GEORGE WALKER BUSH Biography - Royalty, Rulers & leaders


Biography » royalty rulers leaders » george walker bush


George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and the 43rd (current) president of the United States. Bush, a member of the Republican Party, is part of the prominent Bush family, which includes his father (former President George H.W. Bush) and brother (Jeb Bush, the current Florida governor). Before entering politics, Bush was a businessman involved primarily in the oil industry but also in professional sports. In 1994, he was elected as Texas governor, and was re-elected to that position in 1998.


He won the nomination of the Republican Party in the 2000 presidential election against Senator John McCain and others. In the general election, Bush defeated Vice President Al Gore of the Democratic Party, losing the popular vote but winning the electoral vote in one of the most controversial elections in American history. Bush was re-elected in 2004, defeating Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Contents 1 Personal life, service and education 2 Substance abuse controversy 3 Business and early political career 4 Presidential campaigns 5 Years as President 6 Presidency 6.1 Foreign policy and security 6.1.1 Iraq 6.1.2 Military spending 6.1.3 Political ideology 6.2 Domestic policy 6.2.1 Faith-based initiatives 6.2.2 Diversity 6.2.3 Economy 6.2.4 Social Security 6.2.5 Health 6.2.6 Education 6.2.7 Science 6.2.8 Environment 6.3 Cabinet 6.3.1 Cabinet: Makeup and composition 6.3.2 Other advisors and officials 6.4 Major legislation signed 7 Public perception and assessments 7.1 Domestic 7.2 Outside the United States 8 Trivia 9 Selected quotations 10 See also 11 Media 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links 14.1 Official 14.2 Speeches 14.3 Transcripts Personal life, service and education Bush was the son of George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. He was born in
New Haven, Connecticut but grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas, with his siblings: Jeb, Neil, Marvin,


and Dorothy (a younger sister, Robin, died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of three). The family spent the summers and most holidays at the sprawling estate known as the Bush Compound. George W. Bush and Laura Bush with their daughters Jenna and Barbara, 1990 Like his father, Bush attended Phillips Academy (September 1961–June 1964) and later Yale University (September 1964–May 1968). At Yale, he joined Delta


Kappa Epsilon (of which he was president from October 1965 until graduation) and the Skull and Bones secret society. He was a “C” student, scoring 77 percent (with no As and one D, in astronomy) with a grade point average of 2.35 out of 4.00. He played baseball and rugby union during his freshman and senior years. He received a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1968. After graduating from Yale, Bush enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard on May 27, 1968 during the Vietnam War, with a commitment to serve until May 26, 1974. He was promoted once, to first lieutenant, on the November 1970 recommendation of Texas Air National Guard commander Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He served as an F-102 pilot until 1972. George W. Bush in his Air National Guard uniform. In September 1973, he received permission to end his six-year commitment six months early in order to attend the MBA program at Harvard University Graduate School of Business. He transferred to inactive reserve status shortly before being honorably discharged on October 1, 1973. It has frequently been alleged that Bush skipped over a waiting list to receive a National Guard slot, that he did not report for required duty from 1972 to 1973, and that he was suspended from flying after he failed to take a required physical examination and drug test.


These issues were publicized during the 2004 Presidential campaign by the group Texans for Truth and other Bush critics. See George W. Bush military service controversy for details. Bush entered Harvard Business School in 1973. He was awarded a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in 1975, and is the first U.S. president to hold an M.B.A degree. On September 4, 1976, Bush was pulled over by police near his family’s summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol


admitted his guilt, was fined $150, and had his driving license suspended for 30 days within the state. News of the arrest was uncovered by the press five days before the 2000 presidential election. Bush married Laura Welch in 1977. They had twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna Bush, born in 1981. In 1986, at the age of 40, he left the Episcopal Church and joined his wife’s denomination, the United Methodist Church. Substance abuse controversy Main article: George W. Bush substance abuse controversy Bush has described his days before his religious conversion as his “nomadic” period and “irresponsible youth.” and admitted to drinking “too much” in those years; he says that although he never joined Alcoholics Anonymous, he gave up drinking for good shortly after waking up with a hangover after his 40th birthday celebration: “I quit drinking in 1986 and haven’t had a drop since then.” He ascribed the change in part to a 1985 meeting with The Rev. Billy Graham. Some Bush critics have suggested that his public statements and actions reflect a


