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George W. Bush has been a huge target of criticism, but many people do not know his great achievements. In his early years as president Bush was faced with a major tragedy, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Before his presidency Bush was a very successful and intelligent man. Many are unaware that George W. Bush attended Yale and Harvard. Bush was very dedicated to politics, and with great experience he became president.
George Walker Bush was born July 6, 1945 in New Haven, Connecticut. After being born the Bush family moved to Midland, Texas. The Bush family lived a short time in Midland, and then they moved again, this time to Houston. This move was short-lived for little George W. as he was sent to boarding school when he was thirteen. Although it seemed like a punishment, Laura and George wanted what was best for their son (Marquez 31).They wanted him to be self reliant and to be able to work on his own.
Following boarding school, Bush attended Phillips Academy, an all boys’ school in Andover, Massachusetts. During his senior year at Phillips Academy he served as head cheerleader. Although having poor grades, he was still able to attend Yale University. Many believe he was able to attend Yale with poor grades, because of his father’s ties with the school.
At Yale University Bush received a bachelor’s degree in history. But, during his senior year he was quite a rabble rouser. Bush was always leading shenanigans. One of these backdoor shenanigans was published by the school newspaper. Bush was accused of branding pledges joining the DKE fraternity. Bush responded to this accusation by saying, “It was no worse than a cigarette burn” (Kachurek 23).
After graduating from Yale University, Bush enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, he avoided going to war in Vietnam. Aside from being in the National Guard Bush searched for a higher education. He submitted an application to the University of Texas, and he was not accepted. George W. was then accepted into Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he did not like the intellectual cliques, and he wanted to be apart from them (Marquez 34). Many of his peers at Harvard saw him constantly chewing tobacco and wearing his flight jacket. Bush managed to graduate from Yale, but with poor grades. He then looked to become an entrepreneur.
George W. Bush created his own oil company in 1976, and then eventually sold it off. He then established himself in Texas by buying a share in the Texas Rangers. At first Bush was unsure what to pursue as a career. He was persuaded by many of his friends to go into politics. Bush began his work on politics on his father’s political campaign. With this experience, he ran for governor of Texas. After winning the election, he he helped the state of Texas in many ways. A few things being, Bush passed a law allowing concealed weapons. He also then used a budget surplus to cut Texas taxes (Kachurek).
With all of his political experience and schooling, Bush was urged by his friends to run for president. At first Bush was unsure if he wanted to run, but after meeting with leading Republicans he was urged to run. In June 1999 Bush announced his running for president. During just a few months Bush raised over 350 million dollars for his campaign. His competition for the Republican nomination included John McCain and Steve Forbes (Jones 53). Bush won the nomination and was thrilled, but he still had a long way to go. He was running against Democrat Al Gore fierce competition. After one of the most controversial elections between Bush and Gore, Bush came out on top. Although Gore won the popular vote, Bush won the most electoral votes (Mitchell 52).
Many portrayed Bush as lacking intelligence, experience, and a casual attitude. People wondered if he was mature and experienced enough to be president. Others assumed he just made it through life on his father’s name. Bush responded to this criticism saying “I learned a lot from my father, but my father and I are different people” (Karchurek 112).
Early in his first term Bush was faced with a major tragedy, the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This was a key turning point in his presidency. His presidential priorities changed from immigration and social security, to the war on terror. The attacks on 9/11 triggered several events in the Bush administration. Bush’s first plan was to relieve the families of those who suffered from attacks of 9/11. Bush’s response was immediate and he met with New York mayor Rudy Gullani on September 14, 2001. The two leaders met to setup up a plan to help those who suffered from the terrorist attacks. After this Bush announced a War on Terrorism, a turning point in his presidency. Eventually twenty other nations joined him in this “war.”The attacks on September 11, 2001 were from a terrorist group called Al Qaeda. Bush’s first actions against the Al Qaeda were aimed at Iraq. Bush believed that Iraq was harboring Al Qaeda terrorists, and weapons of mass destruction. Although no weapons were found many believed Iraq hid them (Sammon 89).
The war in Iraq was somewhat unproductive, and many critics think nothing good came of it. But there were some positives, such as the capture of Saddam Hussein who was Iraq’s merciless dictator. The capture of Saddam Hussein also lead to Iraq’s first democratic election in over fifty years. Bush did not withdraw all troops during his term, but he did withdraw some troops. The American casualty numbers were also very low towards the end of his term.
Aside from the war in Iraq, Bush had many challenges domestically. He believed in Global Warming In 2002 Bush tried to initiate the Clear Skies Act, which would have reduced air pollution. The Clean Skies Act would also have amended the Clean Air Act, but Congress did not approve the bill. Bush also signed the Medicare Drug Benefit Program in 2003, which cost approximately 7 trillion dollars (Marquez 29).
During his second term Bush took steps forward in education by signing the No Child Left Behind Act. This Act provided options for children receiving poor education. It also provided more funding to low income schools. Many people underestimated Bush in his earlier years as president. But he cut taxes to all tax payers by 5%. He signed a 170 billion dollar stimulus package, that created some jobs. The Bush administration also pursued a free tradepolicy. Bush also allowed more than 12 million immigrants to work in the U.S temporary guest worker program (Begala 89).
In Bush’s second term he wanted to reform social security. When he campaigned for social security reforms, interest was slowly withdrawn because of Hurricane Katrina. His initial idea was also very risky business. Bush’s views toward energy were mostly reliant on foreign oil, and to have more alternative fuels. With soaring gas prices in 2008 Bush, lifted a ban on offshore drilling. He also made an effort to increase domestic oil drilling (Kachurek).
George W. Bush has had one of the most significant presidential terms. Early in his presidency, he faced one the most brutal attacks on the United States. Bush was very experienced, and because of this he handled his decisions carefully. Bush had many tough decisions to make, and all through all the criticism he made some right decisions.
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