George Walker Bush, 43rd President of the United States, was born on July 6th, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut. President Bush was the oldest of six children. His parents were father, President George H. W. Bush and mother, First Lady Barbara Bush. After graduating high school, George attended Yale University to obtain a bachelor’s in history. From there he served as an F-102 fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. After serving his time in the National Guard, Bush went to Harvard Business School in 1975 to acquire a master’s degree in business administration.
George W. Bush’s political views were influenced very early on when his grandfather was a Republican Senator of Connecticut. Also influencing him was his father, a Republican Vice President and President of the United States. He worked on his dad’s 1988 presidential campaign which was a success. After his father’s presidential election, George W. Bush was elected governor of Texas. He was the first governor to be elected to four year terms consecutively. “Compassionate Conservatism” was the slogan Governor George W. Bush used in his 2000 presidential campaign.
Bush said that he would strengthen the military, give educational control to the local level, and cut taxpayers taxes. George W. Bush’s promises won over voters, mainly white males, but only barely. George W. Bush won the election because he won the electoral vote by one percent, but he did not win the popular vote. This was only the fourth time in U. S. history and first time since 1876 that a presidential candidate won the election without winning the popular vote. Although President George W. Bush did not always get agree with the press, he found them essential.
He believes that they are needed to help keep the president accountable. Bush believes that holding the title of president holds a ton of power and without the press keeping the citizens informed on the president, the president can easily take advantage of the power. President George W. Bush’s Vice President was Republican Dick Cheney who was 59 at the time he became Vice President. He served as Vice President for both of President George W. Bush’s terms. While in office, the President appointed two Cabinet members, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and Secretary of Housing and Development Steve Preston.
President Bush also appointed two Supreme Court Justices, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. Counsel Alberto Gonzales was the Attorney General during Bush’s second term. The Secretary of State was Colin Powell. There were two Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates. During the President’s two terms the Secretaries of Treasury included: Henry Paulson, John W. Snow, and Paul H. O’Neill. The president’s agenda the first year included cutting taxes, giving giving education to more local control but also making them more accountable, and lowering the cost of medication for the elderly.
All of this was put on hold on September 11th, 2001. Many Presidents get to choose the tone they want to set when entering the White House. That was not the case for President George W. Bush. Within his first year of presidency, the terrorist attack on the twin towers took place on September 11th, 2001. President Bush responded to Americans by telling them to remain “calm and resolute” while he and his administration does their best to get rid of terrorism. Because there was a tragic event that took place during his presidency, George W. Bush’s approval rate remained very high for a few years.
This event led to the relationship between President Bush and Congress. Their relationship was like those of many other presidents and Congress, both wanting to be in control and the President doing his best to get Congress to pass the bills he wants. Except because of the terrorist attack on September 11th, the relationship between Congress and President George W. Bush was slightly different than most President-Congress relationships. President Bush and Congress had unity. They tried their best to work together to stop terrorism and prepare the military for future attacks.
Congress approved a $34. 4 billion increase for military defense. The terrorist attack in 2001 set up how President Bush would spend most of his time dealing with foreign affairs. It also showed how he would handle any crisis. As mentioned above, President Bush took to reassuring Americans that the best way to handle a crisis is to stay calm and united. President Bush did start a military campaign to put troops in Iraq which caused some controversy about whether it was necessary or not. When deciding what to do with a crisis, he did not rush into a decision, but gave himself time to think it over.
President Bush entered the office when the economy was already struggling. He tried to help this problem by cutting taxes for everyday people. Although Bush did take steps to try and improve the economy, it did not work. It also did not help that in his first year in office the 9/11 attack took place. The money needed to fix the damage of that attack and to better prepare for future attacks took away from President Bush’s opportunity to help the economy. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina took the lives of many people and damage the property of everyone else.
By the time President George W. Bush left office, the economy was the worst it had been in almost 25 years. Since President George W. Bush is a Republican, many of his domestic policies followed those of most Republicans, but he did believe that it was important for the wealthy to help the underprivileged. He felt that the elderly needed a way to be able to afford all of their medication and he wanted to make schools more accountable for every children. He was successful on making both of these things happen. He passed the No Child Left Behind Act to make the schools and teachers more accountable for all the children.
He also passed the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act to make the elderly’s prescription drugs more affordable. President George W. Bush’s domestic agenda was also affected by the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. He focused on national security and worked on the Patriot Act. The President was capable of completely some of his agenda, but much of it had to be put off until his second term. From 2001 (at the beginning of Bush’s first term) and 2009 (at the end of Bush’s second term), Federal employment increased 13. percent.
In 2001 he issued an important executive order to create the Department of Homeland Security to protect the United States from international threats. During his two terms, President George W. Bush issued 291 Executive orders. In 2003 Valerie Plame’s identity was given out. This was a huge deal because of her position with the CIA. This was also a big deal because people thought that her identity was released on purpose since her husband was looking into whether it was necessary for or the United States to go to war with Iraq.
The biggest scandal under President Bush took place in an Iraq prison. Pictures were released of the prisoners being mistreated and abused. The Abu Ghriab prisoner abuse scandal put the United States Foreign Policy under close watch. Since there was a terrorist attack in the United States in 2001, President George W. Bush’s approval rate skyrocketed to 90% just days after the attack. But slowly his approval rate started to drop and by the time he left office he had an approval rate of only 34%. This large decrease in approval started in 2008 when the economy started to fall.