George W. Bush
George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician of the Republican Party and the current President of the United States. He was elected to two terms by defeating Vice President Al Gore in 2000, and later by defeating Senator John Kerry in 2004. He was sworn into office on January 20, 2001 and his second, and final, term is scheduled to end at noon on January 20, 2009.
Before entering politics, Bush was a businessman. He was one of the co-owners of the Texas Rangers baseball team from 1989 to 1998. He also served as Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.
Several of his family members are politically prominent. He is the son of former President George Herbert Walker Bush, the brother of current Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and the grandson of former U.S. Senator Prescott Bush.
Personal life, service, and education
George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut to parents George and Barbara Bush, and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He has four younger siblings: Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. A younger sister, Robin, died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of three.
As was his father, Bush was educated at Phillips Academy (Andover), (September 1961–June 1964) and Yale University (September 1964–May 1968). These are not coincidences (Bush probably wouldn't have gotten into Yale without his legacy, due to his only average grades.) While at Yale he joined Delta Kappa Epsilon (where he was president from October 1965 until graduation), and the Skull and Bones society. He played baseball during his freshman year and rugby during his freshman and senior years. He received a bachelor's degree in history in 1968.
After graduating from Yale, Bush enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard on May 27, 1968 during the Vietnam War, with a commitment to serve until May 26, 1974. He served as an F-102 pilot until 1972 and was twice promoted during his service, first to second lieutenant and then to first lieutenant. In November 1970, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, the commander of the Texas Air National Guard, recommended that Bush be promoted to first lieutenant.
In September 1973 he received permission to end his six-year commitment six months early in order to attend Harvard University. He transferred to inactive reserve status shortly before being honorably discharged on October 1, 1973.
It has been charged that he skipped over a waiting list to receive a coveted National Guard slot, that he did not report for required duty, and that he was suspended from flying after he missed a required physical examination. These issues were publicized during the 2004 campaign by Texans for Truth and other Bush critics. See George W. Bush military service controversy for details.
Bush entered Harvard Business School in 1973. He was awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 1975, making him the first U.S. president to hold an MBA degree.
On Labor Day weekend, September 4, 1976, Bush was pulled over by police near his family's Kennebunkport summer home in Maine. He was arrested and fined $150 and temporary suspension of driving privileges in the state for driving under the influence of alcohol http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/bushdui1.html. News of the arrest was released five days before the 2000 presidential election by the Kennebunkport police department.
Bush married Laura Welch in 1977. They have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna Bush, born in 1981. In 1986, at age 40, he became a born-again Christian, leaving the Episcopal Church and joining his wife's denomination, the United Methodist Church.
Bush has described his days before his religious conversion as his "nomadic" period and "irresponsible youth". Bush admitted to drinking "too much" in those years. He gave up drinking for good shortly after his 40th birthday celebration. A number of reasons were cited for the change including a 1985 meeting with Rev. Billy Graham. CNN reported during the 2000 campaign that Bush said "I quit drinking in 1986 and haven't had a drop since then". http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bushtext072599.htm http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bush072599.htm http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/11/02/bush.dui/ He has been observed to exhibit post-alcoholic symptoms referred to as being "dry drunk", where a midset similar to the period of long-term alcoholism remains. http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info/a/aa081397.htm http://www.counterpunch.org/wormer1011.html http://www.americanpolitics.com/20020924Bisbort.html http://www.counterpunch.org/mccarthy1019.html
Bush has addressed the issue of his alleged cocaine abuse on several occasions. The 2000 campaign initially refused to answer on principle, but later Bush told the press that, as a condition of Federal employment, he had signed a form averring he had not taken drugs in the previous seven years. When asked if he could have signed it when his father was president, he paused to think, and then answered that he could have. But Bush refused to answer if he had ever taken cocaine.
Bush is sometimes referred to as Dubya (which is a Southern dialect variant of "Double U"), a play on his middle initial "W". His Secret Service codename is Trailblazer or Tumbler.
Business and early political career
In 1978, Bush ran for the U.S. House of Representatives but lost to State Sen. Kent Hance, a Democrat.
Bush's cabinet holds the largest number of minorities of any U.S. federal cabinet to date, including the first two Asian-American federal cabinet secretaries (Chao and Mineta). It is also, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the wealthiest cabinet ever.
Only one non-Republican is present in Bush's cabinet. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, the first Asian-American cabinet secretary, who had previously served as Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton, is a Democrat.
