florida to count the votes again. For more than a month no one knew who won the election. The Supreme Court made a decision to stop recounting votes.[21] Gore decided to accept his loss on December 13 and Bush was declared the winner.[22]

Presidency, 2001–09[change | change source]

First term, 2001–05[change | change source]

Bush was first sworn in as president on January 20, 2001.

Education reform bill[change | change source]

Bush being sworn in as president, January 2001

While he was President, George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law.[23] It was an education reform bill.

Bush was the first President of the United States to deliver a speech in both Spanish and in English.[24]

Medicare reform[change | change source]

He added Part D to Medicare,[25] which gives older people free medicine if they cannot afford it.

Tax policy[change | change source]

Bush passed a $1.3 trillion tax cut also signed very large tax cuts (many of them were for the middle and lower class) during his presidency.

Abortion[change | change source]

Bush did not approve of abortion.[26] In 2004, he signed the Unborn Victims Of Violence Act[27] which made it so that if a pregnant woman is murdered, her murderer can also be charged with killing the fetus that the woman was carrying.[28]

Hainan Island incident (2001)[change | change source]

On April 1, 2001, an American spy plane crashed in China. Bush peacefully negotiated the release of the plane crew.[29]

September 11 attacks[change | change source]

Main article: September 11 attacks

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists. The terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged a part of the Pentagon. Because of this, President Bush declared a War on Terrorism.[30]

Bush delivers a eulogy at Ronald Reagan's state funeral, June 2004

Bush tried to do many things to stop another terrorist attack from happening. He ordered an invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.[31] He did this because the leaders of Afghanistan were helping Osama bin Laden, who was responsible for attacking America on September 11, 2001. Almost ten years later, on May 2, 2011 bin Laden was killed on orders of President Barack Obama. The war in Afghanistan has not ended yet. Bush asked Congress to do more to stop terrorism. As a result, Congress passed a law that created the Department of Homeland Security, a government department which tries to prevent terrorist attacks from happening. It also responds to emergencies such as floods or diseases.

He signed the Patriot Act (which allowed the government to listen to people's phone calls so it can track down terrorists which try to communicate with each other).[32]

Invasion of Iraq (2003)

Main article: 2003 invasion of Iraq

The United States Congress gave Bush the permission to invade Iraq if its government did not cooperate with the weapons inspectors.[33] After Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors,[34] Bush decided to invade Iraq in 2003 with several allies.[35] Saddam Hussein was removed from power, and Iraq turned into a democracy. Over 100,000 people were killed in this war.

2004 re-election campaign[change | change source]

Bush ran for re-election in the 2004 presidential election. His opponent was Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, a Democrat.[36]

Bush won the election

Second term, 2005–09[change | change source]

Main article: Second inauguration of George W. Bush

Bush giving his inaugural address at his second inauguration, January 2005

Bush was sworn in as president once again on January 20, 2005 at the United States Capitol Building.

Hurricane Katrina[change | change source]

Main article: Hurricane Katrina

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina (the most destructive hurricane in American history) happened.[37] It caused over 1800 deaths and caused billions of dollars of destruction. George W. Bush signed several acts into law which would help Hurricane Katrina victims.

Iraq War[change | change source]

In the Iraq War, no weapons of mass destruction were found, and the Bush administration was criticized for being wrong about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. Bush added more American troops to Iraq (which was called "the surge") to speed up the war. The surge was successful, and in result, Iraq had less violence.

Great Recession[change | change source]

Although the economy was doing very well during much of his presidency, in early 2008, the economy was slowing down. Bush signed a bill into law which would gave $600 to every American citizen, hoping that people would go out and spend the money so that it would prevent a recession (a bad economy) from happening.

Later in 2008, the stock market crashed and the country fell into its worst recession since the Great Depression. Bush helped create a $700 billion dollar bailout, which would give money to corporations (large businesses) to prevent them from being bankrupt and to try to prevent the recession from getting worse.

2008 presidential election[change | change source]

Main article: 2008 United States presidential election

Bush publicly supported Republican candidate John McCain during the 2008 presidential election,[38] but Barack Obama won the election.[39] During the last few days he was president, Bush gave his farewell address. He was succeeded by Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.

Post-presidency, 2009-present[change | change source]

Bush with all living former presidents, including his father George H. W. Bush, and then-president-elect Barack Obama, January 2009

After his presidency, Bush stayed away from the spotlight and did not want much attention. He said that he was not going to criticize President Obama.[38] He began to build his presidential library in 2010.[40] It was open to the public in 2013.

Bush with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, January 2013

After over a year and a half of saying little in public, in November of 2010, Bush appeared on several television interviews and released a book called Decision Points. The book focuses on fourteen big decisions he made in congress, including quitting drinking, running for president, Hurricane Katrina, invading Iraq, and his response to the financial meltdown in 2008.

