George W. Bush

George W. Bush

Overview

George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, having served from 1995 to 2000.

Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

. He is the eldest son of Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd President George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush...

 and 41st President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, making him the second American president to have been the son of a former president.
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Timeline

2001   US President George W. Bush announces his support for federal funding of limited research on embryonic stem cells.

2001   In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush declares a "war on terror".

2001   U.S. President George W. Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.

2001   War on Terrorism: In the first such act since World War II, US President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to terrorist acts or planned acts on the United States.

2001   In Washington, D.C., U.S. President George W. Bush dedicates the United States Department of Justice headquarters building as the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday.

2002   President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act.

2002   In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush describes "regimes that sponsor terror" as an ''Axis of Evil'', in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

2003   2003 invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, on board the {{USS|Abraham Lincoln|CVN-72|6}} (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declares that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended".

2003   From the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, US President George W. Bush announced in a nationally televised address in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner that major combat operations in Iraq had ended.

2003   President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law establishes the United States' first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the Federal Trade Commission to enforce its provisions.

 
Quotations

I've heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for President.

As recalled by minister James Robison in a telephone conversation with Bush, and first reported in the book The Faith of George W. Bush (2004) by Stephen Mansfield.

I watched Larry King|his interview with Karla Faye Tucker|her, though. He asked her real difficult questions, like 'What would you say to Governor Bush?' 'What was her answer?' I wonder. 'Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'don't kill me.'

From: "Devil May Care" by Tucker Carlson|Tucker Carlson, Talk Magazine, September 1999, p. 106 (During the Larry King-Karla Faye Tucker exchange, Tucker never actually asked to be spared)

I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.

Speech to the Nashua Chamber of Commerce in New Hampshire (27 January 2000)

The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into.

Governor Bush on gay marriage, Larry King Live|Larry King Live (February 15, 2000)
Encyclopedia

George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, having served from 1995 to 2000.

Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

. He is the eldest son of Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd President George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush...

 and 41st President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, making him the second American president to have been the son of a former president. He is also the brother of Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is a prominent member of the Bush family: the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; the younger brother of former President George W...

, former Governor of Florida.

After graduating from Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 in 1968 and Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. The school offers the world's largest full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, and many executive...

 in 1975, Bush worked in oil businesses. He married Laura Welch
Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest...

 in 1977 and ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

 baseball team before defeating Ann Richards
Ann Richards
Dorothy Ann Willis Richards was an American politician from Texas. She first came to national attention as the state treasurer of Texas, when she delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Richards served as the 45th Governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995 and was...

 in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election
Texas gubernatorial election, 1994
The 1994 Texas gubernatorial election was held on November 8, 1994 to select the governor of the state of Texas. The election was won by George W. Bush, candidate of the Republican Party...

. In a close and controversial election
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

, Bush was elected President in 2000 as the Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 candidate, defeating Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 in the Electoral College.

A series of terrorist attacks occurred eight months into Bush's first term as president on September 11, 2001. In response, Bush announced
Bush Doctrine
The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various related foreign policy principles of former United States president George W. Bush. The phrase was first used by Charles Krauthammer in June 2001 to describe the Bush Administration's unilateral withdrawals from the ABM treaty and the Kyoto...

 a global War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, which included an invasion of Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 that same year and a 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. In addition to national security issues, Bush signed into law broad tax cuts
Bush tax cuts
The Bush tax cuts refers to changes to the United States tax code passed during the presidency of George W. Bush and extended during the presidency of Barack Obama that generally lowered tax rates and revised the code specifying taxation in the United States...

, the PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

, the No Child Left Behind Act
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a United States Act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools.NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office...

, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion that the Act calls "partial-birth abortion", often referred to in medical literature as intact dilation and extraction...

, and Medicare
Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other...

 prescription drug benefits for seniors.

Bush successfully ran for re-election against Senator John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 in 2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

. His second term saw national debates on immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

, Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

, electronic surveillance
NSA electronic surveillance program
An electronic surveillance program, whose actual name is currently unknown, was implemented by the National Security Agency of the United States in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was part of the President's Surveillance Program which was in turn conducted under the overall umbrella...

, enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques or alternative set of procedures are terms adopted by the George W. Bush administration in the United States to describe certain severe interrogation methods, often described as torture...

, and the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

. As the United States entered its longest post–World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 recession in December 2007, the Bush Administration enacted multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's financial system. Though Bush was popular for much of his first term, his popularity declined sharply during his second term.

After leaving office, Bush returned to Texas and purchased a home in a suburban area of Dallas. He is currently a public speaker and published Decision Points
Decision Points
Decision Points is a memoir by former U.S. President George W. Bush. It was released on November 9, 2010, and the release was accompanied by national television appearances and a national tour. The book surpassed sales of two million copies less than two months after its release.-Content:Bush's...

in 2010, a book recounting decisions he has made over the course of his life.

Childhood to mid-life



George Walker Bush was born in New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

, Connecticut at Grace-New Haven Hospital (now Yale – New Haven Hospital), on July 6, 1946, the first child of George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 and Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd President George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush...

 (née Pierce). He was raised in Midland
Midland, Texas
Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Texas, United States, on the Southern Plains of the state's western area. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County. As of 2010, the population of Midland was 111,147. It is the principal city of the Midland, Texas...

 and Houston, Texas, with four siblings, Jeb
Jeb Bush
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is a prominent member of the Bush family: the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; the younger brother of former President George W...

, Neil
Neil Bush
Neil Mallon Bush is the fourth of six children of former President George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush . His five siblings are George Walker Bush, the former President of the United States; Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida; Robin Bush, who died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of...

, Marvin and Dorothy
Dorothy Bush Koch
Dorothy Walker Bush Koch, often called "Doro", , is the daughter of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, and the youngest sibling of George W. Bush, the 43rd President...

. Another younger sister, Robin, died from leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

 at the age of three in 1953. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush
Prescott Bush
Prescott Sheldon Bush was a Wall Street executive banker and a United States Senator, representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963. He was the father of George H. W. Bush and the grandfather of George W...

, was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

. Bush's father, George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, was Vice President from 1981 to 1989 and President from 1989 to 1993. Bush is of primarily English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 descent and also more distant German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

, Dutch, Welsh
Welsh American
Welsh Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Wales. In the 2008 U.S. Census community survey, an estimated 1.98 million Americans had Welsh ancestry, 0.6% of the total U.S. population. This compares with a population of 3 million in Wales. However,...

, Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

, French
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

 and Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 ancestry.

Education


Bush attended public schools in Midland
Midland, Texas
Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Texas, United States, on the Southern Plains of the state's western area. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County. As of 2010, the population of Midland was 111,147. It is the principal city of the Midland, Texas...

, Texas until the family moved to Houston after he completed seventh grade. He then went to The Kinkaid School
The Kinkaid School
The Kinkaid School is a K-12 non-sectarian school in Piney Point Village, Texas, United States.The Kinkaid School is the oldest independent coeducational school in the Houston, Texas area . The student body is divided into the Lower School , the Middle School and the Upper School...

, a prep school
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

 in Houston, for two years.

Bush finished high school at Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy is a selective, co-educational independent boarding high school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year...

, a boarding school (then all-male) in Andover
Andover, Massachusetts
Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was incorporated in 1646 and as of the 2010 census, the population was 33,201...

, Massachusetts, where he played baseball and during his senior year was the head cheerleader. Bush attended Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 from 1964 to 1968, graduating with an A.B.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in history. During this time, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies...

, being elected the fraternity's president during his senior year. Bush also became a member of the Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones is an undergraduate senior or secret society at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. It is a traditional peer society to Scroll and Key and Wolf's Head, as the three senior class 'landed societies' at Yale....

 society as a senior. Bush was a keen rugby union player, and was on Yale's 1st XV. He characterized himself as an average student.

Beginning in the fall of 1973, Bush attended the Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. The school offers the world's largest full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, and many executive...

, where he earned a Master of Business Administration
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is a :master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out...

. He is the only U.S. President to have earned an M.B.A.

Texas Air National Guard




In May 1968, Bush was commissioned into the Texas Air National Guard
Texas Air National Guard
The Texas Air National Guard is the air force militia of the U.S. state of Texas and a component of the Texas Military Forces...

. After two years of active-duty service while training, he was assigned to Houston, flying Convair
Convair
Convair was an American aircraft manufacturing company which later expanded into rockets and spacecraft. The company was formed in 1943 by the merger of Vultee Aircraft and Consolidated Aircraft, and went on to produce a number of pioneering aircraft, such as the Convair B-36 bomber, and the F-102...

 F-102s
F-102 Delta Dagger
The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets...

 with the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group out of Ellington Air Force Base
Ellington Field
Ellington International Airport is a joint civil-military airport located in the U.S. state of Texas within the city of Houston— southeast of Downtown. Established by the Army Air Service on 21 May 1917, Ellington Field was one of the initial World War I Army Air Service installations when...

. Critics, including former Democratic National Committee
Democratic National Committee
The Democratic National Committee is the principal organization governing the United States Democratic Party on a day to day basis. While it is responsible for overseeing the process of writing a platform every four years, the DNC's central focus is on campaign and political activity in support...

 Chairman Terry McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe
Terence Richard "Terry" McAuliffe is a longtime leader and political advisor for the United States Democratic Party. He served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. He served as Co-Chairman of President William Jefferson Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign and also...

, have alleged that Bush was favorably treated due to his father's political standing, citing his selection as a pilot despite his low pilot aptitude test scores and his irregular attendance. In June 2005, the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 released all the records of Bush's Texas Air National Guard service, which remain in its official archives.

In late 1972 and early 1973, he drilled
Battle Assembly
Battle Assembly is the term used by the United States Army Reserve to describe monthly training, where soldiers practice and perfect their military skills and maintain individual and unit readiness in the event of mobilization and deployment...

 with the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group of the Alabama Air National Guard
Alabama Air National Guard
The Alabama Air National Guard is the air force militia of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is, along with the Alabama Army National Guard, an element of the Alabama National Guard...

, having moved to Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

, Alabama to work on the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Winton M. Blount
Winton M. Blount
Winton Malcolm "Red" Blount, Jr. was the United States Postmaster General from 1969-1972. He is also known as the founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the large construction company Blount International....

. In October 1973, Bush was discharged from the Texas Air National Guard and transferred to inactive duty
Individual Ready Reserve
The Individual Ready Reserve is a category of the Ready Reserve of the Reserve Component of the Armed Forces of the United States composed of former active duty or reserve military personnel, and is authorized under...

 in the Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve Command
The Air Force Reserve Command is a major command of the U.S. Air Force with its headquarters at Robins AFB, Georgia.It stood up as a major command of the Air Force on 17 February 1997....

. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force Reserve on November 21, 1974.

Marriage, family, and personal life




At a backyard barbecue in 1977, friends introduced him to Laura Welch
Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest...

, a school teacher and librarian. Bush proposed to her after a three-month courtship, and they married on November 5 of that year. The couple settled in Midland, Texas. Bush left his family's Episcopal Church to join his wife's United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

. In 1981, Laura Bush gave birth to fraternal twin daughters, Jenna
Jenna Bush
Jenna Welch Bush Hager , is the younger of the sororal twin daughters of the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, and a granddaughter of the 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush. She and her sister, Barbara, were the first twin children of a U.S. President...

 and Barbara
Barbara Pierce Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush is the elder of the sororal twin daughters of the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, and the granddaughter of the 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and his wife Barbara Bush, after whom she was named...

; they graduated from high school in 2000 and from the University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

 and Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, respectively, in 2004.

Prior to his marriage, Bush had multiple episodes of alcohol abuse. In one instance, on September 4, 1976, he was arrested near his family's summer home in Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,720 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford metropolitan statistical area....

, Maine, for driving under the influence of alcohol. He pleaded guilty, was fined $150 and had his Maine driver's license suspended until 1978. Bush's alleged drug usage
George W. Bush substance abuse controversy
Allegations of substance abuse arose during the political career of 43rd United States President George W. Bush, leading to controversy. Bush admitted to abusing alcohol until age 40.-Alcohol:...

 is less clear; when asked about alleged past illicit drug use
Recreational drug use
Recreational drug use is the use of a drug, usually psychoactive, with the intention of creating or enhancing recreational experience. Such use is controversial, however, often being considered to be also drug abuse, and it is often illegal...