His cabinet includes figures prominent in past Republican administrations, notably Colin Powell, who had served as United States National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H. W. Bush, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had served in the same position under Gerald Ford.
Within a few weeks after the 2004 election, several Cabinet members announced their resignations: Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and Secretary of Health of Human Services Tommy Thompson. Bush has announced his nominations of Condoleezza Rice to replace Powell, Alberto R. Gonzales to replace Ashcroft, Margaret Spellings to replace Paige, Carlos Gutierrez to replace Evans, Mike Johanns to replace Veneman, and Bernard Kerik to replace Ridge.
Other advisors and officials
Among the more criticized appointments have been John Negroponte, Elliott Abrams, Otto Reich, and John Poindexter for their roles in the Iran-Contra Affair and for allegedly covering up human rights abuses in Central and South America.
Some of Bush's other appointments have been noted as reflecting a preference for family members of favored officials. These include: Michael K. Powell (son of Secretary of State Powell) as FCC Chairman (although his initial appointment to the FCC came during the Clinton administration), 28-year-old J. Strom Thurmond Jr. (Senator Strom Thurmond's son) as South Carolina's U.S. Attorney, Eugene Scalia (Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son) as Solicitor for the Labor Department, Janet Rehnquist (U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist's daughter) as Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (later fired for firearms charges and inappropriate job terminations), and Elizabeth Cheney (Vice President Cheney's daughter) to the newly created position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near-East Affairs.
- June 7, 2001: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
- September 18, 2001: Authorization for Use of Military Force
- September 28, 2001: United States-Jordan Free Trade Area Implementation Act
- October 26, 2001: USA PATRIOT Act
- November 28, 2001: Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act
- January 8, 2002: No Child Left Behind Act
- March 9, 2002: Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002
- March 27, 2002: Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
- May 13, 2002: Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002
- July 30, 2002: Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
- October 16, 2002: Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq
- November 25, 2002: Homeland Security Act of 2002
- March 11, 2003: Do-Not-Call Implementation Act
- April 30, 2003: PROTECT Act of 2003 (Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act) (see also Age_of_consent#Social_and_legal_attitudes) http://judiciary.senate.gov/special/S151CONF.pdf
- May 27, 2003: United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003
- May 28, 2003: Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
- September 3, 2003: United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
- September 3, 2003: United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
- November 5, 2003: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003
- December 8, 2003: Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003
- December 16, 2003: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)
- April 1, 2004: Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Laci and Conner's Law)
Public perception and assessments
In the time of national crisis following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bush briefly enjoyed approval ratings of greater than 85 percent. Bush maintained these extraordinary ratings (the highest approval ratings of any president since such regular polls began in 1938) for some months following the attack, though they gradually dropped to lower levels.
During the 2002 midterm congressional elections, Bush had the highest approval rating of any president during a mid-term election since Dwight Eisenhower, and subsequently the Republican Party retook control of the Senate and added to their majority in the House of Representatives. These results marked an unusual deviation from the historic trend of the President's party losing congressional seats in the midterm elections, and was just the third time since the Civil War that the party in control of the White House gained seats in both houses of Congress in a midterm election (others were 1902 and 1934). One explanation for this historic event is that Bush's wartime popularity carried over to other Republicans in races for legislative office. Another is that the singularly close election of Bush in 2000 complicates expectations based on general historic trends.
In 2003, Bush's approval ratings continued their slow descent from the 2001 highs, with 13 major polls agreeing on a remarkably stable and consistent 1.7% per month decline for his entire presidency with the exceptions of only three significant increases: immediately after 9/11, during the Iraq War, and the capture of Saddam Hussein. By late 2003, his approval numbers were in the low to middle 50s. Nevertheless, his numbers were still solid for the third year of a Presidency, when the President's opponents typically begin their campaigns in earnest. Most polls tied the decline to growing concern over the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq and the economy's slow recovery from the 2001 recession. Late during the Democratic primary, most major polls showed Bush losing to the various Democratic challengers by a narrow margin. Polls of May 2004 showed anywhere from a 53 percent approval rating http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Bush_Job_Approval.htm to a 46 percent approval rating. http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/polls/usatodaypolls.htm Composite time-series graphs of Bush's approval ratings from January 2001 to May 2004 are available at http://www.hist.umn.edu/~ruggles/Approval.htm http://www.pollkatz.homestead.com/files/pollkatzmainGRAPHICS_8911_image001.gif, an analysis of G. W. Bush's popularity over time is available at http://www.polisci.wisc.edu/~behavior/perspective(Oct2003).pdf.