“classic addictive thinking pattern” common among former alcoholics and one psychiatrist (Frank, 2004) wrote a book describing him as “an untreated ex-alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies.” Other professionals have expressed their disagreement with these analyses. For further details on these arguments, see George W. Bush substance abuse controversy. Bush has said that he did not use illegal drugs at any time since 1974. He has denied the allegation (Hatfield, 1999) that family influence was used to expunge the record of an arrest for cocaine possession in 1972, but has declined to discuss whether he used drugs before 1974. In taped recordings of a conversation with an old friend, author Doug Wead, Bush said:


“I wouldn’t answer the marijuana question. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.” When Wead reminded Bush that the latter had publicly denied using cocaine, Bush replied, “I haven’t denied anything.” Business and early political career In 1978, Bush ran for the U.S. House of Representatives but lost to a State Senator, Democrat Kent Hance. Bush began his career in the oil industry in 1979 when he established Arbusto Energy, an oil and gas exploration company he formed in 1977 with leftover funds from his education trust fund and money from other investors. The 1979 energy crisis hurt Arbusto and, after a name change to Bush Exploration Co., Bush sold the company in 1984 to Spectrum 7, another Texas oil and gas exploration firm. Under the terms of the sale, Spectrum 7 made Bush its chief executive officer.


Spectrum 7 lost money, and in 1986 it was merged into Harken Energy Corporation, with Bush becoming a director of Harken The official gubernatorial portrait of Gov. Bush, hanging in the Texas State Capitol. After working on his father’s successful 1988 presidential campaign, he was told by a friend, William DeWitt, Jr., that then-owner Eddie Chiles, another of the Bushes’ many friends, wanted to sell the Texas Rangers, an Arlington-based Major League Baseball franchise. In April 1989, Bush assembled a group of investors from his father’s close friends; the group bought 86% of the Rangers for $75 million. (Bush later appointed one of these partners, Tom Schieffer, to the post of Ambassador to Australia.) Bush received a two percent share by investing $606,302, of which $500,000 was a bank loan. Bush paid off the loan by selling $848,000 worth of stock in Harken Energy in 1990. As Harken Energy reported significant financial losses within a year of this sale (as did much of the energy industry due to the recession of the early 1990s), the fact that


Bush was advised by his own counsel not to sell his shares later fueled allegations of insider trading. (see George W. Bush insider trading allegations for more information). An SEC investigation later concluded “it appears that Bush did not engage in illegal insider trading,” but noted that the memo “must in no way be construed as indicating that the party has been exonerated or that no action may ultimately result.” Bush served as managing general partner of the Rangers until he was elected Governor of Texas on November 8, 1994 over incumbent Democrat Ann Richards. His election to the governor’s office surprised many as Richards was a popular incumbent. The upset has been partly attributed to Bush’s intense message discipline, a quality that would define all his future campaigns. Bush further defied conventional wisdom by forging a legislative alliance with powerful Texas Lt. Governor Bob Bullock, a longtime Democrat, who held similar political views. Bush went on to become, in 1998, the first Texas governor to be elected for two consecutive four-year terms. (Until 1975, Texas governors served two-year terms.) While Bush was governor of Texas, he undertook significant legislative changes in the areas of criminal justice, tort law, and school financing.


Bush took a hard line on capital punishment, and received much criticism for it. More convicts were executed under his terms than any other Texas governor, although the rate of executions was not unusual for Texas. Although there is much consensus that Bush effected significant changes, there is little consensus as to whether these changes were detrimental or positive in nature. If nothing else, Bush’s transformative agenda, in combination with his political and family pedigree, catapulted him onto the national political radar. As the campaigns to succeed Bill Clinton as president began in earnest, Bush emerged as a key figure. Presidential campaigns Al Gore greets President-Elect Bush at the White House in late December of 2000. In Bush’s 2000 presidential election campaign, he declared himself to be a “compassionate conservative". He campaigned on, among other issues, allowing religious charities to particiate in federally funded programs, tax cuts, promoting the use of education vouchers, supporting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, maintaining a balanced federal budget, and restructuring of the armed forces.