, Bush has consistently refused to answer. He defended his refusal to answer in a publicized casual conversation with a friend, saying that he feared setting a bad example for the younger generation.

Bush says his wife has had a stabilizing effect on his life, and attributes to her influence his 1986 decision to give up alcohol. While Governor of Texas, Bush said of his wife, "I saw an elegant, beautiful woman who turned out not only to be elegant and beautiful, but very smart and willing to put up with my rough edges, and I must confess has smoothed them off over time."

Bush mostly reads "serious historical nonfiction" for pleasure. During his time as president, Bush read 14 Lincoln biographies
Bibliography of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery...

 and, during the last three years of his presidency, he reportedly read 186 books. A reporter recalls seeing "books by John Fowles
John Fowles
John Robert Fowles was an English novelist and essayist. In 2008, The Times newspaper named Fowles among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".-Birth and family:...

, F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

, James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

, and Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar , outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality...

 lying about, as well as biographies of Willa Cather
Willa Cather
Willa Seibert Cather was an American author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, in works such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours , a novel set during World War I...

 and Queen Victoria" in his home when Bush was a Texas oilman. Other hobbies include cigar smoking and golf.

Early career



In 1978, Bush ran for the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from Texas's 19th congressional district
Texas's 19th congressional district
Texas' Nineteenth Congressional District of the United States House of Representatives is a Congressional district that serves the upper midwestern portion of the state of Texas The district includes portions of the State from Lubbock to Abilene...

. His opponent, Kent Hance
Kent Hance
Kent "The Hancellor" Ronald Hance is a lobbyist and lawyer who was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from West Texas, having served from 1979 to 1985...

, portrayed him as out of touch with rural Texans; Bush lost by 6,000 votes (6%) of the 103,000 votes cast. He returned to the oil industry and began a series of small, independent oil exploration companies. He created Arbusto Energy
Arbusto Energy
Arbusto Energy was a petroleum and energy company formed in Midland, Texas, in 1977, for former US President George W. Bush by a group of investors which included Dorothy Bush, Lewis Lehrman, William Henry Draper III, Bill Gammell, and James R. Bath. The company's chief financial officer was K...

, and later changed the name to Bush Exploration. In 1984, his company merged with the larger Spectrum 7
Spectrum 7
Spectrum 7 was an oil company started by William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds.In 1984, Spectrum 7 merged with George W. Bush's Arbusto Energy. After the merger, Bush became the Chairman and CEO of Spectrum 7....

, and Bush became chairman. The company was hurt by decreased oil prices, and it folded into Harken Energy
Harken Energy
HKN, Inc., formerly known as Harken Energy Corporation, is a small American oil and gas production company, with ownership interests in other production companies. The company is headquartered in Southlake, Texas, near Fort Worth. There is a second office near Dallas, in the town of Paris. The...

. Bush served on the board of directors for Harken. Questions of possible insider trading involving Harken arose, but the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) investigation concluded that the information Bush had at the time of his stock sale was not sufficient to constitute insider trading.

Bush moved his family to Washington, D.C. in 1988 to work on his father's campaign for the U.S. presidency. He served as a campaign adviser and liaison to the media; he assisted his father by campaigning across the country. Returning to Texas after the successful campaign, he purchased a share in the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

 baseball franchise in April 1989, where he served as managing general partner for five years. He actively led the team's projects and regularly attended its games, often choosing to sit in the open stands with fans. The sale of Bush's shares in the Rangers in 1998 brought him over $15 million from his initial $800,000 investment.

In December 1991, Bush was one of seven people named by his father to run his father's 1992 Presidential re-election campaign as "campaign advisor". The prior month, his father asked him to tell White House chief of staff John H. Sununu
John H. Sununu
John Henry Sununu is a former Governor of New Hampshire and former White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush. He is the father of John E. Sununu, a former senator from New Hampshire, and formerly a U.S. Representative...

 that he should resign.

Governor of Texas



As Bush's brother, Jeb, sought the governorship of Florida, Bush declared his candidacy for the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. His campaign focused on four themes: welfare reform, tort reform
Tort reform
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in common law civil justice systems that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to...

, crime reduction, and education improvement. Bush's campaign advisers were Karen Hughes
Karen Hughes
Karen Parfitt Hughes is the Global Vice Chair of Burson-Marsteller. She served as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of State with the rank of ambassador. She resides in Austin, Texas.-Early life:Born in Paris, France, she is the daughter...

, Joe Allbaugh
Joe Allbaugh
Joe M. Allbaugh is an American political figure in the Republican Party. After spending most of his career in Oklahoma and Texas, Allbaugh came to national prominence working for Texas governor George W. Bush and helping manage his 2000 presidential election campaign...

, and Karl Rove
Karl Rove
Karl Christian Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush until Rove's resignation on August 31, 2007. He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives...

.

After easily winning the Republican primary, Bush faced popular Democratic incumbent Governor Ann Richards
Ann Richards
Dorothy Ann Willis Richards was an American politician from Texas. She first came to national attention as the state treasurer of Texas, when she delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Richards served as the 45th Governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995 and was...

. In the course of the campaign, Bush pledged to sign a bill allowing Texans to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons. Richards had vetoed the bill, but Bush signed it after he became governor. According to The Atlantic Monthly
The Atlantic Monthly
The Atlantic is an American magazine founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1857. It was created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine. It quickly achieved a national reputation, which it held for more than a century. It was important for recognizing and publishing new writers and poets,...

, the race "featured a rumor that she was a lesbian, along with a rare instance of such a tactic's making it into the public record – when a regional chairman of the Bush campaign allowed himself, perhaps inadvertently, to be quoted criticizing Richards for 'appointing avowed homosexual activists' to state jobs". The Atlantic, and others, connected the lesbian rumor to Karl Rove, but Rove denied being involved. Bush won the general election with 53.5% against Richards' 45.9%.

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
Domestic violence
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence , is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation...

. Critics contended that during his tenure, Texas ranked near the bottom in environmental evaluations, but supporters pointed to his efforts to raise the salaries of teachers and improved educational test scores.

In 1999, Bush also helped make Texas
Wind power in Texas
Wind power in Texas consists of many wind farms with a total installed nameplate capacity of 10,223 MW from over 40 different projects. Texas produces the most wind power of any U.S. state, followed by Iowa with 3,708 MW...

 eventually the leading producer
Wind power in the United States
As of the third quarter of 2011, the cumulative installed capacity of wind power in the United States was 43,461 megawatts , making it second in the world, behind China. In 2010 wind power accounted for 2.3% of the electricity generated in the United States...

 of wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

ed electricity in the U.S.
by signing a state law obliging electric retailers to buy a certain amount of energy from renewable sources (RPS)
Renewable Portfolio Standard
A Renewable Portfolio Standard is a regulation that requires the increased production of energy from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal...

.

In 1998, Bush won re-election with a record 69% of the vote. He became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to two consecutive four-year terms. For most of Texas history, governors served two-year terms; a constitutional amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 extended those terms to four years starting in 1975. In his second term, Bush promoted faith-based organizations and enjoyed high approval ratings. He proclaimed June 10, 2000 to be Jesus Day
Jesus Day
Jesus Day is a common term for the day of the March for Jesus held annually by some Christians on the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday, since the 1980s, with the purpose of "express[ing] their love for Jesus by serving their communities and worshiping their Lord in the streets of their...

 in Texas, a day on which he "urge[d] all Texans to answer the call to serve those in need".

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 Republican nomination for the presidency.

2000 Presidential candidacy


Primary


In June 1999, while Governor of Texas, Bush announced his candidacy for President of the United States. With no incumbent running, Bush entered a large field of candidates for the Republican Party presidential nomination consisting of John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

, Alan Keyes
Alan Keyes
Alan Lee Keyes is an American conservative political activist, author, former diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office. A doctoral graduate of Harvard University, Keyes began his diplomatic career in the U.S...

, Steve Forbes
Steve Forbes
Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes, Jr. is an American editor, publisher, and businessman. He is the editor-in-chief of business magazine Forbes as well as president and chief executive officer of its publisher, Forbes Inc. He was a Republican candidate in the U.S. Presidential primaries in 1996...

, Gary Bauer
Gary Bauer
Gary Lee Bauer is an American politician notable for his ties to several evangelical Christian groups and campaigns.-Biography:...

, Orrin Hatch
Orrin Hatch
Orrin Grant Hatch is the senior United States Senator for Utah and is a member of the Republican Party. Hatch served as the chairman or ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1993 to 2005...

, Elizabeth Dole
Elizabeth Dole
Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford "Liddy" Dole is an American politician who served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush presidential administrations, as well as a United States Senator....

, Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving with President George H. W. Bush . He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Indiana....

, Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

, Lamar Alexander
Lamar Alexander
Andrew Lamar Alexander is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee and Conference Chair of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, United States Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993 under President George H. W...

, John Kasich
John Kasich
John Richard Kasich is the 69th and current Governor of Ohio. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing from 1983 to 2001...

, and Robert C. Smith
Robert C. Smith
Robert C. "Bob" Smith is an American politician who has served in both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life:Smith was born in Trenton, New Jersey...

.

Bush portrayed himself as a compassionate conservative
Compassionate conservatism
Compassionate Conservatism is a political philosophy that stresses using traditionally conservative techniques and concepts in order to improve the general welfare of society. The term itself is often credited to U.S. historian and politician Doug Wead who used it as the title of a speech in 1979....

, implying he was more centrist than other Republicans. He campaigned on a platform that included increasing the size of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, cutting taxes, improving education, and aiding minorities. By early 2000, the race had centered on Bush and McCain.

Bush won the Iowa caucuses, but, although he was heavily favored to win the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

, he trailed McCain by 19% and lost that primary. Despite this, Bush regained momentum and, according to political observers, effectively became the front runner after the South Carolina primary
Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2000
The 2000 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Governor of Texas George W...

, which according to The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

made history for his campaign's negativity; The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

described it as a smear campaign
Smear campaign
A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is a metaphor for activity that can harm an individual or group's reputation by conflation with a stigmatized group...

.

General election


On July 25, 2000, Bush surprised some observers by asking Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

, a former White House Chief of Staff
White House Chief of Staff
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President.The current White House Chief of Staff is Bill Daley.-History:...

, U.S. Representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, and Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

, to be his running mate
Running mate
A running mate is a person running together with another person on a joint ticket during an election. The term is most often used in reference to the person in the subordinate position but can also properly be used when referring to both candidates, such as "Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen were...

. Cheney was then serving as head of Bush's Vice-Presidential search committee. Soon after, Cheney was officially nominated by the Republican Party at the 2000 Republican National Convention
2000 Republican National Convention
The 2000 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States convened at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 31 to August 3, 2000. The 2066 delegates assembled at the convention nominated Texas Governor George W. Bush as the Republican candidate for U.S....

.

Bush continued to campaign across the country and touted his record as Governor of Texas. Bush's campaign criticized his Democratic opponent, incumbent Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, over gun control
Gun politics
Gun politics addresses safety issues and ideologies related to firearms through criminal and noncriminal use. Gun politics deals with rules, regulations, and restrictions on the use, ownership, and distribution of firearms.-National sovereignty:...

 and taxation.

When the election returns came in on November 7, Bush won 29 states, including Florida. The closeness of the Florida outcome led to a recount
United States presidential election in Florida, 2000
The 2000 United States presidential election in Florida took place on November 7, 2000 as it did in the other 49 states and D.C., which was part of the 2000 United States presidential election...

. The initial recount also went to Bush, but the outcome was tied up in courts for a month until reaching the U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

. On December 9, in a controversial ruling the Bush v. Gore
Bush v. Gore
Bush v. Gore, , is the landmark United States Supreme Court decision on December 12, 2000, that effectively resolved the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush. Only eight days earlier, the United States Supreme Court had unanimously decided the closely related case of Bush v...

case the Court reversed a Florida Supreme Court
Florida Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the State of Florida is the highest court in the U.S. state of Florida. The Supreme Court consists of seven judges: the Chief Justice and six Justices who are appointed by the Governor to 6-year terms and remain in office if retained in a general election near the end of each...

 decision ordering a third count, and stopped an ordered statewide hand recount based on the argument that the use of different standards among Florida's counties violated the Equal Protection Clause
Equal Protection Clause
The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"...

 of the Fourteenth Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

. The machine recount showed that Bush had won the Florida vote by a margin of 537 votes out of six million cast. Although he received 543,895 fewer individual votes than Gore nationwide, Bush won the election, receiving 271 electoral votes to Gore's 266.