On May 2, 2011, President Obama called Bush, who was at a restaurant with his wife, to inform him that Osama bin Laden had been killed.[41] The Bushes joined the Obamas in New York City to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At the Ground Zero memorial, Bush read a letter that President Abraham Lincoln wrote to a widow who lost five sons during the Civil War.[42]

On August 6, 2013, Bush was successfully treated for a coronary artery blockage with a stent. The blockage had been found during an annual medical examination.[43]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Veteran Tributes". www.veterantributes.org.
  2. CBS News, George W. Bush Timeline
  3. "What Does Dubya Mean? | Politics by Dictionary.com". Everything After Z by Dictionary.com. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "George W. Bush". www.nndb.com.
  5. "Ex-President Bush and Wife Leave Washington for Texas". Fox News. Associated Press. January 20, 2009. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  6. Greenstein, Fred I. The George W. Bush Presidency: An Early Assessment The Johns Hopkins University Press Baltimore Maryland 2003 page 2
  7. Marquez, Heron George W. Bush 2007 Twenty-First Century Books a division of Lerner Publishing Group Minneapolis Minnesota page 104
  8. Bush, George W. Bush Decision Points Random House New York 2010 pages 11-13
  9. Kalb, Marvin, Deborah Kalb Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama Brookings Washington DC 2011 page 187
  10. Aikman, David A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush W. Publishing Group a division of Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville Tennessee 2004 page 41
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2009-11-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Cohen, Daniel George W. Bush: The Family Business The Millbrook Press Inc. Brookfield Connecticut page 12
  13. Burgan, Michael George W. Bush Profiles of the Presidents Compass Point Books Minneapolis Minnesota page 13
  14. Stecker, Frederick The Podium, the Pulpit, and the Republicans: How Presidential Candidates Use Religious Language in American Political Debate ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page 53
  15. Andersen, Christopher George and Laura: Portrait of an American Marriage Avon Books New York New York 2002 page 150
  16. Schmidt, Michael (October 13, 2010). "George W. Bush Is Back in the Rangers Front Row - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. New York: NYTC. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  17. "The last Methodist president". Archived from the original on 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  18. Rountree, Clark George W. Bush: A Biography ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page xxi
  19. Bush, George W. Decision Points Random House New York pages 67-78
  20. Scaros, Constantinos E. Understanding the Constitution Jones and Bartlett Publishers LLC 2011 page 4
  21. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-08-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. Rountree, Clark George W. Bush a Biography ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page xxii
  23. Bush, George W. Bush Decision Points Random House New York page 307
  24. Interesting Facts about George W. Bush at Buzzle.com
  25. Frolik, Lawrence A. The Law of Later Life Health Care and Decision Making American Bar Association 2006 page 15
  26. Bush, George W. Decision Points Random House New York pages 112-113
  27. "President Bush Signs Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov.
  28. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,115189,00.html
  29. Swansbrough, Robert H. Test by Fire: The War Presidency of George W. Bush Palgrave MacMillan New York New York 2008 pages 79-80
  30. Atkins, Stephen E The 9/11 Encyclopedia ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page 210
  31. Shmitt, Steffen W. ; Mark C Shelley; Barbara A Bardes American Government and Politics Today 2010-2011 Wadsworth Political Science Boston Massachusetts page 232
  32. Bush, George W. Decision Points Random House New York page 160-162
  33. Kushner, Harvey W. Encyclopedia of Terrorism Sage Publications page 178
  34. Ofori, Nuku A World System in Flux: The Rise of Modern World Empire and its Significance in the Modern World System ProQuest LLC Ann Arbor Michigan 2009 pages 135-136
  35. Lansford, Tom 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Chronology and Reference Guide ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2012 page 235
  36. Bush, George W. Bush Decision Points Random House New York 2010 page 120, page 296
  37. Ouellette, Jeanine Dennis Feltgen Hurricane Katrina ABDO Publishing Company Edina Minnesota 2008 page 94
  38. 38.0 38.1 "MSN - Outlook, Office, Skype, Bing, Breaking News, and Latest Videos". www.msn.com.
  39. "Obama: 'This is your victory' - CNN.com". edition.cnn.com.
  40. Press, Associated. "Construction to begin on George W. Bush presidential library Tuesday; protests expected". cleveland.com.
  41. Franke-Ruta, Garance (May 13, 2011). "When Bush Got the Bin Laden Call (While Eating a Souffle)". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  42. "Presidents Obama and Bush commemorate 9/11 anniversary". CNN. September 11, 2011.
  43. "George W. Bush has heart surgery". USA Today. Retrieved August 6, 2013.

Other websites[change | change source]

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