He said he was against using the U.S. armed forces in nation building attempts. Bush faced Democratic candidate Vice President Al Gore. Bush took 271 electoral votes to Gore’s 266, including the electoral votes of 30 of the 50 states. Neither candidate received a majority of the popular vote - Bush took 47.9 percent; Gore, 48.4 percent - but Gore received about 540,000 more of the 105 million votes cast, a margin of about one-half of one percent. Most of the votes that neither Bush nor Gone won went to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader (2,695,696 votes/2.7%), Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan, (449,895/0.4%), and Libertarian Party candidate Harry Browne (386,024 votes/0.4%). It was the first presidential election since 1888 in which the winning candidate received fewer popular votes than his opponent, the first since 1876 in which the winner of the electoral vote was in dispute, and the first ever to be directly affected by a Supreme Court decision. The Florida vote, which favored Bush by a slim margin in the initial count and all subsequent official recounts, was heavily contested after concerns were raised about flaws and irregularities in the voting and tabulation processes and became the subject of a series of contentious court cases regarding the legality of county-specific and statewide re-counts. After machine and manual recounts in the four counties selected by Gore still showed Bush as the winner, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a statewide manual recount of all counties. The Bush campaign appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in its mid-December decision Bush v. Gore, overturned the decision and halted all recounts. Gore then conceded the election. In the final official count, Bush won Florida by 537 votes, giving him the state’s 25 electoral votes and the presidency. See U.S. presidential election, 2000. (Also see The 2000 Florida Ballot Project.) Bush was inaugurated


President on January 20, 2001. George W. Bush speaks at a campaign rally in 2004. In the 2004 election, Bush won a second term, an electoral majority, and also received 3.5 million popular votes more than his Democratic challenger, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Bush was the first presidential candidate since his father, George H.W. Bush in 1988 to receive a majority of the popular vote. (The intervening elections had seen stronger showings by non-major party candidates such as Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.) As is expected with population growth, more people voted both for and against the presidential candidate in this election than any other time in history, however his margin over Kerry of about 3 percent was the smallest popular vote margin for a re-elected President since Woodrow Wilson’s 1916 victory.


There were a number of alleged irregularities in the election, especially in the swing state of Ohio, which went largely unreported by the mainstream media. After a congressional electoral contest - the second in American History - failed, a civil case challenging the result in Ohio was withdrawn because congressional certification of the electoral votes rendered the case moot. Bush was inaugurated for his second term on January 20, 2005; the oath was administered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Bush’s inaugural speech centered mainly on a theme of spreading freedom and democracy around the world. George W. Bush is the only President to win re-election after losing the popular vote in his first election. Of the three other Presidents who lost the popular vote, John Quincy Adams and Benjamin Harrison were defeated in their bids for a second term, and Rutherford B. Hayes did not seek re-election. Related articles: 2004 U.S. election voting controversies; 2004 U.S. Election controversies and irregularities and its subsidiary articles on 2004 election (voting machines), 2004 election (exit polls), and 2004 election (voter suppression) Years as President First Term Second Term Presidency Foreign policy and security Bush poses with Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson and former European Union Commission President Romano Prodi at Gunnebo Slott near Gothenburg, Sweden on June 14, 2001. During his first presidential visit to Europe in June 2001, Bush came under harsh criticism from European leaders for his rejection of the Kyoto Protocol,


which is aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that may contribute to global warming. Since massive bipartisan opposition to the treaty in the United States Senate (which voted 95-0 in the 1997 Byrd-Hagel Resolution to prevent US adherence to any treaty that did not require binding commitments from developing nations) would prevent its adoption in the US, it was never submitted for Senate consideration by the Clinton Administration, although “symbolically” signed by Vice President Gore; the Bush Administration’s view that the treaty would have a negative effect on the U.S. and world economy without restraining greenhouse gas emissions from nations such as China is consistent with the position of the Senate. Bush’s


Administration has generally pursued free market policies, although the imposition of a tariff on imported steel and on Canadian soft lumber attracted criticism that led the steel tariff to be rescinded, under pressure from the World Trade Organization. In July of 2002, Bush cut off all funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Bush claimed that the UNFPA supported forced abortions and sterilizations in China. During his campaign, Bush’s foreign policy platform included support of a stronger economic and political relationship with Latin America, especially Mexico, and a reduction in involvement in “nation-building” and other small-scale military engagements. However, after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, the administration focused much more on foreign policy in the Middle East. Bush listens to children reading The Pet Goat in a classroom after being informed of the attack on the World Trade Center. He was praised by some for not alarming the school children, and criticized by others for his apparent nonchalance. Shortly after the attacks, Bush launched a war against Afghanistan to topple the Taliban, which he charged with harboring Osama bin Laden. This action had strong international support, and the Taliban government folded quickly after the invasion. Subsequent nation-building efforts in concert with the United Nations under Afghan president Hamid Karzai have had mixed results; while bin Laden was not apprehended or killed,


Afghanistan has held unprecedented democratic elections. A sizeable contingent of troops and advisors remains into 2005. (See also: U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Afghan presidential election, 2004) Bush addresses rescue workers at Ground Zero in New York, September 14, 2001: “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” On December 14, 2001, Bush withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, arguing that the bipolar agreement, a bedrock of U.S.-Soviet nuclear stability during the Cold War, was no longer relevant. Instead, Bush focused resources on a ballistic missile defense system, scheduled for deployment in 2005.