2004 Presidential candidacy




In 2004, Bush commanded broad support in the Republican Party and did not encounter a primary challenge. He appointed Ken Mehlman
Ken Mehlman
Kenneth Brian Mehlman is an American businessman, attorney, and political figure who served as the campaign manager for the 2004 re-election campaign of George W. Bush and Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007. In 2007, President Bush appointed Mehlman to the U.S...

 as campaign manager, with a political strategy devised by Karl Rove
Karl Rove
Karl Christian Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush until Rove's resignation on August 31, 2007. He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives...

. Bush and the Republican platform included a strong commitment to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, support for the USA PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

, a renewed shift in policy for constitutional amendments banning abortion and same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

, reforming Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 to create private investment accounts, creation of an ownership society
Ownership society
Ownership society is a slogan for a model of society promoted by former United States President George W. Bush. It takes as lead values personal responsibility, economic liberty, and the owning of property...

, and opposing mandatory carbon emissions controls. Bush also called for the implementation of a guest worker program
Guest worker program
The Guest Worker Program is a program that has been proposed many times, including by U.S. President George W. Bush's administration as a way to permit U.S. employers to sponsor non-U.S. citizens as laborers for approximately three years, to be deported afterwards if they have not yet obtained a...

 for immigrants, which was criticized by conservatives.

The Bush campaign advertised across the U.S. against Democratic candidates, including Bush's emerging opponent, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

. Kerry and other Democrats attacked Bush on the Iraq War, and accused him of failing to stimulate the economy and job growth. The Bush campaign portrayed Kerry as a staunch liberal
Liberalism in the United States
Liberalism in the United States is a broad political philosophy centered on the unalienable rights of the individual. The fundamental liberal ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion for all belief systems, and the separation of church and state, right to due process...

 who would raise taxes and increase the size of government. The Bush campaign continuously criticized Kerry's seemingly contradictory statements on the war in Iraq, and argued that Kerry lacked the decisiveness and vision necessary for success in the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

.

In the election, Bush carried 31 of 50 states, receiving a total of 286 electoral votes. He won an outright majority of the popular vote (50.7% to his opponent's 48.3%). The previous President to win an outright majority of the popular vote was Bush's father in the 1988 election. Additionally, it was the first time since Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

's election in 1928
United States presidential election, 1928
The United States presidential election of 1928 pitted Republican Herbert Hoover against Democrat Al Smith. The Republicans were identified with the booming economy of the 1920s, whereas Smith, a Roman Catholic, suffered politically from Anti-Catholic prejudice, his anti-prohibitionist stance, and...

 that a Republican president was elected alongside re-elected Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress. Bush's 2.5% margin of victory was the narrowest ever for a victorious incumbent President, breaking Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

's 3.1% margin of victory against Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican politician from New York. He served as the 36th Governor of New York , Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States , United States Secretary of State , a judge on the Court of International Justice , and...

 in the election of 1916
United States presidential election, 1916
The United States presidential election of 1916 took place while Europe was embroiled in World War I. Public sentiment in the still neutral United States leaned towards the British and French forces, due to the harsh treatment of civilians by the German Army, which had invaded and occupied large...

.

Presidency



Bush was sworn in as president on January 20, 2001. Though he originally outlined an ambitious domestic agenda, his priorities were significantly altered following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Wars were waged in Afghanistan and later Iraq while significant debates regarding immigration, healthcare, Social Security, economic policy, and treatment of terrorist detainees took place within the United States. Over an eight year period, Bush's once-high approval ratings steadily declined throughout his Presidency while his disapproval numbers increased significantly over the same time frame. During 2007, the United States entered into the longest post World War II recession and the administration responded by enacting multiple economic programs.

Economic policy



In a February 28, 2001, message to the Congress, Bush estimated that there would be a $5.6 trillion surplus over the next ten years. Facing opposition in Congress, Bush held town hall-style public meetings across the U.S. in 2001 to increase public support for his plan for a $1.35 trillion tax cut program
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 , was a sweeping piece of tax legislation in the United States by President George W. Bush...

—one of the largest tax cuts in U.S. history. Bush argued that unspent government funds should be returned to taxpayers, saying "the surplus is not the government’s money. The surplus is the people’s money." With reports of the threat of recession from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. He currently works as a private advisor and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC...

, Bush argued that such a tax cut would stimulate the economy and create jobs. Others, including the Treasury Secretary at the time Paul O'Neill, were opposed to some of the tax cuts on the basis that they would contribute to budget deficits and undermine Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

. O'Neill disputes the claim made in Bush's book "Decision Points" that he never openly disagreed with him on planned tax cuts. By 2003, the economy showed signs of improvement, though job growth remained stagnant. Another tax cut program
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 , was passed by the United States Congress on May 23, 2003 and signed into law by President George W. Bush on May 28, 2003...

 was passed that year.

Under the Bush Administration, real GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.5%, considerably below the average for business cycles from 1949 to 2000. Bush entered office with the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , also called the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow...

 at 10,587, and the average peaked in October 2007 at over 14,000. When Bush left office, the average was at 7,949, one of the lowest levels of his presidency. Unemployment originally rose from 4.2% in January 2001 to 6.3% in June 2003, but subsequently dropped to 4.5% as of July 2007. Adjusted for inflation, median household income
Median household income
The median household income is commonly used to generate data about geographic areas and divides households into two equal segments with the first half of households earning less than the median household income and the other half earning more...

 dropped by $1,175 between 2000 and 2007, while Professor Ken Homa of Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 has noted that "after-tax median household income increased by 2%" The poverty rate increased from 11.3% in 2000 to 12.3% in 2006 after peaking at 12.7% in 2004. By October 2008, due to increases in domestic and foreign spending, the national debt
United States public debt
The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States at any one time through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies...

 had risen to $11.3 trillion, an increase of over 100% from the start of the year 2000 when the debt was $5.6 trillion. Most debt was accumulated as a result of what became known as the "Bush tax cuts
Bush tax cuts
The Bush tax cuts refers to changes to the United States tax code passed during the presidency of George W. Bush and extended during the presidency of Barack Obama that generally lowered tax rates and revised the code specifying taxation in the United States...

" and increased national security spending. By the end of Bush's presidency, unemployment climbed to 7.2%. The perception of Bush's effect on the economy is significantly affected by partisanship
Partisan (political)
In politics, a partisan is a committed member of a political party. In multi-party systems, the term is widely understood to carry a negative connotation - referring to those who wholly support their party's policies and are perhaps even reluctant to acknowledge correctness on the part of their...

.

In December 2007, the United States entered the longest post–World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 recession, which included a housing market correction
United States housing market correction
A United States housing market correction is a market correction or "bubble bursting" of a United States housing bubble; the most recent began following a national home price peak first identified in July 2006. Because realty trades in illiquid markets relative to financial assets such as common...

, a subprime mortgage crisis
Subprime mortgage crisis
The U.S. subprime mortgage crisis was one of the first indicators of the late-2000s financial crisis, characterized by a rise in subprime mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures, and the resulting decline of securities backed by said mortgages....

, soaring oil prices, and a declining dollar value. In February, 63,000 jobs were lost, a five-year record. To aid with the situation, Bush signed a $170 billion economic stimulus package which was intended to improve the economic situation by sending tax rebate checks to many Americans and providing tax breaks for struggling businesses. The Bush administration pushed for significantly increased regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003, and after two years, the regulations passed the House but died in the Senate. Many Republican senators, as well as influential members of the Bush Administration, feared that the agency created by these regulations would merely be mimicking the private sector’s risky practices. In September 2008, the crisis became much more serious beginning with the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
The federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refers to the placing into conservatorship of government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the U.S. Treasury in September 2008. It was one financial event among many in the ongoing subprime mortgage crisis.On September 6, 2008,...

 followed by the collapse of Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was a global financial services firm. Before declaring bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman was the fourth largest investment bank in the USA , doing business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales and trading Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (former NYSE ticker...

 and a federal bailout of American International Group
American International Group
American International Group, Inc. or AIG is an American multinational insurance corporation. Its corporate headquarters is located in the American International Building in New York City. The British headquarters office is on Fenchurch Street in London, continental Europe operations are based in...

 for $85 billion.

Many economists and world governments determined that the situation became the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. Additional regulation over the housing market would have been beneficial, according to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. He currently works as a private advisor and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC...

. Bush, meanwhile, proposed a financial rescue plan
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Division A of , commonly referred to as a bailout of the U.S. financial system, is a law enacted in response to the subprime mortgage crisis...

 to buy back a large portion of the U.S. mortgage market. Vince Reinhardt, a former Federal Reserve economist now at the American Enterprise Institute
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a conservative think tank founded in 1943. Its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and...

, said "it would have helped for the Bush administration to empower the folks at Treasury and the Federal Reserve and the comptroller of the currency and the FDIC
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a United States government corporation created by the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933. It provides deposit insurance, which guarantees the safety of deposits in member banks, currently up to $250,000 per depositor per bank. , the FDIC insures deposits at...

 to look at these issues more closely", and additionally, that it would have helped "for Congress to have held hearings".

In November 2008, over 500,000 jobs were lost, which marked the largest loss of jobs in the United States in 34 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a unit of the United States Department of Labor. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the U.S. government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is a governmental statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and...

 reported that in the last four months of 2008, 1.9 million jobs were lost. By the end of 2008, the U.S. had lost a total of 2.6 million jobs.

Education and health


Bush undertook a number of educational priorities, such as increasing the funding for the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 and National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

 in his first years of office, and creating education programs to strengthen the grounding in science and mathematics for American high school students. Funding for the NIH was cut in 2006, the first such cut in 36 years, due to rising inflation.

One of the administration's early major initiatives was the No Child Left Behind Act
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a United States Act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools.NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office...

, which aimed to measure and close the gap between rich and poor student performance, provide options to parents with students in low-performing schools, and target more federal funding to low-income schools. This landmark education initiative passed with broad bipartisan support, including that of Senator Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

. It was signed into law by Bush in early 2002. Many contend that the initiative has been successful, as cited by the fact that students in the U.S. have performed significantly better on state reading and math tests since Bush signed "No Child Left Behind" into law. Critics argue that it is underfunded and that NCLBA's focus on "high stakes testing" and quantitative outcomes is counterproductive.

After being re-elected, Bush signed into law a Medicare
Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other...

 drug benefit program that, according to Jan Crawford Greenburg
Jan Crawford Greenburg
Jan Crawford, formerly known as Jan Crawford Greenburg, is a television journalist, author, and lawyer. She currently serves as both the political correspondent and chief legal correspondent for CBS News and appears regularly on the CBS Evening News, Face the Nation, Early Show, and CBS News Sunday...

, resulted in "the greatest expansion in America's welfare state
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

 in forty years;" the bill's costs approached $7 trillion. In 2007, Bush opposed and vetoed State Children's Health Insurance Program
State Children's Health Insurance Program
The State Children's Health Insurance Program – later known more simply as the Children's Health Insurance Program – is a program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children...

 (SCHIP) legislation, which was added by the Democrats onto a war funding bill and passed by Congress. The SCHIP legislation would have significantly expanded federally funded health care benefits and plans to children of some low-income families from about six million to ten million children. It was to be funded by an increase in the cigarette tax. Bush viewed the legislation as a move toward socialized health care, and asserted that the program could benefit families making as much as $83,000 per year who did not need the help.

Social services and Social Security


Following Republican efforts to pass the Medicare Act of 2003
Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act is a federal law of the United States, enacted in 2003. It produced the largest overhaul of Medicare in the public health program's 38-year history.The MMA was signed by President George W...

, Bush signed the bill, which included major changes to the Medicare
Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other...

 program by providing beneficiaries with some assistance in paying for prescription drugs, while relying on private insurance for the delivery of benefits. The retired persons lobby group AARP
AARP
AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is the United States-based non-governmental organization and interest group, founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus, PhD, a retired educator from California, and based in Washington, D.C. According to its mission statement, it is "a...

 worked with the Bush Administration on the program and gave their endorsement. Bush said the law, estimated to cost $400 billion over the first ten years, would give the elderly "better choices and more control over their health care".

Bush began his second term by outlining a major initiative to reform Social Security, which was facing record deficit projections beginning in 2005. Bush made it the centerpiece of his domestic agenda despite opposition from some in the U.S. Congress. In his 2005 State of the Union Address
2005 State of the Union address
The 2005 State of the Union Address was delivered by United States President George W. Bush on Wednesday, February 2, 2005, in Washington, D.C. to a joint session of the U.S...

, Bush discussed the potential impending bankruptcy of the program and outlined his new program, which included partial privatization of the system, personal Social Security accounts, and options to permit Americans to divert a portion of their Social Security tax (FICA
Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax
Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax is a United States payroll tax imposed by the federal government on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare —federal programs that provide benefits for retirees, the disabled, and children of deceased workers...

) into secured investments. Democrats opposed the proposal to partially privatize the system.

Bush embarked on a 60-day national tour, campaigning vigorously for his initiative in media events, known as the "Conversations on Social Security", in an attempt to gain support from the general public. Despite the energetic campaign, public support for the proposal declined and the House Republican leadership decided not to put Social Security reform on the priority list for the remainder of their 2005 legislative agenda. The proposal's legislative prospects were further diminished by the political fallout from the Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in the fall of 2005. After the Democrats gained control of both houses of the Congress as a result of the 2006 midterm elections
United States Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the United States Senate were held on November 7, 2006, with 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate being contested. Senators are elected for six-year terms, with one third of the Senate seats up for a vote every two years. The term of office for those elected in 2006 runs...

, the prospects of any further congressional action on the Bush proposal were dead for the remainder of his term in office.

Environmental and energy policies



Upon taking office in 2001, Bush stated his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

, an amendment to the UN Convention on Climate Change which seeks to impose mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

 emissions, citing that the treaty exempted 80% of the world's population and would have cost tens of billions of dollars per year. He also cited that the Senate had voted 95–0 in 1997 on a resolution expressing its disapproval of the protocol.

In May 2001, Bush signed an executive order
Executive order
An executive order in the United States is an order issued by the President, the head of the executive branch of the federal government. In other countries, similar edicts may be known as decrees, or orders in council. Executive orders may also be issued at the state level by a state's governor or...

 to create an inter-agency task force to streamline energy projects, and later signed two other executive orders to tackle environmental issues.

In 2002, Bush announced the Clear Skies Act of 2003, aimed at amending the Clean Air Act
Clean Air Act
A Clean Air Act is one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to the reduction of airborne contaminants, smog and air pollution in general. The use by governments to enforce clean air standards has contributed to an improvement in human health and longer life spans...

 to reduce air pollution through the use of emissions trading
Emissions trading
Emissions trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants....

 programs. It was argued, however, that this legislation would have weakened the original legislation by allowing higher levels of pollutants than were permitted at that time. The initiative was introduced to Congress, but failed to make it out of committee.

Bush has said that he believes that global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 is real and has noted that it is a serious problem, but he asserted there is a "debate over whether it's man-made or naturally caused". The Bush Administration's stance on global warming remained controversial in the scientific and environmental communities. Critics have alleged that the administration misinformed the public and did not do enough to reduce carbon emissions and deter global warming.

In his 2006 State of the Union Address
2006 State of the Union address
The 2006 State of the Union Address was delivered by United States President George W. Bush at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 to a joint session of the U.S. Congress...

, Bush declared, "America is addicted to oil" and announced his Advanced Energy Initiative to increase energy development
Energy development
Energy development is the effort to provide sufficient primary energy sources and secondary energy forms for supply, cost, impact on air pollution and water pollution, mitigation of climate change with renewable energy....

 research.

That same year, Bush declared the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or the Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian island chain located northwest of the islands of Kauai and Niihau. They are administered by the U.S. state of Hawaii except Midway Atoll, which has temporary residential facilities and is...

 a national monument, creating the largest marine reserve
Marine reserve
For the United States Marine Corps Reserve see: Marine Forces ReserveA marine reserve is an area of the sea which has legal protection against fishing or development. This is to be distinguished from a marine park, but there is some overlap in usage...

 to date. The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument comprises 84 million acres (340,000 km2) and is home to 7,000 species of fish, birds, and other marine animals, many of which are specific to only those islands. The move was hailed by conservationists for "its foresight and leadership in protecting this incredible area".

In his 2007 State of the Union Address
2007 State of the Union Address
The 2007 State of the Union address was a speech given by United States President George W. Bush on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, at 9:13 P.M. EST. The speech was given in front of a joint session of Congress, presided over by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Vice President...

, Bush renewed his pledge to work toward diminished reliance on foreign oil by reducing fossil fuel
Fossil fuel
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years...

 consumption and increasing alternative fuel
Alternative fuel
Alternative fuels, known as non-conventional or advanced fuels, are any materials or substances that can be used as fuels, other than conventional fuels...

 production. Amid high gasoline prices in 2008, Bush lifted a ban on offshore drilling
Offshore drilling
Offshore drilling refers to a mechanical process where a wellbore is drilled through the seabed. It is typically carried out in order to explore for and subsequently produce hydrocarbons which lie in rock formations beneath the seabed...

. However, the move was largely symbolic as there is still a federal law banning offshore drilling. Bush said, "This means that the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil reserves is action from the U.S. Congress." Bush had said in June 2008, "In the long run, the solution is to reduce demand for oil by promoting alternative energy technologies. My administration has worked with Congress to invest in gas-saving technologies like advanced batteries and hydrogen fuel cell
Fuel cell
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Hydrogen is the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol are sometimes used...

s.... In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil. And that means we need to increase supply, especially here at home. So my administration has repeatedly called on Congress to expand domestic oil production."

In his 2008 State of the Union Address
2008 State of the Union Address
The 2008 State of the Union address was a speech given by United States President George W. Bush on January 28, 2008, at 9 P.M. EST to a joint session of Congress. It was the last State of the Union Address of Bush's presidency. The speech was delivered in the United States House of Representatives...

, Bush announced that the U.S. would commit $2 billion over the next three years to a new international fund to promote clean energy technologies and fight climate change, saying, "Along with contributions from other countries, this fund will increase and accelerate the deployment of all forms of cleaner, more efficient technologies in developing nations like India and China, and help leverage substantial private-sector capital by making clean energy projects more financially attractive." He also announced plans to reaffirm the United States' commitment to work with major economies, and, through the UN, to complete an international agreement that will slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases; he stated, "This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride."

Stem cell research and first use of veto power


Federal funding for medical research involving the creation or destruction of human embryos through the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

 has been forbidden by law since the passage in 1995 of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment by Congress and the signature of President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. Bush has said that he supports adult stem cell
Stem cell
This article is about the cell type. For the medical therapy, see Stem Cell TreatmentsStem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, that can divide and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types and can self-renew to produce more stem cells...

 research and has supported federal legislation that finances adult stem cell research. However, Bush did not support embryonic stem cell
Embryonic stem cell
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, an early-stage embryo. Human embryos reach the blastocyst stage 4–5 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50–150 cells...

 research. On August 9, 2001, Bush signed an executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for the 71 existing "lines" of stem cells, but the ability of these existing lines to provide an adequate medium for testing has been questioned. Testing can only be done on 12 of the original lines, and all of the approved lines have been cultured in contact with mouse cells, which creates safety issues that complicate development and approval of therapies from these lines. On July 19, 2006, Bush used his veto power for the first time in his presidency to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act was the name of two similar bills that both passed through the United States House of Representatives and Senate, but were both vetoed by President George W. Bush and were not enacted into law...

. The bill would have repealed the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, thereby permitting federal money to be used for research where stem cells are derived from the destruction of an embryo.

Immigration



In 2006, Bush urged Congress to allow more than 12 million illegal immigrants
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

 to work in the United States with the creation of a "temporary guest-worker program". Bush did not support amnesty
Amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 for illegal immigrants, but argued that the lack of legal status denies the protections of U.S. laws to millions of people who face dangers of poverty and exploitation, and penalizes employers despite a demand for immigrant labor. Nearly 8 million immigrants came to the United States from 2000 to 2005, more than in any other five-year period in the nation's history. Almost half entered illegally.

Bush also urged Congress to provide additional funds for border security and committed to deploying 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexico – United States border. In May–June 2007, Bush strongly supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, or, in its full name, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a bill discussed in the 110th United States Congress that would have provided legal status and a path to citizenship for the approximately 12 to...

, which was written by a bipartisan group of Senators with the active participation of the Bush administration. The bill envisioned a legalization program for undocumented immigrants, with an eventual path to citizenship; establishing a guest worker program; a series of border and work site enforcement measures; a reform of the green card application process and the introduction of a point-based "merit" system for green cards; elimination of "chain migration" and of the Diversity Immigrant Visa
Diversity Immigrant Visa
The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a United States congressionally mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery. The lottery is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms...

; and other measures. Bush contended that the proposed bill did not amount to amnesty.

A heated public debate followed, which resulted in a substantial rift within the Republican Party, the majority of conservatives opposed it because of its legalization or amnesty provisions. The bill was eventually defeated in the Senate on June 28, 2007, when a cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 motion failed on a 46–53 vote. Bush expressed disappointment upon the defeat of one of his signature domestic initiatives. The Bush administration later proposed a series of immigration enforcement measures that do not require a change in law.

On September 19, 2010, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

 said that Bush offered to accept 100,000 Palestinian refugees as American citizens if a permanent settlement had been reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hurricane Katrina



Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, which was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, struck early in Bush’s second term. Katrina formed in late August during the 2005 Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 hurricane season and devastated much of the north-central Gulf Coast of the United States
Gulf Coast of the United States
The Gulf Coast of the United States, sometimes referred to as the Gulf South, South Coast, or 3rd Coast, comprises the coasts of American states that are on the Gulf of Mexico, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and are known as the Gulf States...

, particularly New Orleans.


Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 on August 27, and in Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 the following day; he authorized the Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

 (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

 (FEMA) to manage the disaster, but his announcement failed to spur these agencies to action. The eye of the hurricane made landfall on August 29, and New Orleans began to flood due to levee
Levee
A levee, levée, dike , embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels...

 breaches; later that day, Bush declared that a major disaster existed in Louisiana, officially authorizing FEMA to start using federal funds to assist in the recovery effort. On August 30, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act. He previously served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, and as assistant U.S. Attorney...

 declared it "an incident of national significance", triggering the first use of the newly created National Response Plan
National Response Plan
The National Response Plan was a United States national plan to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. It came into effect in December 2004 , and was superseded by the National Response Framework on March 22, 2008....

. Three days later, on September 2, National Guard troops first entered the city of New Orleans. The same day, Bush toured parts of Louisiana, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, and Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 and declared that the success of the recovery effort up to that point was "not enough".

As the disaster in New Orleans intensified, critics charged that Bush was misrepresenting his administration's role in what they saw as a flawed response. Leaders attacked Bush for having appointed apparently incompetent leaders to positions of power at FEMA, notably Michael D. Brown
Michael D. Brown
Michael DeWayne Brown was the first Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response , a division of the Department of Homeland Security . This position is generally referred to as the director or administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency . He was appointed in January 2003 by...

; it was also argued that the federal response was limited as a result of the Iraq War and Bush himself did not act upon warnings of floods. Bush responded to mounting criticism by accepting full responsibility for the federal government's failures in its handling of the emergency. It has been argued that with Katrina, Bush passed a political tipping point from which he would not recover.

Midterm dismissal of U.S. attorneys



During Bush's second term, a controversy arose over the Justice Department's
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 midterm dismissal of seven United States Attorney
United States Attorney
United States Attorneys represent the United States federal government in United States district court and United States court of appeals. There are 93 U.S. Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands...

s. The White House maintained that the U.S. attorneys were fired for poor performance. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Alberto Gonzales
Alberto R. Gonzales was the 80th Attorney General of the United States. Gonzales was appointed to the post in February 2005 by President George W. Bush. Gonzales was the first Hispanic Attorney General in U.S. history and the highest-ranking Hispanic government official ever...

 would later resign over the issue, along with other senior members of the Justice Department. The House Judiciary Committee
United States House Committee on the Judiciary
The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, also called the House Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is charged with overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts, administrative agencies and Federal law enforcement...

 issued subpoenas for advisers Harriet Miers
Harriet Miers
Harriet Ellan Miers is an American lawyer and former White House Counsel. In 2005, she was nominated by President George W. Bush to be an Associate Justice of the U.S...

 and Josh Bolten to testify regarding this matter, but Bush directed Miers and Bolten to not comply with those subpoenas, invoking his right of executive privilege
Executive privilege
In the United States government, executive privilege is the power claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government...

. Bush has maintained that all of his advisers are protected under a broad executive privilege protection to receive candid advice. The Justice Department has determined that the President's order was legal.

Although Congressional investigations have focused on whether the Justice Department and the White House were using the U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage, no official findings have been released. On March 10, 2008, the Congress filed a federal lawsuit to enforce their issued subpoenas. On July 31, 2008, a United States district court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 judge ruled that Bush's top advisers were not immune from Congressional subpoenas.

In August 2009, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testified before the House Judiciary Committee. A Justice Department inquiry into the firing of U.S. attorneys concluded that political considerations played a part in as many as four of the dismissals. In July 2010, the Justice Department prosecutors closed the two-year investigation without filing charges after determining that the firings were inappropriately political, but not criminal. According to the prosecutors, "Evidence did not demonstrate that any prosecutable criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of David Iglesias
David Iglesias (attorney)
David Claudio Iglesias is an American attorney from Albuquerque, New Mexico.He was appointed by President George W. Bush as the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico in August 2001 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October 2001. He served for 6 years. He was one of eight U.S...

. The investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding the scope of the investigation beyond the removal of Iglesias."

Foreign policy



In July 2001 Bush visited the pope at Castel Gandolfo.
During his Presidential campaign, Bush's foreign policy platform included support for a stronger economic and political relationship with Latin America, especially Mexico, and a reduction of involvement in "nation-building
Nation-building
For nation-building in the sense of enhancing the capacity of state institutions, building state-society relations, and also external interventions see State-building....

" and other small-scale military engagements. The administration pursued a national missile defense
National Missile Defense
National missile defense is a generic term for a type of missile defense intended to shield an entire country against incoming missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missile or other ballistic missiles. Interception might be by anti-ballistic missiles or directed-energy weapons such as lasers...

. Bush was an advocate of China's entry into the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

. He said open trade was a force for freedom in China.

After the September 11 attacks, Bush launched the War on Terror, in which the United States military and an international coalition invaded Afghanistan. In 2003, Bush launched the invasion of Iraq, which he described as being part of the War on Terrorism.

Those invasions led to the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the removal of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 from power in Iraq as well as the deaths of many Iraqis, with surveys indicating between four hundred thousand to over one million dead
ORB survey of Iraq War casualties
On Friday, 14 September 2007, ORB , an independent polling agency located in London, published estimates of the total war casualties in Iraq since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. At over 1.2 million deaths , this estimate is the highest number published so far...

, excluding the tens of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan.


Bush began his second term with an emphasis on improving strained relations with European nations. He appointed long-time adviser Karen Hughes
Karen Hughes
Karen Parfitt Hughes is the Global Vice Chair of Burson-Marsteller. She served as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of State with the rank of ambassador. She resides in Austin, Texas.-Early life:Born in Paris, France, she is the daughter...

 to oversee a global public relations campaign. Bush lauded the pro-democracy struggles in Georgia and Ukraine.

In March 2006, a visit to India led to renewed ties between the two countries, reversing decades of U.S. policy. The visit focused particularly on areas of nuclear energy
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 and counter-terrorism cooperation, discussions that would lead eventually to the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement.
This is in stark contrast to the stance taken by his predecessor, Clinton, whose approach and response to India after the 1998 nuclear tests was that of sanctions and hectoring. The relationship between India and the United States was one that dramatically improved during Bush's tenure.

Midway through Bush's second term, it was questioned whether Bush was retreating from his freedom and democracy agenda, highlighted in policy changes toward some oil-rich former Soviet republics in central Asia.

In an address before both Houses of Congress on September 20, 2001, Bush thanked the nations of the world for their support following the September 11 attacks. He specifically thanked British Prime Minister Tony Blair for traveling to the Washington to show "unity of purpose with America", and said "America has no truer friend than Great Britain."

September 11, 2001




The September 11 terrorist attacks were a major turning point in Bush's presidency. That evening, he addressed the nation from the Oval Office
Oval Office
The Oval Office, located in the West Wing of the White House, is the official office of the President of the United States.The room features three large south-facing windows behind the president's desk, and a fireplace at the north end...

, promising a strong response to the attacks but emphasizing the need for the nation to come together and comfort the families of the victims. On September 14, he visited Ground Zero
World Trade Center site
The World Trade Center site , also known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on in Lower Manhattan in New York City...

, meeting with Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

, firefighters, police officers, and volunteers. Bush addressed the gathering via a megaphone while standing on a heap of rubble, to much applause:

In a September 20 speech, Bush condemned Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 and Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, and issued an ultimatum to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, where bin Laden was operating, to "hand over the terrorists, or ... share in their fate".

War on Terrorism




After September 11, Bush announced a global War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

. The Afghan Taliban regime was not forthcoming with Osama bin Laden, so Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 to overthrow the Taliban regime. In his January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address
2002 State of the Union Address
The 2002 State of the Union address, the first after the September 11th attacks, was given by U.S. President George W. Bush. In the address, Bush said that "As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers...

, he asserted that an "axis of evil
Axis of evil
"Axis of evil" is a term initially used by the former United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002 and often repeated throughout his presidency, describing governments that he accused of helping terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction...

" consisting of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq was "arming to threaten the peace of the world" and "pose[d] a grave and growing danger". The Bush Administration proceeded to assert a right and intention to engage in preemptive war
Preemptive war
A preemptive war is a war that is commenced in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived inevitable offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending war before that threat materializes. It is a war which preemptively 'breaks the peace'. The term: 'preemptive war' is...

, also called preventive war
Preventive war
A preventive war or preventative war is a war initiated to prevent another party from attacking, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. Preventive war aims to forestall a shift in the balance of power by strategically attacking before the balance of power has a chance...

, in response to perceived threats. This would form a basis for what became known as the Bush Doctrine
Bush Doctrine
The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various related foreign policy principles of former United States president George W. Bush. The phrase was first used by Charles Krauthammer in June 2001 to describe the Bush Administration's unilateral withdrawals from the ABM treaty and the Kyoto...

. The broader "War on Terror", allegations of an "axis of evil", and, in particular, the doctrine of preemptive war, began to weaken the unprecedented levels of international and domestic support for Bush and United States action against al-Qaeda following the September 11 attacks.

Some national leaders alleged abuse by U.S. troops and called for the U.S. to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and other such facilities. Dissent from, and criticism of, Bush's leadership in the War on Terror increased as the war in Iraq expanded. In 2006, a National Intelligence Estimate
National Intelligence Estimate
National Intelligence Estimates are United States federal government documents that are the authoritative assessment of the Director of National Intelligence on intelligence related to a particular national security issue...

 expressed the combined opinion of the United States' own intelligence agencies, concluding that the Iraq War had become the "cause célèbre
Cause célèbre
A is an issue or incident arousing widespread controversy, outside campaigning and heated public debate. The term is particularly used in connection with celebrated legal cases. It is a French phrase in common English use...

 for jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

ists" and that the jihad movement was growing.

Afghanistan




On October 7, 2001, U.S. and British forces initiated bombing campaigns that led to the arrival on November 13 of Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
The Afghan Northern Alliance is a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996.Northern Alliance may also refer to:*Northern Alliance , a Canadian white supremacist group...

 troops in Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

. The main goals of the war were to defeat the Taliban, drive al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan, and capture key al-Qaeda leaders. In December 2001, the Pentagon reported that the Taliban had been defeated but cautioned that the war would go on to continue weakening Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders. Later that month the UN had installed the Afghan Interim Authority
Afghan Transitional Administration
The Afghan Transitional Administration was the name of a temporary administration of Afghanistan put in place by the 2002 Loya Jirga and followed the Afghan Interim Administration which was installed after the Bonn Conference.-Background:Following the US Invasion in Afghanistan, a UN sponsored...

 chaired by Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

.

Efforts to kill or capture al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden failed as he escaped a battle in December 2001 in the mountainous region of Tora Bora
Tora Bora
Tora Bora , known locally as Spīn Ghar , is a cave complex situated in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan, in the Pachir Wa Agam District of Nangarhar province, approximately west of the Khyber Pass and north of the border of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan...

, which the Bush Administration later acknowledged to have resulted from a failure to commit enough U.S. ground troops. On March 13, 2002, Bush stated that "I truly am not that concerned about him" when asked about bin Laden, brushing him off as "a person who has now been marginalized", despite declaring that he was wanted "Dead or Alive" shortly after 9/11, and statements from U.S. commanders that bin Laden was "still a threat in the new Afghanistan". It was not until May 2011, two years after Bush left office, that bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces. Bin Laden's successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al-Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life...

, as well as the leader of the Taliban, Mohammed Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...

, remain at large.

Despite the initial success in driving the Taliban from power in Kabul, by early 2003 the Taliban was regrouping, amassing new funds and recruits. In 2006, the Taliban insurgency
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

 appeared larger, fiercer and better organized than expected, with large-scale allied offensives such as Operation Mountain Thrust
Operation Mountain Thrust
Operation Mountain Thrust was a Canadian and Afghan-led operation in the war in Afghanistan, with more than 2,300 U.S., 3,300 British troops, 2,200 Canadian troops, about 3,500 Afghan soldiers and large air support...

 attaining limited success. As a result, Bush commissioned 3,500 additional troops to the country in March 2007.

Iraq




Beginning with his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address
State of the Union Address
The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda and his national priorities.The practice arises...

, Bush began publicly focusing attention on Iraq, which he labeled as part of an "axis of evil
Axis of evil
"Axis of evil" is a term initially used by the former United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002 and often repeated throughout his presidency, describing governments that he accused of helping terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction...

" allied with terrorists and posing "a grave and growing danger" to U.S. interests through possession of weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

.

In the latter half of 2002, CIA reports
National Intelligence Estimate
National Intelligence Estimates are United States federal government documents that are the authoritative assessment of the Director of National Intelligence on intelligence related to a particular national security issue...

 contained assertions of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

's intent of reconstituting nuclear weapons programs, not properly accounting for Iraqi biological
Biological warfare
Biological warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war...

 and chemical weapons
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

, and that some Iraqi missiles had a range greater than allowed by the UN sanctions. Contentions that the Bush Administration manipulated or exaggerated the threat and evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities would eventually become a major point of criticism for the president.

In late 2002 and early 2003, Bush urged the United Nations to enforce Iraqi disarmament
Disarmament
Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons. Disarmament generally refers to a country's military or specific type of weaponry. Disarmament is often taken to mean total elimination of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear arms...

 mandates, precipitating a diplomatic crisis
Iraq disarmament crisis
The issue of Iraq's disarmament reached a crisis in 2002-2003, when U.S. President George W. Bush demanded a complete end to what he alleged was Iraqi production of weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq comply with UN Resolutions requiring UN weapons inspectors unfettered access to areas those...

. In November 2002, Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei led UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, but were advised by the U.S. to depart the country four days prior to the U.S. invasion, despite their requests for more time to complete their tasks. The U.S. initially sought a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of military force but dropped the bid for UN approval due to vigorous opposition from several countries.

The war effort was joined by more than 20 other nations (most notably the United Kingdom), designated the "coalition of the willing". The invasion of Iraq commenced on March 20, 2003, and the Iraqi military was quickly defeated. The capital, Baghdad, fell on April 9, 2003. On May 1, Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq. The initial success of U.S. operations increased his popularity, but the U.S. and allied forces faced a growing insurgency led by sectarian groups; Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech was later criticized as premature. From 2004 until 2007, the situation in Iraq deteriorated further, with some observers arguing that there was a full scale civil war in Iraq. Bush's policies met with criticism, including demands domestically to set a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq. The 2006 report of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group
Iraq Study Group
The Iraq Study group , was a ten-person bipartisan panel appointed on March 15, 2006, by the United States Congress, that was charged with assessing the situation in Iraq and the US-led Iraq War and making policy recommendations...

, led by James Baker
James Baker
James Addison Baker, III is an American attorney, politician and political advisor.Baker served as the Chief of Staff in President Ronald Reagan's first administration and in the final year of the administration of President George H. W. Bush...

, concluded that the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating". While Bush admitted that there were strategic mistakes made in regards to the stability of Iraq, he maintained he would not change the overall Iraq strategy.

In January 2005, free, democratic elections were held in Iraq for the first time in 50 years. According to Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie, "This is the greatest day in the history of this country." Bush praised the event as well, saying that the Iraqis "have taken rightful control of their country's destiny". This led to the election of Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani is the sixth and current President of Iraq, a leading Kurdish politician. He is the first non-Arab president of Iraq, although Abdul Kareem Qasim was half Kurdish....

 as President and Nouri al-Maliki
Nouri al-Maliki
Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki , also known as Jawad al-Maliki or Abu Esraa, is the Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party. Al-Maliki and his government succeeded the Iraqi Transitional Government. He is currently in his second term as Prime Minister...

 as Prime Minister of Iraq. A referendum to approve a constitution in Iraq was held in October 2005, supported by the majority Shiites and many Kurds.

On January 10, 2007, Bush addressed the nation regarding the situation in Iraq. In this speech, he announced a surge of 21,500 more troops for Iraq
Iraq War troop surge of 2007
In the context of the Iraq War, the surge refers to United States President George W. Bush's 2007 increase in the number of American troops in order to provide security to Baghdad and Al Anbar Province....

, as well as a job program for Iraqis, more reconstruction proposals, and $1.2 billion for these programs. On May 1, 2007, Bush used his veto for only the second time in his presidency, rejecting a congressional bill setting a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Five years after the invasion, Bush called the debate over the conflict "understandable" but insisted that a continued U.S. presence there was crucial.

In March 2008, Bush praised the Iraqi government's "bold decision" to launch the Battle of Basra
Battle of Basra (2008)
The Battle of Basra began on March 25, 2008, when the Iraqi Army launched an operation to drive the Mahdi Army militia out of the southern Iraqi city of Basra...

 against the Mahdi Army
Mahdi Army
The Mahdi Army, also known as the Mahdi Militia or Jaish al-Mahdi , was an Iraqi paramilitary force created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003....

, calling it "a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq". He said he would carefully weigh recommendations from his commanding General David Petraeus
David Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sworn in on September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander...

 and Ambassador Ryan Crocker
Ryan Crocker
Ryan Clark Crocker is a Career Ambassador within the United States Foreign Service and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He currently is the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan. He was the United States Ambassador to Iraq until 2009; he previously served as the U.S...

 about how to proceed after the end of the military buildup in the summer of 2008. He also praised the Iraqis' legislative achievements, including a pension law, a revised de-Baathification law, a new budget, an amnesty law, and a provincial powers measure that, he said, set the stage for the Iraqi elections.

On July 31, 2008, Bush announced that with the end of July, American troop deaths had reached their lowest number—thirteen—since the war began in 2003. Due to increased stability in Iraq, Bush announced the withdrawal of additional American forces. This reflected an emerging consensus between the White House and the Pentagon that the war has "turned a corner". He also described what he saw as the success of the 2007 troop surge.

Surveillance


Following the events of September 11, Bush issued an executive order authorizing the President's Surveillance Program
President's Surveillance Program
The President's Surveillance Program is a collection of secret intelligence activities authorized by then President of the United States George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks in 2001 as part of the War on Terrorism...

 which included allowing the NSA
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 to monitor communications between suspected terrorists outside the U.S and parties within the U.S. without obtaining a warrant as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As of 2009, the other provisions of program remained highly classified.) Once the Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 Office of Legal Counsel
Office of Legal Counsel
The Office of Legal Counsel is an office in the United States Department of Justice that assists the Attorney General in his function as legal adviser to the President and all executive branch agencies.-History:...

 questioned its original legal opinion that FISA did not apply in a time of war, the program was subsequently re-authorized by the President on the basis that the warrant requirements of FISA were implicitly superseded by the subsequent passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists
Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists
The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists , one of two resolutions commonly known as "AUMF" , was a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on...

. The program proved to be controversial
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

, as critics of the administration, as well as organizations such as the American Bar Association
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association , founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation...

, argued that it was illegal. In August 2006, a U.S. district court judge ruled that the NSA electronic surveillance program
NSA electronic surveillance program
An electronic surveillance program, whose actual name is currently unknown, was implemented by the National Security Agency of the United States in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was part of the President's Surveillance Program which was in turn conducted under the overall umbrella...

 was unconstitutional, but on July 6, 2007, that ruling was vacated
Vacated judgment
A vacated judgment makes a previous legal judgment legally void. A vacated judgment is usually the result of the judgment of an appellate court which overturns, reverses, or sets aside the judgment of a lower court....

 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* Eastern District of Kentucky* Western District of Kentucky...

 on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing
Standing (law)
In law, standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case...

. On January 17, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales informed U.S. Senate leaders that the program would not be reauthorized by the President, but would be subjected to judicial oversight.

Interrogation policies


Bush authorized the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 to use waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

 as one of several enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques or alternative set of procedures are terms adopted by the George W. Bush administration in the United States to describe certain severe interrogation methods, often described as torture...

. Between 2002 and 2003 the CIA considered certain enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to be legal based on a secret Justice Department legal opinion arguing that terror detainees were not protected by the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

' ban on torture. The CIA had exercised the technique on certain key terrorist suspects under authority given to it in the Bybee Memo from the Attorney General, though that memo was later withdrawn. While not permitted by the U.S. Army Field Manuals
U.S. Army Field Manuals
U.S. Army Field Manuals are published by the United States Army's Army Publishing Directorate. As of 27 July 2007, some 542 field manuals were in use. They contain detailed information and how-tos for procedures important to soldiers serving in the field. They are usually available to the public at...

 which assert "that harsh interrogation tactics elicit unreliable information", the Bush administration believed these enhanced interrogations "provided critical information" to preserve American lives. Critics, such as former CIA officer Bob Baer, have stated that information was suspect, "you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough."

On October 17, 2006, Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006
Military Commissions Act of 2006
The United States Military Commissions Act of 2006, also known as HR-6166, was an Act of Congress signed by President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006. Drafted in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on Hamdan v...

, a law enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court's
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 decision on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 , is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay lack "the power to proceed because its structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military...

, , which allows the U.S. government to prosecute unlawful enemy combatants
Unlawful combatant
An unlawful combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent is a civilian who directly engages in armed conflict in violation of the laws of war. An unlawful combatant may be detained or prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action.The Geneva Conventions apply in wars...

 by military commission rather than a standard trial. The law also denies them access to habeas corpus
Habeas corpus
is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to his aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, but it is now available in many nations...

and bars the torture of detainees, but allows the president to determine what constitutes torture.

On March 8, 2008, Bush vetoed H.R. 2082, a bill that would have expanded congressional oversight over the intelligence community and banned the use of waterboarding as well as other forms of interrogation not permitted under the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations
FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation
The US Army Field Manual on Interrogation, sometimes known by the military nomenclature FM 34-52, is a 177-page manual describing to military interrogators how to conduct effective interrogations while conforming with US and international law...

, saying that "the bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror". In April 2009, the ACLU sued and won release of the secret memos that had authorized the Bush administration's interrogation tactics. One memo detailed specific interrogation tactics including a footnote that described waterboarding as torture as well as that the form of waterboarding used by the CIA was far more intense than authorized by the Justice Department.

North Korea



Bush publicly condemned Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

 of North Korea, naming North Korea one of three states in an "axis of evil
Axis of evil
"Axis of evil" is a term initially used by the former United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002 and often repeated throughout his presidency, describing governments that he accused of helping terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction...

", and saying that "the United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons." Within months, "both countries had walked away from their respective commitments under the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework of October 1994." North Korea's October 9, 2006, detonation
2006 North Korean nuclear test
The 2006 North Korean nuclear test was the detonation of a nuclear device conducted on October 9, 2006 by North Korea.North Korea announced its intention to conduct a test on October 3, six days prior, and in doing so became the first nation to give warning of its first nuclear test...

 of a nuclear device further complicated Bush's foreign policy, which centered for both terms of his presidency on "[preventing] the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world". Bush condemned North Korea's position, reaffirmed his commitment to "a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", and stated that "transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States", for which North Korea would be held accountable. On May 7, 2007, North Korea agreed to shut down its nuclear reactors immediately pending the release of frozen funds held in a foreign bank account. This was a result of a series of three-way talks initiated by the United States and including China. On September 2, 2007, North Korea agreed to disclose and dismantle all of its nuclear programs by the end of 2007. By May 2009, North Korea had restarted its nuclear program and threatened to attack South Korea.

Syria


Bush expanded economic sanctions on Syria. In early 2007, the Treasury Department
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

, acting on a June 2005 executive order, froze American bank accounts of Syria's Higher Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Electronics Institute, and National Standards and Calibration Laboratory. Bush's order prohibits Americans from doing business with these institutions suspected of helping spread weapons of mass destruction and being supportive of terrorism. Under separate executive orders signed by Bush in 2004 and later 2007, the Treasury Department froze the assets of two Lebanese and two Syrians, accusing them of activities to "undermine the legitimate political process in Lebanon" in November 2007. Those designated included: Assaad Halim Hardan, a member of Lebanon's parliament and current leader of the Syrian Socialist National Party; Wi'am Wahhab, a former member of Lebanon's government (Minister of the Environment) under Prime Minister Omar Karami (2004–2005); Hafiz Makhluf, a colonel and senior official in the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate and a cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

; and Muhammad Nasif Khayrbik, identified as a close adviser to Assad.

Assassination attempt


On May 10, 2005, Vladimir Arutyunian, a native Georgian
Georgians
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

 who was born to a family of ethnic Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, threw a live hand grenade toward a podium where Bush was speaking at Freedom Square
Freedom Square, Tbilisi
Freedom Square , formerly known as Erivan Square under Imperial Russia and Lenin Square under the Soviet Union, is located in the center of Tbilisi at the eastern end of...

 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
Mikheil Saakashvili
Mikheil Saakashvili is a Georgian politician, the third and current President of Georgia and leader of the United National Movement Party.Involved in the national politics since 1995, Saakashvili became president on 25 January 2004 after President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in a November 2003...

 was seated nearby. It landed in the crowd about 65 feet (20 m) from the podium after hitting a girl, but it did not detonate. Arutyunian was arrested in July 2005, confessed, was convicted and was given a life sentence in January 2006.

Other issues



Bush withdrew U.S. support for several international agreements, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was a treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile systems used in defending areas against missile-delivered nuclear weapons....

 (ABM) with Russia. Bush emphasized a careful approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians; he denounced Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 leader Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 for his support of violence, but sponsored dialogues between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

. Bush supported Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and lauded the democratic elections held in Palestine after Arafat's death.

Bush also expressed U.S. support for the defense of Taiwan following the stand-off in April 2001 with the People's Republic of China over the Hainan Island incident
Hainan Island incident
On April 1, 2001, a mid-air collision between a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II signals intelligence aircraft and a People's Liberation Army Navy J-8II interceptor fighter jet resulted in an international dispute between the United States and the People's Republic of China called the Hainan...

, when an EP-3E Aries II surveillance aircraft collided with a People's Liberation Army Air Force
People's Liberation Army Air Force
The People's Liberation Army Air Force is the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army, the military of the People's Republic of China...

 jet, leading to the detention of U.S. personnel. In 2003–2004, Bush authorized U.S. military intervention in Haiti and Liberia to protect U.S. interests. Bush condemned the militia attacks Darfur
War in Darfur
The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

 and denounced the killings in Sudan as genocide. Bush said that an international peacekeeping presence was critical in Darfur, but opposed referring the situation to the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

.
In his State of the Union address in January 2003, Bush outlined a five-year strategy for global emergency AIDS relief, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief
The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief was a commitment of $15 billion over five years from United States President George W. Bush to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic...

. Bush announced $15 billion for this effort which directly supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for more than 3.2 million men, women and children worldwide.

On June 10, 2007, he met with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha
Sali Berisha
Sali Ram Berisha is an Albanian politician and cardiologist, currently the Prime Minister of Albania and the leader of Democratic Party of Albania ....

 and became the first president to visit Albania. Bush has voiced his support for the independence
2008 Kosovo declaration of independence
The 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence was adopted on 17 February 2008 by individual members of the Assembly of Kosovo acting in personal capacity and not binding to the Assembly itself...

 of Kosovo.

Bush opened the 2002 Winter Olympics
2002 Winter Olympics
The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially the XIX Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event that was celebrated in February 2002 in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Approximately 2,400 athletes from 77 nations participated in 78 events in fifteen disciplines, held throughout...

 in Salt Lake City. Departing from previous practice, he stood among a group of U.S. athletes rather than from a ceremonial stand or box, saying: "On behalf of a proud, determined, and grateful nation, I declare open the Games of Salt Lake City, celebrating the Olympic Winter Games." In 2008, in the course of a good-will trip to Asia, he attended the Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

 in Beijing.

Supreme Court



Following the announcement of Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor is an American jurist who was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until her retirement from the Court in 2006. O'Connor was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981...

's retirement on July 1, 2005, Bush nominated John Roberts
John Roberts
John Glover Roberts, Jr. is the 17th and current Chief Justice of the United States. He has served since 2005, having been nominated by President George W. Bush after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist...

 to succeed her. On September 5, following the death of Chief Justice
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

 William Rehnquist
William Rehnquist
William Hubbs Rehnquist was an American lawyer, jurist, and political figure who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the 16th Chief Justice of the United States...

, this nomination was withdrawn and Bush instead nominated Roberts for Chief Justice to succeed Rehnquist. Roberts was confirmed by the Senate as the 17th Chief Justice on September 29, 2005.

On October 3, 2005, Bush nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers
Harriet Miers
Harriet Ellan Miers is an American lawyer and former White House Counsel. In 2005, she was nominated by President George W. Bush to be an Associate Justice of the U.S...

 for O'Connor's position; after facing significant opposition, she asked that her name be withdrawn on October 27. Four days later, on October 31, Bush nominated federal appellate judge Samuel Alito
Samuel Alito
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the court since January 31, 2006....

 for the position and he was confirmed as the 110th Supreme Court Justice on January 31, 2006.

Other courts


In addition to his two Supreme Court appointments, Bush appointed 61 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals
The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system...

 and 261 judges to the United States district court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

s. Each of these numbers, along with his total of 324 judicial appointments, is third in American history, behind both Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 and Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. Bush experienced a number of judicial appointment controversies
George W. Bush judicial appointment controversies
During President George W. Bush's two term tenure in office, he nominated thirty-nine people for twenty-seven different federal appellate judgeships that were blocked by the Senate Democrats either directly in the Senate Judiciary Committee or on the full Senate floor using a filibuster....

, as 39 people nominated to 27 federal appellate judgeships
United States federal judge
In the United States, the title of federal judge usually means a judge appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate in accordance with Article II of the United States Constitution....

 were blocked by the Senate Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 either in the Senate Judiciary Committee
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary is a standing committee of the United States Senate, of the United States Congress. The Judiciary Committee, with 18 members, is charged with conducting hearings prior to the Senate votes on confirmation of federal judges nominated by the...

 or on the Senate floor using a filibuster.

Domestic



Image

Bush's upbringing in West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

, his accent, his vacations on his Texas ranch, and his penchant for country metaphors contribute to his folksy, American cowboy
Cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

 image. "I think people look at him and think John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

", says Piers Morgan, editor of the British Daily Mirror. It has been suggested that Bush's accent was an active choice, as a way of distinguishing himself from Northeastern intellectuals and anchoring himself to his Texas roots. Both supporters and detractors have pointed to his country persona as reasons for their support or criticism.

Bush's intelligence has been satirized by the media, comedians, and other politicians. Detractors tended to cite linguistic errors made by Bush during his public speeches, which are colloquially termed as Bushism
Bushism
Bushisms are unconventional words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, and semantic or linguistic errors that have occurred in the public speaking of former President of the United States George W. Bush and, much less notably, of his father, George H. W. Bush. The term has become part of popular...

s. Editorials in Harper's Magazine
Harper's Magazine
Harper's Magazine is a monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, with a generally left-wing perspective. It is the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the U.S. . The current editor is Ellen Rosenbush, who replaced Roger Hodge in January 2010...

, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

, The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

, Common Dreams NewsCenter
Common Dreams NewsCenter
Common Dreams NewsCenter, often referred to simply as Common Dreams, is a 5013 nonprofit U.S. based progressive news website. Common Dreams publishes news stories, editorials and a newswire of current breaking news. Common Dreams also re-publishes relevant content from numerous other sources such...

, and The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

have referred to Bush as "the worst president ever".
In contrast to his father, who was perceived as having troubles with an overarching unifying theme
Vision thing
"Vision thing" is a notable sound bite and catch phrase from George H. W. Bush during his presidency...

, Bush embraced larger visions and was seen as a man of larger ideas and associated huge risks. Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 wrote in 2010 that the caricature of Bush as being dumb is "ludicrous" and that Bush is "very smart".
Approval

Bush's popularity was highly variable during his two terms. He began his presidency with approval ratings near 50%. After the September 11 attacks, Bush gained an approval rating of 90%, maintaining 80–90% approval for four months after the attacks. It remained over 50% during most of his first term.

In 2000 and again in 2004, Time magazine named George W. Bush as its Person of the Year, a title awarded to someone who the editors believe "has done the most to influence the events of the year". In May 2004, Gallup reported that 89% of the Republican electorate approved of Bush. However, the support waned due mostly to a minority of Republicans' frustration with him on issues of spending, illegal immigration, and Middle Eastern affairs.

Within the United States armed forces, according to an unscientific survey, the president was strongly supported in the 2004 presidential elections. While 73% of military personnel said that they would vote for Bush, 18% preferred his Democratic rival, John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

. According to Peter Feaver, a Duke University
Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...

 political scientist who has studied the political leanings of the U.S. military, members of the armed services supported Bush because they found him more likely than Kerry to complete the War in Iraq.

Bush's approval rating went below the 50% mark in AP-Ipsos polling in December 2004. Thereafter, his approval ratings and approval of his handling of domestic and foreign policy issues steadily dropped. Bush received heavy criticism for his handling of the Iraq War, his response to Hurricane Katrina
Political effects of Hurricane Katrina
Commentators have discussed the likely effects of the disaster on a wide range of political issues.-Political controversies and electoral consequences:Political disputes have arisen over several issues:-Issues relating to the cause of the damage to New Orleans:...

 and to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse
Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
Beginning in 2004, human rights violations in the form of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy, and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to public attention...

, NSA warrantless surveillance
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

, the Plame affair
Plame affair
The Plame Affair involved the identification of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer. Mrs. Wilson's relationship with the CIA was formerly classified information...

, and Guantanamo Bay detention camp controversies.

Polls conducted in 2006 showed an average of 37% approval ratings for Bush, the lowest for any second-term president at that point of his term since Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 in March 1951, when Truman's approval rating was 28%, which contributed to what Bush called the "thumping" of the Republican Party in the 2006 mid-term elections. Throughout 2007, Bush's approval rating hovered in the mid-thirties, although in an October 17, 2007, Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

 poll, Bush received a lower approval rating of 24%, the lowest point of his presidency.

By April 2008, Bush's disapproval ratings were the highest ever recorded in the 70-year history of the Gallup poll for any president, with 69% of those polled disapproving of the job Bush was doing as president and 28% approving. In September 2008, in polls performed by various agencies, Bush's approval rating ranged from 19%—the lowest ever—to 34%. and his disapproval rating stood at 69%. Bush left the White House as one of the most unpopular American presidents, second in unpopularity only to Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

.

In response to his poll numbers and "worst president" accusations, Bush said, "I frankly don't give a damn about the polls.... To assume that historians can figure out the effect of the Bush administration before the Bush administration has ended is ... in my mind ... not an accurate reflection upon how history works."

In 2006, 744 professional historians surveyed by Siena College
Siena College
Siena College is an independent Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Loudonville, in the town of Colonie, New York, United States. Siena is a four-year, coeducational, independent college in the Franciscan tradition, founded by the Franciscan Friars in 1937. It has 3,000 full-time students and...

 regarded Bush's presidency as follows: Great: 2%; Near Great: 5%; Average: 11%; Below Average: 24%; Failure: 58%. Thomas Kelly, professor emeritus of American studies at Siena College, said that "In this case, current public opinion polls actually seem to cut the President more slack than the experts do." Similar outcomes were retrieved by two informal surveys done by the History News Network
History News Network
History News Network is a project of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Although the HNN resides on GMU's server, it operates independently of the university as a non-profit corporation registered in Washington State...

 in 2004 and 2008.

A March 13, 2008, poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported that 53% of Americans believe that "the U.S. will ultimately succeed in achieving its goals" in Iraq. That figure was up from 42% in September 2007 and the highest since 2006.

A 2010 Siena College poll of 238 Presidential scholars found that Bush was ranked 39th out of 43, with poor ratings in handling of the economy, communication, ability to compromise, foreign policy accomplishments and intelligence.

Calls for Bush's impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

 were made, though most polls showed a plurality of Americans did not support the president's impeachment. The reasoning behind impeachment usually centered on the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

, the Bush administration's justification for the war in Iraq, and alleged violations of the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

. Representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 Dennis Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich
Dennis John Kucinich is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997. He was furthermore a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections....

, a Democrat from Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, introduced 35 articles of impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives against Bush on June 9, 2008, but Speaker
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

 declared that impeachment was "off the table".

Foreign perceptions



Bush has been criticized internationally and targeted by the global anti-war and anti-globalization campaigns, particularly for his administration's foreign policy. Views of him within the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 are more negative than previous American Presidents, with France largely opposed to what he advocated.

Bush was described as having especially close personal relationships with Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 and Vicente Fox
Vicente Fox
Vicente Fox Quesada is a Mexican former politician who served as President of Mexico from 1 December 2000 to 30 November 2006 and currently serves as co-President of the Centrist Democrat International, an international organization of Christian democratic political parties.Fox was elected...

, although formal relations were sometimes strained. Other leaders, such as Afghan president Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is a Ugandan politician and statesman. He has been President of Uganda since 26 January 1986.Museveni was involved in the war that deposed Idi Amin Dada, ending his rule in 1979, and in the rebellion that subsequently led to the demise of the Milton Obote regime in 1985...

, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He was elected for two terms as Prime Minister of Spain, in the 2004 and 2008 general elections. On 2 April 2011 he announced he will not stand for re-election in 2012...

, and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

, have openly criticized the president. Later in Bush's presidency, tensions arose between himself and Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

, which has led to a cooling of their relationship.

In 2006, a majority of respondents in 18 of 21 countries surveyed around the world were found to hold an unfavorable opinion of Bush. Respondents indicated that they judged his administration as negative for world security. In 2007, the Pew Global Attitudes Project reported that during the Bush presidency, attitudes towards the United States and the American people became less favorable around the world.

A March 2007 survey of Arab opinion conducted by Zogby International and the University of Maryland
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...

 found that Bush was the most disliked leader in the Arab world.

The Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is an American think tank organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the United States and the world. The Center and its projects receive funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1990, Donald S...

's 2007 Global Attitudes poll found that out of 47 countries, a majority of respondents expressed "a lot of confidence" or "some confidence" in Bush in only nine countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Israel, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda.

During a June 2007 visit to the predominantly Muslim Eastern European nation of Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, Bush was greeted enthusiastically. Albania has a population of 3.6 million, has troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the country's government is highly supportive of American foreign policy. A huge image of the President was hung in the middle of the capital city of Tirana
Tirana
Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet, although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over...

 flanked by Albanian and American flags while a local street was named after him. A shirt-sleeved statue of Bush was unveiled in Fushe-Kruje
Fushë-Krujë
Fushë-Krujë is a city in the Krujë District in Albania. The city has gained a wider fame due to President George W. Bush's visit on Sunday, 10 June 2007. Fushe-Kruje was also the site of one of Skanderbeg's famous battles....

, a few kilometers northwest of Tirana
Tirana
Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet, although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over...

. The Bush administration's support for the independence of Albanian-majority Kosovo, while endearing him to the Albanians
Albanians
Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

, has troubled U.S. relations with Serbia, leading to the February 2008 torching of the U.S. embassy in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

.

Acknowledgements


On May 7, 2005 at an official state visit in Latvia, George W. Bush was awarded the Order of the Three Stars
Order of the Three Stars
Order of the Three Stars is order awarded for merits in service for Latvia. It was established in 1924 in remembrance of founding of Latvia. Its motto is "Per aspera ad astra"...

 presented to him by president Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga
Vaira Vike-Freiberga
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga was the sixth President of Latvia, the first female President of Latvia and the first female leader in eastern Europe. She was elected President of Latvia in 1999 and re-elected in 2003.Dr...

.

Post-presidency



Following the inauguration of Barack Obama
Inauguration of Barack Obama
The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States took place on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. The inauguration, which set a record attendance for any event held in Washington, D.C., marked the commencement of the four-year term of Barack Obama as President and Joe...

, Bush and his family flew from Andrews Air Force Base
Andrews Air Force Base
Joint Base Andrews is a United States military facility located in Prince George's County, Maryland. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 11th Wing, Air Force District of Washington ....

 to a homecoming celebration in Midland, Texas
Midland, Texas
Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Texas, United States, on the Southern Plains of the state's western area. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County. As of 2010, the population of Midland was 111,147. It is the principal city of the Midland, Texas...

, following which they returned to their ranch in Crawford, Texas
Crawford, Texas
Crawford is a town located in western McLennan County, Texas, United States. It is best known as the home of former President of the United States George W. Bush. He currently resides at the Prairie Chapel Ranch, which is located just outside Crawford, Texas....

. They bought a home in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, where they settled down.

Since leaving office, Bush has kept a relatively low profile though he has made public appearances, most notably after the release of his memoirs in 2010 and for the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2011. He makes regular appearances at various events throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, most notably when he conducted the opening coin toss at the Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football franchise which plays in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League . They are headquartered in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas...

 first game in the team's new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington
Arlington, Texas
Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, Texas within the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area. According to the 2010 census results, the city had a population of 365,438, making it the third largest municipality in the Metroplex...

 and an April 2009 visit to a Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

 game, where he thanked the people of Dallas for helping him settle in and was met with a standing ovation.

In 2009, he delivered a speech in Calgary
Calgary
Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

, Alberta, appeared via video on The Colbert Report during which he praised U.S. troops for earning a "special place in American history," and attended the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker on October 26 at the "Get Motivated" seminar in Dallas. In the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting
Fort Hood shooting
The Fort Hood shooting was a mass shooting that took place on November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military installation in the world, located just outside Killeen, Texas. In the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others...

 that took place on November 5, 2009 in Texas, the Bushes paid an undisclosed visit to the survivors and victims' families the day following the shooting, having contacted the base commander requesting that the visit be private and not involve press coverage. They spent one to two hours at the base.
Bush's profile grew somewhat in 2010, especially when he released his memoirs, Decision Points, on November 9, 2010. During a pre-release appearance promoting the book, Bush said he considered his biggest accomplishment to be keeping "the country safe amid a real danger," and his greatest failure to be his inability to secure the passage of Social Security reform
Social Security debate (United States)
This article concerns proposals to change the Social Security system in the United States. Social Security is a social insurance program officially called "Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance" , in reference to its three components. It is primarily funded through a dedicated payroll tax...

. At President Obama's request, Bush and Bill Clinton established the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a 501 nonprofit organization founded on January 16, 2010, by former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to aid the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake...

 to raise contributions for relief and recovery efforts following the 2010 Haiti earthquake
2010 Haiti earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks...

 earlier in January. He also made news defending his administration's enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically the waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

 of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, saying, "I'd do it again to save lives." He also attended every home playoff game for the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

 2010 season and, accompanied by his father, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for Game 4 of the 2010 World Series
2010 World Series
The 2010 World Series was the 106th occurrence of Major League Baseball's championship series. The best-of-seven playoff, played between the American League champion Texas Rangers and the National League champion San Francisco Giants, began on Wednesday, , and ended on Monday, , with the Giants...

 on October 31, 2010.

In 2011, Bush scrapped a planned visit to Switzerland; the event he was to attend was canceled, as human rights groups opposed his presence and there was a significant threat of violent protests. 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
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

. Most notably, on September 11, 2011, 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
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 wrote to a widow who lost five sons during the Civil War.

See also


  • Electoral history of George W. Bush
    Electoral history of George W. Bush
    George W. Bush was the 46th Governor of Texas and was the 43rd President of the United States. He has been involved in many elections, beginning in 1978 with his loss in the 19th Texas Congressional election, and ending with his 2004 reelection as president....

  • Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States
  • List of George W. Bush legislation and programs
  • List of nicknames for George W. Bush
  • List of nicknames used by George W. Bush
  • List of Presidents of the United States by languages spoken
  • Political positions of George W. Bush
    Political positions of George W. Bush
    George W. Bush's political positions have been expressed in public statements, and through his actions as President of the United States.-Fiscal policy and taxation:...


Further reading



Academic
  • Abramson, Paul R., John H. Aldrich, and David W. Rohde. Change and Continuity in the 2004 and 2006 Elections (2007), 324pp excerpt and text search
  • Allard, Scott W. "The Changing Face of Welfare During the Bush Administration." Publius 2007 37(3): 304–332. Issn: 0048-5950
  • Barone, Michael. The Almanac of American Politics (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010), highly detailed coverage of electoral politics and Congress.
  • Berggren, D. Jason, and Nicol C. Rae. "Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush: Faith, Foreign Policy, and an Evangelical Presidential Style." Presidential Studies Quarterly. 36#4 2006. pp 606+. online edition
  • Campbell, Colin, Bert A. Rockman, and Andrew Rudalevige, eds.. The George W. Bush Legacy Congressional Quarterly Press, 2007, 352pp; 14 essays by scholars excerpts and online search from Amazon.com
  • Congressional Quarterly. CQ Almanac Plus highly detailed annual compilation of events in Congress, White House, Supreme Court, summarizing the weekly "Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report". (annual, 2002–2009)
  • Conlan, Tim and John Dinan. "Federalism, the Bush Administration, and the Transformation of American Conservatism." Publius 2007 37(3): 279–303. Issn: 0048-5950
  • Corrado, Anthony, E. J. Dionne Jr., Kathleen A. Frankovic. The Election of 2000: Reports and Interpretations (2001) online edition
  • Daynes, Byron W. and Glen Sussman. "Comparing the Environmental Policies of Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush." White House Studies 2007 7(2): 163–179. Issn: 1535-4738
  • Desch, Michael C. "Bush and the Generals." Foreign Affairs 2007 86(3): 97–108. Issn: 0015-7120 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Eckersley, Robyn. "Ambushed: the Kyoto Protocol, the Bush Administration's Climate Policy and the Erosion of Legitimacy." International Politics 2007 44(2–3): 306–324. Issn: 1384-5748
  • Edwards III, George C. and Philip John Davies, eds. New Challenges for the American Presidency New York: Pearson Longman, 2004. 245 pp. articles from Presidential Studies Quarterly
  • Edwards III, George C. and Desmond King, eds. The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush (2007), 478pp; essays by scholars; excerpt and online search from Amazon.com
  • Fortier, John C. and Norman J. Ornstein, eds. Second-term Blues: How George W. Bush Has Governed (2007), 146pp excerpt and online search from Amazon.com
  • Graham John D. Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks (Indiana University Press, 2010) 425 pages; covers taxation, education, health care, energy, the environment, and regulatory reform.
  • Greenstein, Fred I. ed. The George W. Bush Presidency: An Early Assessment Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003
  • Greenstein, Fred I. “The Contemporary Presidency: The Changing Leadership of George W. Bush A Pre- and Post-9/11 Comparison” in Presidential Studies Quarterly v 32#2 2002 pp 387+. online edition
  • Gregg II, Gary L. and Mark J. Rozell, eds. Considering the Bush Presidency Oxford University Press, 2004. 210 pp. British perspectives
  • Hendrickson, Ryan C., and Kristina Spohr Readman, "From the Baltic to the Black Sea: Bush's NATO Enlargement." White House Studies. (2004) 4#3 pp: 319+. online edition
  • Hilliard, Bryan, Tom Lansford, and Robert P Watson, eds. George W. Bush: Evaluating the President at Midterm SUNY Press 2004
  • Jacobson, Gary C. “The Bush Presidency and the American Electorate” Presidential Studies Quarterly v 33 No.4 2003 pp 701+. online edition
  • Jacobson, Gary C. "Referendum: the 2006 Midterm Congressional Elections." Political Science Quarterly 2007 122(1): 1–24. Issn: 0032-3195 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Milkis, Sidney M. and Jesse H.Rhodes. "George W. Bush, the Party System, and American Federalism." Publius 2007 37(3): 478–503. Issn: 0048-5950
  • Moens, Alexander The Foreign Policy of George W. Bush: Values, Strategy, and Loyalty. Ashgate, 2004. 227 pp.
  • Rabe, Barry. "Environmental Policy and the Bush Era: the Collision Between the Administrative Presidency and State Experimentation." Publius 2007 37(3): 413–431. Issn: 0048-5950
  • Sabato, Larry J. ed. The Sixth Year Itch: The Rise and Fall of the George W. Bush Presidency (2007), experts on the 2006 elections in major states
  • Strozeski, Josh, et al. "From Benign Neglect to Strategic Interest: the Role of Africa in the Foreign Policies of Bush 41 and 43." White House Studies 2007 7(1): 35–51. Issn: 1535-4738
  • Wekkin, Gary D. "George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush: Puzzling Presidencies, or the Puzzle of the Presidency?" White House Studies 2007 7(2): 113–124. Issn: 1535-4738
  • Wong, Kenneth and Gail Sunderman. "Education Accountability as a Presidential Priority: No Child Left Behind and the Bush Presidency." Publius 2007 37(3): 333–350. Issn: 0048-5950


Reflections on the Bush presidency
  • Barnes, Fred. Rebel-in-Chief: How George W. Bush Is Redefining the Conservative Movement and Transforming America (2006)
  • Bartlett, Bruce. Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (2006)
  • Cheney, Dick. In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir (2011)
  • Draper, Robert. Inside the Bush White House: The Presidency of George W. Bush (2007)
  • Ferguson, Michaele L. and Lori Jo Marso. W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender (2007)
  • Gerson, Michael J. Heroic Conservatism: Why Republicans Need to Embrace America's Ideals (And Why They Deserve to Fail If They Don't) (2007), excerpt and text search
  • Greenspan, Alan. The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (2007)
  • Hayes, Stephen F. Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President (2007), excerpts and online search
  • Hughes, Karen. George W. Bush: Portrait of a Leader (2005)
  • Mabry, Marcus. Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power (2007)
  • Moore, James. and Wayne Slater. Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential (2003) online edition
  • Rice, Condoleezza. No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011)
  • Rumsfeld, Donald. Known and Unknown: A Memoir (2011)
  • Suskind, Ron. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill (2004), excerpts and online search from Amazon.com
  • Woodward, Bob
    Bob Woodward
    Robert Upshur Woodward is an American investigative journalist and non-fiction author. He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter, and is currently an associate editor of the Post....

    . Plan of Attack (2003), excerpt and text search


Primary sources
  • Council of Economic Advisors, Economic Report of the President (annual 1947– ), complete series online; important analysis of current trends and policies, plus statistical tables
  • Bush, George W. George W. Bush on God and Country: The President Speaks Out About Faith, Principle, and Patriotism (2004)
  • Bush, George W. Decision Points
    Decision Points
    Decision Points is a memoir by former U.S. President George W. Bush. It was released on November 9, 2010, and the release was accompanied by national television appearances and a national tour. The book surpassed sales of two million copies less than two months after its release.-Content:Bush's...

    (2010)

External links



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