Born on 6th July 1946, in New Haven Connecticut, George Walker Bush served as the 43rd president of the United States. His lineage has a history of business and political participation, which contributed to his social life, business interests, and political career. At one time, Bush was a businessperson, and later the governor of Texas, before becoming president. During the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he led the United States response and initiated War against Iraq. Bush administration had both strength and weak points, in the context of America’s political and economic sphere. This paper explores the historical background, life experiences, and the political life of George W. Bush. The conclusion sums up the historical background, achievements, and failures of Bush.
George Walker Bush was born to Barbara Pierce Bush and George Herbert Walker Bush in New Haven, Connecticut on July 6th 1946 as the eldest son in a family of six siblings (Rountree, 2011). His grandfather, Prescott Bush was an ex-Wall Street banker, and Connecticut progressive Republican senator, while his father was a diplomat, businessperson, vice president, and later became the United States president (Burgan, 2004).
In 1948, the Bush family moved to Midland, Texas, and engaged in the oil business, which was extremely rewarding. George W. Bush childhood years, were spent in Midland, where he attended school until he was in seventh grade. The family has engaged in politics, and business, since the 1950’s. In 1961, the family shifted to Houston, and Bush enrolled at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (Burgan, 2004). While in the academy, Bush was involved in baseball, football, and basketball (Rountree, 2011). His academic performance was satisfactory, although he occasionally received accusations for causing disturbance to other students. His family connections, secured him an admission at the Yale University, in 1964, regardless of his satisfactory performance and conduct (Rountree, 2011).
While at the University, he was among the most popular students and became the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity president. He played rugby, actively participated in social activities, and was less concerned with academic performance (Rountree, 2011). Bush portrayed charismatic qualities, and humility, despite his rich background. These attributes enabled him to interact easily, with people from all social circles and earned him immense popularity. He joined Yale’s secretive Skull and Bones society, which was attended by the invited only. The club comprised of elite and powerful Americans, and Bush met the membership criteria. He enrolled in the Texas Air National Guard and was accepted through the influence of his family friend. He rose to the second lieutenant rank and acquired fighter pilot documentation in June 1970, and on 21st November 1974, he received an honorable discharge from the Air Force Reserve.
After Guard duty, Bush resumed his education, where he enrolled at the Harvard Business School, for a Master degree in Business Administration, and graduated in 1975. After graduation, he went back to Midland and worked for a family friend in the oil business, but later ventured into self-employment, where he opened a personal oil and gas business. Bush meet Laura Welch, a librarian, and schoolteacher in 1977, and after a brief courtship of three months, he proposed and married her on 5th November 1977. They settled in Midland, and Bush continued expanding his business. His wife played a vital role in Bush’s life and brought order in his life. Bush joined the United Methodist Church and became born- again (Rountree, 2011). In 1981, Bush and his wife were blessed with twin daughters, whom they named Jenna and Barbara. Bush sold the oil business in 1986, due to various constraints. He stopped drinking and got remarkably engrossed in the church.
Political career (1988- 2008)
In 1988, Bush went to Washington DC, in order to fulfill his father’s White House wish. He was actively involved in campaigns and held conferences with influential people. His father won the elections, although Bush went back to Texas, and worked together with a group of entrepreneurs. Together, they bought the Texas Rangers baseball team. Bush became the group leader, where he made various well-informed deals. The business became remarkably successful under Bush leadership, which earned him the status of a successful businessperson. In 1998, he sold his business share and made 17 times more of the initial investment’s worth.
His interests in the US politics begun after his father lost the re-election to Bill Clinton in 1992. Bush vied for the seat of Texas governor, against Ann Richards, who was a democrat while Bush was a Republican. The people of Texas favored Bush due to his existing association with the Rangers. His family status assisted him in winning the governor seat against his competitor, Ann Richards. His manifestos included education improvement, crime reduction, welfare reform, and tort restructuring. Bush became the first child to become a state governor, from a United States president (Burgan, 2004). During his term as a governor, Bush made appeals to moderate Christian conservatives and Republicans to support the people’s welfare in the society. Bush advocated for educational reforms and children’s rights reforms (Asen, 2012).
The Presidency (2000- 2008)
Bush began his presidential bid in 1999 and emerged victorious in the Republican nominations. The 2000 elections were coupled with many problems, with Gore coming close to winning the elections. Although there was a bit of controversy on the real winner of the elections, the Supreme Court pronounced Bush as the winner, thus giving him victory over Gore (Marquez, 2007). Bush’s presidential victory was a significant accomplishment in his political career. During his first two presidential years, Bush received much support from a political majority of the two Congressional Houses, although he faced strong divisions in the government, which was accelerated by his political rhetoric (Dunar, 2012).
Bush administration continued to spur controversy, especially when he refused to stand for the Kyoto Protocol, which advocated for green- house gas emissions reduction. He argued that the Protocol would cause damage to the economy of the United States (Dunar, 2012). This has been recorded as one of Bush’s administration weaknesses, which attracted negative feedback from the public.
Iraq War and 9/11 Attacks
On 11th September 2001, terrorists from the Al Qaeda group hijacked four commercial jetliners belonging to the United States (Burgan, 2004). Three of the jets hit Washington and New York, but the fourth jet went down, and crashed into an arable land, in Pennsylvania. It was the start of the US war on terrorists, and Bush vowed to avert any further terrorist attacks in order to protect the American people (Márquez, 2007). He formed a broad security strategy, with the Patriotic Act, Department of Homeland Security, and authorized the American Intelligence to scrutinize all international calls made by the US citizens. He made various collaborations with other nations in order to arrest terrorists and paralyze the Al-Qaeda networks, and other terrorist networks in Afghanistan (Márquez, 2007). The Taliban government was believed to host Osama Bin Laden, who was the Al Qaeda network leader.
Bush announced the use of military force, where necessary in order to combat terrorism. This move aimed at protecting, and upholding the state’s security from the risk of terrorist attack. On 20th March 2002, the Bush administration made a successful invasion to Iraq, due to Iraq’s failure to comply with the mass destruction weapons inspections (Burgan, 2004). The US military defeated the Iraq forces, which led to the fall of Iraq’s capital city, Baghdad on 9th April 2003. The power vacuum led to sectarian civil warfare in Iraq (Rountree, 2011).
In 2004, Bush was re-elected for the second time after beating Senator John Kerry in the election (Burgan, 2004). In the second term, Bush advocated for immigration reorganization and simplified the environmental regulations. This attracted much dissatisfaction from liberals and conservatives. Bush popularity declined further due to the poor response that his administration showed towards the New Orleans Hurricane Katrina disaster (Márquez, 2007). During his final presidency year in 2008, Bush faced many economic challenges. Tax cuts, military spending, and sluggish economic growth effects worsened the situation.
Bush exited the presidential seat in January 2009, with unfinished business, with low endorsement ratings from the public and political divisions (Rountree, 2011). Bush participated in a private fundraising proposed by the current US president Barack Obama. The funds would provide relief to the people affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Bush’s background was of remarkable help to his political career. His charismatic attributes from a tender age saw him rise to various leadership positions in school, business, and the political arena. Bush demonstrated positive attributes such as humility, in his social interactions. His lineage comprised of businesspersons and politicians, which mentored his business and political career.
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