This has been supported by those concerned about the threat of ballistic missile launches from “rogue states", and the subject of much scientific criticism, as it will not stop cruise missiles or missiles transported by boat or land vehicle. Bush has also increased spending on military research and development and the modernization of weapons systems, but cancelled programs such as the Crusader self-propelled artillery system. The administration also began initial research into bunker-busting nuclear missiles. Mahmoud Abbas, United States President George W. Bush, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after reading statement to the press during the closing moments of the Red Sea Summit in Aqaba, Jordan, June 4, 2003 Iraq Since 1998, when the United States Congress and Bill Clinton passed the Iraq Liberation Act, stated U.S. policy had been to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. After the 9-11 attacks, the Bush administration argued that the Iraq situation had now become urgent.


The stated premise was that Saddam’s regime had tried to acquire nuclear material and had not properly accounted for biological and chemical material it was known to possess, potential weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in violation of U.N. sanctions. There is debate between supporters and opponents of the war about whether the U.S. had any evidence that Iraq possessed WMD and whether they had any evidence of ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. See Iraq and weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda for full coverage. Bush contended that Saddam might deliver WMD to terrorists such as al Qaeda, and beginning in 2002 and escalating in spring 2003, Bush pressed the UN to act on its disarmament mandates to Iraq, precipitating the so-called “Iraq disarmament crisis". He began by pushing for UN weapons inspections in Iraq, which the UN instituted under UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei led UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. There were occasional lapses in cooperation and limits on inspections set by the regime, leading to intense debate over the efficacy of inspections.


Increasing pressure from the United States in the spring of 2003 forced the UN weapons inspectors to discontinue inspections. After being captured, when interrogators asked Saddam “If you had no weapons of mass destruction then why not let the U.N. inspectors into your facilities?", Saddam’s replied “We didn’t want them to go into the presidential areas and intrude on our privacy.” After pressure from Secretary of State Colin Powell to not go to war without UN approval, the Bush administration examined the possibility of seeking a Security Council resolution to authorize the use of military force (in pursuance of Chapter VII  of the U.N. Charter), but abandoned the idea in the face of opposition from the majority of Security Council members and the public threat of a veto from France (cf. The UN Security Council and the Iraq war).


The United States led a group of about forty nations, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and Poland, and Bush called it the “coalition of the willing.” The coalition invaded Iraq in March, citing many Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq


the current and past lack of Iraqi cooperation with those resolutions, Saddam’s intermittent refusal to co-operate with UN weapons inspectors, Saddam’s alleged attempt to assassinate former president George Bush while visiting Kuwait, and Saddam’s violation of the 1991 cease fire agreement. The primary stated goal of the war was to stop Iraq from deploying and developing WMD by removing Saddam from power. See 2003 invasion of Iraq for full coverage. President George W. Bush addresses sailors and the nation from the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego, California, May 1, 2003. After the war, a bipartisan intelligence review found no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, although the report did conclude that Hussein’s government was actively attempting to acquire technology that would allow Iraq to produce WMD’s as soon as U.N. sanctions were lifted. The report also found “no collaborative relationship” between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. Bush has been the target of much praise and criticism due to his Administration’s prosecution of the Iraq War and the subsequent insurgency, with the attendant issues of the failure to find alleged WMD, questions about the biased selection and/or distortion of pre-war intelligence reports, democratization of the Middle East, relationship to the War on Terror, effect on the United States’ relationship with European powers and on the role and function of the United Nations, debate over nation building, and impact on other local and regional powers such as Iran, Syria, Lebanon,
and Turkey. The decision-making process of British support was later leaked in a classified document, the “Downing Street memo". After repeated requests for clarification, both the US and the UK government have refused to either confirm or deny the accuracy of the document. In it, the British Head of the Secret Intelligence Service, Sir Richard Dearlove (known in official terminology as ‘C’) observed:


There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action. In response to the publication of the “Downing Street memo,” Paul Craig Roberts wrote an article calling for Bush’s impeachment for lying to Congress about the case for war. See Downing Street memo for full coverage. Military spending Of the $2.4 trillion budgeted for 2005, about $401 billion are planned to be spent on defense.


This level is generally comparable to the defense spending during the Cold War. Political ideology Bush’s political ideology is generally referred to as conservative or compassionate conservative, the latter being a term he has used to describe himself; conservatives have criticized Bush for his willingness to incur large budget deficits. In his 2005 inaugural address he outlined his new foreign policy set forth in the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (pdf) ( Supporters of Bush see this policy as a necessary rejection of “balance of power” politics and a redefinition of America’s role in the international forum. Critics of Bush see it as a withdrawal of America from the international forum. There is some evidence that Bush’s foreign policy is heavily influenced by the neo-conservative think tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In 1998, for instance, PNAC wrote to then President Bill Clinton saying “American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council” urging the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.


Many members of PNAC later had prominent positions in the Bush administration which invaded Iraq at a time when other permanent members of the Security Council opposed military action against Iraq. Domestic policy Main article: Domestic policy of the George W. Bush administration Faith-based initiatives In early 2001, Bush worked with Republicans in Congress to pass legislation changing the way the federal government regulated, taxed and funded charities and non-profit initiatives run by religious organizations. Although prior to the legislation it was possible for these organizations to receive federal assistance, the new legislation removed reporting requirements which required the organizations to separate their charitable functions from their religious functions. Bush also created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives ( Several organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have criticized Bush’s faith-based initiative program as violating the principle of separation of church and state and being unconstitutional, and questioned if it violates the establishment clause of the first amendment. Diversity Bush is against same-sex marriage, and has endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment, a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would define marriage as being the union of one man and one woman. However, a week before the 2004 election,


Bush expressed his disagreement with the Republican Party platform that opposed civil unions, and said that the issue of civil unions should be left up to individual states. In his February 2, 2005 State of the Union address he repeated his support for the constitutional amendment. During Bush’s first term, his nominee as ambassador to Romania, Michael E. Guest, became the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the Senate as a U.S. ambassador. (The first openly gay ambassador, James Hormel, received a recess appointment from Bill Clinton after the Senate failed to confirm the nomination). Bush has tended to be opposed to forms of affirmative action, but expressed appreciation for the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding selecting college applicants for purposes of diversity. Bush has met with the National Urban League as President, but has not yet met with the NAACP as a group since he became president, though he did address the NAACP at their 2000 convention in Baltimore as a presidential candidate, and he met with outgoing NAACP President Kweisi Mfume on December 21, 2004. Colin Powell became the first African-American man to serve as Secretary of State during Bush’s first term in office. He was succeeded by Condolezza Rice in the same cabinet post eginning in 2005, becoming the first African-American female to serve in such capacity.


Alberto Gonzales became the first Hispanic United States Attorney General in 2005, as well. Economy During his first term Bush sought and obtained Congressional approval for three major tax cuts, which increased the standard income tax deduction for married couples, eliminated the estate tax, and reduced marginal tax rates, and are scheduled to expire a decade after passage. Bush has asked Congress to make the tax cuts permanent. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, by 2003 these tax cuts had reduced total federal revenue, as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to the lowest level since 1959. The effect of the tax cuts and simultaneous increases in spending was to create record budget deficits. In the last year of the Clinton administration, the federal budget showed an annual surplus of more than $230 billion.


Under Bush, however, the government returned to deficit spending. The annual deficit reached record current-dollar levels of $374 billion in 2003 and $413 billion in 2004, though as a percentage of GDP these deficits are lower than the post-World War II record set under the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s. In an open letter to Bush in 2004, more than 100 professors of business and economics at U.S. business schools ascribed this “fiscal reversal” to Bush’s “policy of slashing taxes - primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution". Bush’s supporters have countered that, primarily because of the doubling of the value of the child tax credit, “7.8 million low and middle-income families had their entire income tax liabilities erased by the cuts.” After the last jobs report before the 2004 election was released, Kerry supporters were quick to declare that Bush was the first American president since Herbert Hoover to have a net loss of jobs during his term. However, since Bush officially took office in January 2001, he still had the November and December numbers to add to his total. By the time of his second inauguration in January 2005, Bush ended up with a net gain of jobs for his first term. According to the “baseline” forecast of federal revenue and spending by the Congressional Budget Office (in its January 2005 Baseline Budget Projections, the trend of growing deficits under Bush’s first term will become shrinking deficits in his second term. In this projection the deficit will fall to $368 billion in 2005, $261 billion in 2007, and $207 billion in 2009, with a small surplus by 2012. The CBO noted, however, that this projection “omits a significant amount of spending that will occur this year-and possibly for some time to come-for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for other activities related to the global war on terrorism.