George W. Bush has been the subject of both high praise and stringent criticism, and has been called by some the "love him or hate him" president. The former have focused on matters such as the economy, homeland security, and especially his leadership after the September 11 attacks; the latter on matters such as the economy, the controversial 2000 election, and the occupation of Iraq.
Outside the United States
President Bush and French President Jacques Chirac during the G-8 sessions, July 21, 2001.
Bush's popularity outside the United States is generally lower. In many parts of the world he is very unpopular, with many reporting a dislike of his personality and foreign policy. The 2003 Invasion of Iraq particularly provoked charges of unilateralism. Recent polls indicate erosion of support among Europeans for Bush, for example a drop from 36% to 16% favorability over the last year in Germany.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3081254.stm A broader Associated Press/Ipsos survey of industrialized nations found that a majority of people in France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Spain—in addition to Canada and the UK, where Anglo-American cooperation traditionally reigns—have an unfavorable view of Bush and his policy on foreign affairs, although significant minorities continue to report favorable views. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/04/world/main604135.shtml In Muslim countries Bush's unfavorability ratings are particularly high, often over 90%. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/02/opinion/02wright.html Among the non-U.S. nations polled in a worldwide study, Bush's popularity was highest in Israel, where 62% reported favorable views. http://www.cbc.ca/news/america/poll.html
A July and August 2004 survey by the University of Maryland and GlobeScan, Inc. of 34,330 people in 35 nations found that, in 30 out of 35 countries polled, a majority or plurality would have preferred to see Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry win in the 2004 election. Kerry was strongly preferred by traditional European allies like Norway (74% for Kerry to 7% for Bush), Germany (74% to 10%), France (64% to 5%), the Netherlands (63% to 6%), Italy (58% to 14%), Spain (45% to 7%), and the United Kingdom (47% to 16%). Also other allies such as Japan (43% to 23%), Mexico (38% to 18%), Turkey (40% to 25%) and South Africa (43% to 29%). The only countries where President Bush was preferred by a majority were the Philippines, Nigeria, and Poland. India and Thailand were divided. http://www.globescan.com/news_archives/GlobeScan-PIPA_Release.pdf An October http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,1327656,00.htmlpoll by a range of major international newspapers show that in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Spain and South Korea a majority of voters share a rejection of the Iraq invasion, contempt for the Bush administration and a growing hostility to the U.S.; however, while they all oppose the Bush government's politics, they do not express a dislike of American people. Another poll found that Israel was the only country surveyed in which a majority favored President Bush over Senator Kerry.
- George W. Bush, A Charge to Keep, (1999) ISBN 0688174418
- George W. Bush, We Will Prevail, (2003) ISBN 0826415520
- Ronald Kessler, A Matter Of Character: Inside The White House Of George W. Bush, Penguin, USA, August, 2004, hardcover, 320 pages, ISBN 1595230009
- David Frum, The Right Man, (2003) ISBN 0375509038 ISBN 0812966953
- Bob Woodward, Bush At War, (2002) ISBN 0743244613
- Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, (2004) ISBN 074325547X
- Bill Sammon, Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the Bush White House, (2002) ISBN 0895261499
- Stephen Mansfield, The Faith of George W. Bush, (2003) ISBN 1585423092
- M. Ivins and L. Dubose, Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush (2000) ISBN 0375503994
- H. Gillman, The Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election (2001) ISBN 0226294080
- J. H. Hatfield, Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President (1999) ISBN 1887128840
- Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer & Brendan Nyhan, All the President's Spin: George W. Bush, the Media, and the Truth (2004) ISBN 0743262514
- Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties ISBN 074325337X
- Bill Sammon, Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters (2004) ISBN 0060723831
- Richard Miniter, Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush Is Winning the War on Terror (2004) ISBN 0895260522
- Robert Bryce, Cronies: Oil, The Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate, PublicAffairs, ISBN 1586481886
- Ian Williams, Deserter: George Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Past ISBN 1560256273
- E. Mitchell, W: Revenge of the Bush Dynasty (2000) ISBN 0786866306
- B. Minutaglio, First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty (1999) ISBN 0609808672
- K. Auletta (January 19, 2004). Fortress Bush: How the White House Keeps the Press Under Control, The New Yorker, LXXIX, 53.
Official and news links
ang:George W. Bush
simple:George W. Bush
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
You may copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license.
You must provide a link to http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
To view or edit this article at Wikipedia go to http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush