George W. Bush

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George W. Bush
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{{about|the 43rd president of the United States|his father, the 41st president|George H. W. Bush|other people|George Bush (disambiguation)}}{{Pp-move-indef}}{{Use American English|date=February 2019}}{{short description|43rd president of the United States}}{{Active editnotice}}{{Pp-semi-blp|small=yes}}{{Use mdy dates|date=March 2019}}

New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.}}|death_date = |death_place = Republican Party (United States)>RepublicanLaura Bush>November 5, 1977}}Barbara Bush (born 1981)>BarbaraJennaGeorge H. W. Bush (father)Barbara Bush>Barbara Pierce (mother)|relatives = See Bush familyYale University (Bachelor of Arts>BA)Harvard University (MBA)|signature = GeorgeWBush Signature.svg|signature_alt = Cursive signature in|White House Archives}}"Dubya"George Bush JrCBS News, George W. Bush TimelineHTTPS://WWW.DICTIONARY.COM/E/POLITICS/DUBYA/ >TITLE=WHAT DOES DUBYA MEAN? {{!, Politics by accessdate=December 2, 2018 |language=en-US}}}}United States}}United States}}{{*}}Texas Air National Guard{{*}}Alabama Air National Guard|serviceyears = 1968–1974USAFO2First lieutenant>First Lieutenant147th Reconnaissance Wing|187th Fighter Wing}}United States Aviator Badge>(File:Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg23px) Air Force Outstanding Unit Award>(File:National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg23px) National Defense Service MedalborderMarksmanship Ribbon#Air Force>Small Arms Expert Marksmanship RibbonHTTP://WWW.VETERANTRIBUTES.ORG/TRIBUTEDETAIL.PHP?RECORDID=1627>TITLE=VETERAN TRIBUTES,, }}}}{{George W. Bush series}}George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.Bush is the eldest son of Barbara and George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, and is the second president to so follow in his father's footsteps, the first being John Quincy Adams.WEB, George W. Bush, March 16, 2010,weblink (American Presidents: Life Portraits), C-SPAN, May 6, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, After graduating from Yale University in 1968 and Harvard Business School in 1975, he worked in the oil industry.NEWS,weblink George W. Bush: Life Before the Presidency {{!, Miller Center|date=October 4, 2016|work=Miller Center|access-date=August 12, 2018|language=en-US}} Bush married Laura Welch in 1977 and unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team before defeating Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. Bush was elected President of the United States in 2000 when he defeated Democratic incumbent Vice President Al Gore after a narrow and contested win that involved a stopped recount in Florida. He became the fourth person to be elected president while receiving fewer popular votes than his opponent.WEB, July 31, 2012,,weblink Selection and Succession of the President,weblink" title="">weblink December 1, 2010, dead, In response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, Bush launched a "War on Terror" that initially included the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and the Iraq War in 2003. He signed into law broad tax cuts, the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Medicare prescription drug benefits for seniors, and funding for the AIDS relief program known as PEPFAR. In the 2004 presidential race, Bush defeated Democratic Senator John Kerry in a close election. After his re-election, Bush received criticism from across the political spectrumNEWS, Associated Press, May 5, 2006,weblink Republican right abandoning Bush, MSNBC, June 23, 2009, live, June 9, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink NEWS, Fox News Channel, Kelley Beaucar Vlahos,weblink Illegal Immigration, Unchecked Spending Siphon Conservatives From GOP Base, February 13, 2006, May 11, 2008, live,weblink" title="">weblink March 4, 2009, Baker, Kevin, NEWS, Aug–Sep 2006, June 13, 2011,weblink Second-Term Blues: Why Have Our Presidents Almost Always Stumbled after Their First Four Years?, American Heritage (magazine), American Heritage,weblink" title="">weblink live, for his handling of the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina,WEB,weblink Katrinagate fury spreads to US media, Television New Zealand, TVNZ, September 7, 2005, March 16, 2010, July 17, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink live, NEWS, Mike M., Ahlers, CNN, April 14, 2006,weblink Report: Criticism of FEMA's Katrina response deserved, March 16, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink April 25, 2009, live, WEB, March 16, 2010,weblink Online NewsHour Update: Amid Widespread Criticism, Government Prepares for Next Hurricane Season, PBS, May 9, 2006, August 12, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink dead, and other challenges. Amid this criticism, the Democratic Party regained control of Congress in the 2006 elections. In December 2007, the United States entered its longest post-World War II recession, often referred to as the "Great Recession", prompting the Bush administration to obtain congressional passage of multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's financial system.Bush was among the most popular, as well as unpopular, U.S. presidents in history; he received the highest recorded approval ratings in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but one of the lowest such ratings during the 2008 financial crisis.WEB, Gallup Poll,weblink Bush Job Approval at 28%, Lowest of His Administration, January 20, 2009, April 11, 2008, July 2, 2009, live,weblink" title="">weblink Bush finished his term in office in 2009 and returned to Texas. In 2010, he published his memoir, Decision Points.NEWS, Associated Press, October 7, 2010,weblink George W. Bush's memoir, 'Decision Points', to have print run of 1.5M copies, USA Today, Hillel, Italie, His presidential library opened in 2013. His presidency has been rated below average in historians' polls, although his favorability ratings have improved since leaving office.{{TOC limit|3}}

Early life and career

File:GeorgeWBush1947.png|thumb|left|upright|George W. Bush with his parents, Barbara and George H. W. BushGeorge H. W. BushGeorge Walker Bush was born on July 6, 1946, at Yale–New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, while his father was a student at Yale.NEWS,weblink Bush's Birthplace? It's Deep in the Heart of... New Haven, December 24, 2000, December 27, 2010, The New York Times, Dick, Ahles, October 26, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink live, He was the first child of George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Pierce. He was raised in Midland and Houston, Texas, with four siblings, Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. Another younger sister, Robin, died from leukemia at the age of three in 1953.WEB, September 1, 2008, February 3, 2005,weblink George Walker Bush, Famous Texans,weblink" title="">weblink September 15, 2008, live, His grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut.WEB, February 12, 2010,weblink Bush, Prescott Sheldon, (1895–1972), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, February 3, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink live, His father was Ronald Reagan's vice president from 1981 to 1989 and the 41st U.S. president from 1989 to 1993. Bush has English and some German ancestry, along with more distant Dutch, Welsh, Irish, French, and Scottish roots.WEB, Ancestry of George W. Bush,,weblink April 20, 2010,


Bush attended public schools in Midland, Texas, until the family moved to Houston after he had completed seventh grade. He then spent two years at The Kinkaid School, a prep school in Piney Point Village in the Houston area.Bush, then the Governor of Texas, was the commencement speaker at St. John's Academy in 1995: WEB, May 1, 2008,weblink An Inventory of Press Office Speech Files at the Texas State Archives, 1986, 1989–2000, undated (bulk 1995–2000), Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Bush attended high school at Phillips Academy, a boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts, where he played baseball and was the head cheerleader during his senior year.NEWS, June 10, 2000,weblink George W. Bush's Journey The Cheerleader: Earning A's in People Skills at Andover, Nicholas D. Kristof, Nicholas D., Kristof, The New York Times, September 1, 2008, March 11, 2005, live,weblink" title="">weblink NEWS,weblink The Observer, December 3, 2000, January 24, 2011, London, Ruthian rise of Dubya, Simon, Kuper, October 26, 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink He attended Yale University from 1964 to 1968, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.WEB, Biography of President George W. Bush,weblink The White House, June 23, 2009, June 26, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, During this time, he was a cheerleader and a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon, serving as the president of the fraternity during his senior year.NEWS,weblink Bush: So-So Student but a Campus Mover, Lois, Romano, George, Lardner, Jr., The Washington Post, July 27, 1999, April 8, 2009, WEB,weblink Cheerleading of the '20s: Epitome of masculinity, Yale Daily News, July 31, 2012, Simone, Berkower,weblink" title="">weblink October 10, 2012, dead, WEB, Jessica, Feinstein, Jennifer, Sabin,weblink DKE & YPU: Filling precedential shoes, The Yale Daily News,weblink" title="">weblink April 11, 2009, October 7, 2004, April 8, 2009, dead, Bush became a member of the Skull and Bones society as a senior.Bush, George W., A Charge to Keep, (1999) {{ISBN|0-688-17441-8}} Bush was a rugby union player and was on Yale's 1st XV.Cain, Nick & Growden, Greg "Chapter 21: Ten Peculiar Facts about Rugby" in Rugby Union for Dummies (2nd Edition), Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, p. 297 {{ISBN|978-0-470-03537-5}} He characterized himself as an average student.NEWS, Associated Press,weblink Self-Deprecating Bush Talks to Yale Grads, Fox News Channel, May 21, 2001, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink November 19, 2007, dead, mdy-all, ; NEWS, Inside Politics,weblink Bush/Gore Grades and SAT Scores, June 17, 2005, September 1, 2008, live,weblink" title="">weblink September 5, 2008, His GPA during his first three years at Yale was 77, and he had a similar average under a nonnumeric rating system in his final year.NEWS, The New York Times, March 24, 2012, June 8, 2005,weblink Kerry Grades Near Bush's While at Yale, May 6, 2009, live,weblink" title="">weblink After his application to the University of Texas School of Law was rejected, Bush entered Harvard Business School in the fall of 1973. He graduated in 1975 with an MBA degree. He is the only U.S. president to have earned an MBA.John Solomon, Bush, Harvard Business School and the Makings of a President, The New York Times (June 18, 2000). See also James P. Pfiffner, The First MBA President: George W. Bush as Public Administrator, Public Administration Review (January/February 2007), p. 7.

Family and personal life

{{See also|Bush family}}File:Bush daughters.png|thumb|left|George and Laura Bush with their daughters Jenna and Barbara, 1990]]Bush was initially engaged to Cathryn Lee Wolfman in 1967, but the engagement eventually fizzled out. Bush and Wolfman remained on good terms after the end of the relationship.Fleck, Tim (March 25, 1999). "The Woman George W. Bush Didn't Marry." Houston Retrieved April 4, 2019. While Bush was at a backyard barbecue in 1977, friends introduced him to Laura Welch, a schoolteacher and librarian. After a three-month courtship, she accepted his marriage proposal and they wed on November 5 of that year.NEWS,weblink Read her lips: Literacy efforts on first lady's agenda, April 8, 2001, May 12, 2008, CNN,weblink" title="">weblink May 12, 2008, dead, The couple settled in Midland, Texas. Bush left his family's Episcopal Church to join his wife's United Methodist Church.WEB,weblink The Jesus Factor, September 1, 2008, PBS, On November 25, 1981, Laura Bush gave birth to fraternal twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.

Alcohol abuse

Prior to getting married, Bush struggled with multiple episodes of alcohol abuse.NEWS, Lois, Romano, George Lardner Jr,weblink Bush's Life-Changing Year, The Washington Post, July 25, 1999, September 1, 2008, In one instance on September 4, 1976, he was pulled over near his family's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was cited for DUI, fined $150 ({{Inflation|US|150|1976|fmt=eq}}), and got his Maine driver's license briefly suspended.WEB,weblink 2000 Driving Record, November 2, 2000, September 1, 2008, Department of the Secretary of State of Maine,weblink" title="">weblink September 15, 2008, live, NEWS, Adam, Cohen,weblink Fallout From A Midnight Ride, September 1, 2008, November 13, 2000, Time, May 24, 2008, live,weblink" title="">weblink Bush said his wife has had a stabilizing effect on his life, and he attributes her influence to his 1986 decision to give up alcohol.NEWS, January 23, 2000,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink October 12, 2007, Turning Point: George W. Bush, A Legacy Reclaimed, Leonard, Mary, September 1, 2008, The Boston Globe, dead, 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 has been an avid reader throughout his adult life, preferring biographies and histories.NEWS, Cohen, Richard, George W. Bush as an Avid Reader, The Washington Post, December 30, 2008,weblink August 6, 2014, He read 14 Lincoln biographies, and during the last three years of his presidency, he reportedly read 186 books. During his presidency, Bush read the Bible daily,WEB,weblink George W. Bush Says He Read the Bible Every Day of His Presidency, at Museum of the Bible Event, Gryboski, Michael, The Christian Post, February 26, 2015, though at the end of his second term he said on television that he is "not a literalist" about Bible interpretation.WEB,weblink The Raw Story {{!, Bush: Bible 'probably not' literally true|last=Agence France-Presse|date=8 December 2008|website=Raw Story|archive-url=|archive-date=|url-status=|access-date=2019-07-06}} Walt Harrington, a journalist, recalled seeing "books by John Fowles, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Gore Vidal lying about, as well as biographies of Willa Cather and Queen Victoria" in his home when Bush was a Texas oilman. Other activities include cigar smoking and golf.NEWS,weblink Dubya and Me, The American Scholar, Autumn 2011, September 10, 2011, Harrington, Walt, After leaving the White House, Bush took up oil painting.George W. Bush Talks About Life After the White House at Memphis Hospital Celebration. The Daily Beast July 17, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2013.