” The projection also assumes that the Bush tax cuts “will expire as scheduled on December 31, 2010.” If, as Bush has urged, the tax cuts were to be extended, then “the budget outlook for 2015 would change from a surplus of $141 billion to a deficit of $282 billion.” Social Security Shortly after his second inauguration, Bush (here seen with a panel in Omaha) toured the nation to promote his proposal for Social Security privatization. Bush has called for major changes in Social Security, identifying the issue as a priority for his second term. In 2005, Bush offered a proposal incorporating reductions in benefit levels and partial privatization (allowing individual workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts). Most Democrats and some Republicans are critical of such ideas, partly because of the large federal borrowing the plan would require ($1 trillion or more) to finance the transition, and partly because of the problems encountered by the United Kingdom’s privatized pension plan. See Social Security debate (United States). Health George W. Bush signing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, surrounded by senators and congressmen. Bush signed the Medicare Act of 2003, which added prescription drug coverage to Medicare, subsidized pharmaceutical corporations, and prohibited the Federal government from negotiating discounts with drug companies. Bush is pro-life; his aim, in his words, is to “promote a culture of life.” Education In January of 2002, Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, which targets supporting early learning, measures student performance, gives options over failing schools, and ensures more resources for schools.


Critics (including Senator Kerry and the National Education Association) say schools were not given the resources to help meet new standards, although the House Committee on Education and the Workforce said in June, 2003 that in three years under the Bush administration the Education Department’s overall funding would have increased by $13.2 billion Some state governments are refusing to implement provisions of the act as long as they are not adequately funded.In January of 2005, USA Today reported that the United States Department of Education had paid $240,000 to conservative political commentator Armstrong Williams “to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.” Williams did not disclose the payments. Science Scientists have repeatedly criticized the Bush administration for reducing funding for scientific research, setting restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (Bush’s supporters have responded that he is also the first president to give funding to “adult” stem cell research), ignoring scientific consensus on global warming, and hampering cooperation with foreign scientists by enforcing deterring immigration and visa restrictions. In February 2004, over 5,000 scientists (including 48 Nobel Prize winners) from the Union of Concerned Scientists signed a statement “opposing the Bush administration’s use of scientific advice". They stated that “the Bush administration has ignored unbiased scientific advice in the policy-making that is so important for our collective welfare.” On January 14, 2004, Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration, calling for a return to the Moon by 2020, the completion of the International Space Station by 2010 and eventually sending astronauts to Mars. Although the plan was met with a largely tepid reception the budget eventually passed with a few minor changes after the November elections. In January 2005 the White House released a new Space Transportation Policy fact sheet which outlined the administration’s space policy in broad terms and tied the development of space transport capabilities to national security requirements.


Environment Bush’s environmental record has been attacked by environmentalists, who charge that his policies cater to industry demands to weaken environmental protections. He signed the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2002 authorizing the federal government to begin cleaning up pollution and contaminated sediment in the Great Lakes, as well as the Brownfields Legislation in 2002, accelerating the cleanup of abandoned industrial sites, or brownfields, to better protect public health, create jobs, and revitalize communities. In December 2003, Bush signed legislation implementing key provisions of his Healthy Forests Initiative; environmental groups have charged that the plan is simply a giveaway to timber companies. Another subject of controversy is Bush’s Clear Skies plan; opponents say that the initiative will in fact allow utilities to pollute more than they do currently. Bush has opposed the Kyoto Protocol saying it would harm the U.S. economy. Environmental groups note that many Bush Administration officials, in addition to Bush and Cheney, have ties to the energy industry, automotive industry, and other groups that have fought against environmental protections. However, Bush claims his reason for not supporting the Kyoto Protocol is that it is unfairly strict on the U.S. while being unduly lenient with other countries, especially China. (See America’s Kyoto protocol position.) Cabinet OFFICE       NAME       TERM       President       George W. Bush       2001—       Vice President       Richard B. Cheney       2001—       State       Colin L. Powell       2001–2005       Condoleezza Rice       2005—       Defense       Donald H. Rumsfeld       2001—       Treasury       Paul H. O’Neill       2001–2003       John W. Snow       2003—       Justice       John D. Ashcroft       2001–2005       Alberto R. Gonzales       2005—       Interior       Gale A. Norton       2001—       Agriculture       Ann M. Veneman       2001–2005       Mike Johanns       2005—       Commerce       Donald L. Evans       2001–2005       Carlos M. Gutierrez       2005—       Labor       Elaine L. Chao       2001—       HHS       Tommy G. Thompson       2001–2005       Michael O. Leavitt       2005—       HUD       Melquiades R. Martinez       2001–2003       Alphonso R. Jackson       2004—       Transportation       Norman Y. Mineta       2001—       Energy       E. Spencer Abraham       2001–2005       Samuel W. Bodman       2005—       Education       Roderick R. Paige       2001–2005       Margaret Spellings       2005—       Veterans Affairs       Anthony J. Principi       2001–2005       James Nicholson       2005—       Homeland Security       Thomas J. Ridge       2003–2005       Michael Chertoff       2005—       Cabinet: Makeup and composition Bush’s cabinet included the largest number of minorities of any U.S. federal cabinet to date, including the first Asian-American female federal cabinet secretary (Chao). This gives it the distinction of being both the most racially diverse, and, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the wealthiest cabinet ever. There is one non-Republican present in Bush’s cabinet: Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, the first Asian-American cabinet secretary, who had previously served as Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton, is a Democrat. His cabinet included figures prominent in past administrations, notably Colin Powell, who had served as United States National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H. W. Bush and Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had served in the same position under Gerald Ford. Also, Vice President Richard Cheney served as Secretary of Defense under George H. W. Bush. Other advisors and officials United States Director of National Intelligence - John Negroponte (2005-) CIA Director - George Tenet (2001–2004), John E. McLaughlin (interim director, 2004), Porter J. Goss (2004-) FBI Director - Robert Mueller National Security Advisor - Condoleezza Rice (2001–2005), Stephen Hadley (2005-) EPA Administrator - Christine Todd Whitman (2001–2003), Michael O. Leavitt (2003–2005), Stephen L. Johnson (2005-) UN Ambassador - John Negroponte (2001–2004), John Danforth (2004) Nominee John R. Bolton FCC Chairman - Michael Powell(2001-2005), Kevin Martin (2005-) OMB Director - Mitch Daniels (2001–2003), Joshua B. Bolten (2003-) White House Chief of Staff - Andrew Card Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor - Karl Rove White House counsel - Alberto R. Gonzales(2001–2005), Harriet Miers (2005-) Advisor - Karen Hughes (2001–2002) Appointed in 2005 to rank of Ambassador. White House Press Secretary - Ari Fleischer (2001–2003), Scott McClellan (2003-) Personal Aide - Blake Gottesman (2001-) Among the more criticized appointments have been John Negroponte, Elliott Abrams, Otto Reich, and John Poindexter for their roles in the Iran-Contra Affair and for allegedly covering up human rights abuses in Central and South America. Some of Bush’s other appointments have been noted as reflecting a preference for family members of favored officials. These include: J. Strom Thurmond Jr. (Senator Strom Thurmond’s son) as South Carolina’s U.S. Attorney, Eugene Scalia (Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s son) as Solicitor for the Labor Department, Janet Rehnquist (U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s daughter) as Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (later fired for firearms charges and inappropriate job terminations), and Elizabeth Cheney (Vice President Cheney’s daughter) to the newly created position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near-East Affairs. Major legislation signed 2001 June 7: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 2001 September 18: Authorization for Use of Military Force 2001 September 28: United States-Jordan Free Trade Area Implementation Act 2001 October 26: USA PATRIOT Act 2001 November 28: Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act 2002 January 8: No Child Left Behind Act 2002 March 9: Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 2002 March 27: Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 2002 May 13: Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 2002 July 30: Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 2002 October 16: Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq 2002 November 25: Homeland Security Act of 2002 2003 March 11: Do-Not-Call Implementation Act 2003 April 30: PROTECT Act of 2003 (Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act) (see also Age of consent) 2003 May 27: United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003 2003 May 28: Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 2003 September 3: United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act 2003 September 3: United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act 2003 November 5: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 2003 December 8: Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement,


and Modernization Act of 2003 2003 December 16: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) 2004 April 1: Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Laci and Conner’s Law) 2005 February 18: Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 2005 April 20: Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 Public perception and assessments Bush has been the subject of both high praise and stringent criticism; he has been called by some the “love him or hate him” president (a title similarly applied by some to former President William Jefferson Clinton). The former have focused on matters such as the economy, homeland security, and especially his leadership after the September 11 attacks; the latter on matters such as the economy, his leadership after the September 11 attacks and the passage of the Patriot Act; the controversial 2000 election, and the occupation of Iraq. The magazine TIME named Bush as its Person of the Year for 2000 and 2004.


This award is traditionally given to the person considered by the editors to be the most important newsmaker of the year.


Domestic Bush as TIME Person of the Year 2004. In the time of national crisis following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bush enjoyed approval ratings of greater than 85%. He maintained these extraordinary ratings (the highest approval ratings of any president since such regular polls began in 1938) for some months following the attack. They gradually dropped to lower levels, but stayed above 50% for two and half years During the 2002 midterm congressional elections, Bush had the highest approval rating of any president during a midterm election since Dwight Eisenhower. In an unusual deviation from the historical trend of midterm elections, the Republican Party retook control of the Senate and added to their majority in the House of Representatives; typically, the President’s party loses Congressional seats in the midterm elections, and 2002 marked only the third midterm election since the Civil War that the party in control of the White House gained seats in both houses of Congress (others were 1902 and 1934). In 2003, Bush’s approval ratings slowly fell, except for a spike upward at the time of the invasion of Iraq. By late 2003, his approval numbers were in the low to middle 50s, still solid for the third year of a Presidency, when opponents typically begin their campaigns in earnest. Most polls tied the decline to growing concern over the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq and a slow recovery from the 2001 recession. Polls of May 2004 showed anywhere from a 53 percent approval rating A recent Zogby poll showed Bush’s approval rating a 46% for the month of March, 2005 - the lowest Bush had ever received, but with the exception of John F. Kennedy, the highest low-point rating of any President since polls began. Over the course of Bush’s presidency, despite ideological differences with former president Bill Clinton, the two appear to have formed a friendship. Outside the United States Bush and French President Jacques Chirac during the G-8 sessions, July 21, 2001. Bush’s popularity outside the United States among foreign journalists and news organizations is generally lower. Among many international correspondents throughout the world he is very unpopular, with many reporting a dislike of his personality and foreign policy. Although the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was well-supported, the 2003 Invasion of Iraq particularly provoked charges of unilateralism. As a result, polls indicate erosion of support among Europeans for Bush, for example a drop from 36% to 16% favorability from mid-2002 to mid-2003 in Germany. A broader Associated Press/Ipsos survey of industrialized nations found that a majority in UK, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Spain—in addition to Canada and Australia, where cooperation with American leaders is traditional—have an unfavorable view of Bush and his policy on foreign affairs, although significant minorities continue to report favorable views. Surveys show in Muslim countries Bush’s unfavorability ratings are particularly high, often over 90%. Among the non-U.S. nations polled by various organizations in a worldwide study, Bush’s popularity was greatest in Israel, where 62% reported favorable views.


Trivia In July 2004, Bush’s two daughters gave him an iPod (dubbed the “First iPod") for his birthday. The selection of songs that are loaded on his iPod was the subject of much media discussion after the New York Times ran an article on his choice of music. It was revealed that his personal aide Blake Gottesman uses the iTunes Music Store to download songs to which the President often listens while working out or jogging. Blue Box Toys produced a limited edition 1:6 scale replica action figure of Bush wearing the flight jump suit that he wore on the USS Abraham Lincoln in his May 1, 2003 “Mission Accomplished” appearance. Selected quotations See List of Bushisms See also List of national leaders List of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2005 Axis of Evil Bush Doctrine Bush Compound Bushism Bush family Christian Right Compassionate conservatism Fahrenheit 9/11 George W. Bush’s first term as President of the United States George W. Bush’s second term as President of the United States History of the United States (1988-present) Neoconservatism (United States) Laura Bush VoteToImpeach War on Terrorism


Media George W. Bush’s speech on September 11, 2001 about the attacks (info)       George W. Bush’s speech on September 12, 2001 about the attacks (info)       Problems listening to the files? Media help (       References’s article: Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative Launched Faith Based and Community Initiatives official website Graphs of approval ratings


Further reading Ken Auletta (January 19, 2004). “Fortress Bush: How the White House Keeps the Press Under Control” (,


The New Yorker, LXXIX, 53. James Bovard, The Bush Betrayal, (2004) ISBN 140396727X Robert Bryce, Cronies: Oil, The Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America’s Superstate, (2004) ISBN 1586481886 George W. Bush, A Charge to Keep, (1999) ISBN 0688174418 George W. Bush, We Will Prevail, (2003) ISBN 0826415520 John W. Dean, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, (2004) ISBN 031600023X Frank, Justin A. (2004). Bush On The Couch. Regan Books. ISBN 0060736704. Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer & Brendan Nyhan, All the President’s Spin: George W. Bush, the Media, and the Truth, (2004) ISBN 0743262514 David Frum, The Right Man, (2002) ISBN 0375509038 ISBN 0812966953 H. Gillman, The Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election, (2001) ISBN 0226294080 James Howard Hatfield, Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, (1999) ISBN 1887128840 Molly Ivins and L. Dubose, Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, (2000) ISBN 0375503994 Ronald Kessler, A Matter Of Character: Inside The White House Of George W. Bush, (2004) ISBN 1595230009 Stephen Mansfield, The Fait