Military career

{{See also|Killian documents controversy|Killian documents authenticity issues}}File:GW-Bush-in-uniform.jpg|thumb|upright|Lt. George W. Bush in the Texas Air National GuardTexas Air National GuardIn May 1968, Bush was commissioned into the Texas Air National Guard.NEWS,weblinkweblink June 5, 2016, Bush's Guard Service In Question, September 1, 2008, Romano, Lois, February 3, 2004, The Washington Post, A08, dead, After two years of training in active-duty service,NEWS, Lardner, George Jr., Lois Romano,weblink At Height of Vietnam, Bush Picks Guard, The Washington Post, July 28, 1999, he was assigned to Houston, flying Convair F-102s with the 147th Reconnaissance Wing out of the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base.NEWS, Byron, York,weblink The Facts about Bush and the National Guard, National Review, August 26, 2004, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink August 30, 2008, dead, Critics, including former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, have alleged that Bush was favorably treated due to his father's political standing as a member of the House of Representatives, 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 released all the records of Bush's Texas Air National Guard service, which remain in its official archives.NEWS, Department of Defense,weblink Official DoD service records of Texas Air National Guard member George Walker Bush, June 17, 2005, September 1, 2008, September 30, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink dead, In late 1972 and early 1973, he drilled with the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard. He had moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to work on the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Winton M. Blount.NEWS, October 26, 2002,weblink Winton Blount, 81, a Founder Of the New Postal Service, The New York Times, February 12, 2010, live, May 13, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink NEWS, Walker, Jessica M.,weblink Bush seen in Alabama in 1972, USA Today, February 13, 2004, February 12, 2010, In 1972, Bush was suspended from flying for failure to take a scheduled physical exam.Rutenberg, Jim (May 17, 2004). NEWS,weblink A Film to Polarize Along Party Lines, The New York Times, Jim, Rutenberg, May 17, 2004, January 30, 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink He was honorably discharged from the Air Force Reserve on November 21, 1974.NEWS, Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Jeff Birnbaum, Charles Krauthammer, The All-Star Panel Discusses John Kerry's Shifting Positions on Iraq War Spending, Fox News Network (transcript), July 9, 2004,

Business career

File:Reagan Contact Sheet C49384 (cropped).jpg|thumb|Bush greeting President Ronald ReaganRonald ReaganIn 1977, Bush established Arbusto Energy, a small oil exploration company, although it did not begin operations until the following year.NEWS, Lardner, George, Jr., Romano, Lois, Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings, Washington Post, November 24, 2016, July 30, 1999,weblink JOURNAL, Stone, Peter H., Big oil's White House pipelines, National Journal, July 4, 2001, 33, 1042, 0360-4217, He later changed the name to Bush Exploration. In 1984, his company merged with the larger Spectrum 7, and Bush became chairman.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink George Bush, August 3, 2008, MSN Encarta,weblink November 1, 2009, dead, The company was hurt by decreased oil prices, and it folded into HKN, Inc.,NEWS, Carlisle, John K, George Soros's Plan to Defeat George Bush, Human Events, January 3, 2004, with Bush becoming a member of HKN's board of directors. Questions of possible insider trading involving HKN arose, but a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation concluded that the information Bush had at the time of his stock sale was not sufficient to constitute insider trading.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink September 18, 2008, Files: Bush Knew Firm's Plight Before Stock Sale, The Washington Post, July 21, 2002, September 1, 2008, In April 1989, Bush arranged for a group of investors to purchase a controlling interest in the Texas Rangers baseball franchise for $89 million and invested $500,000 himself to start. He then served as managing general partner for five years.WEB,weblink A series of beneficial moves, ESPN, Farrey, Tom, November 1, 1999, March 4, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink July 24, 2008, dead, He actively led the team's projects and regularly attended its games, often choosing to sit in the open stands with fans.WEB, September 1, 2008,weblink George W. Bush in Little League uniform, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Bush's sale of his shares in the Rangers in 1998 brought him over $15 million from his initial $800,000 investment.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, April 5, 2004, 1998 Tax return, September 1, 2008,

Early political involvement

(File:President Bush walks up the South Lawn towards the Oval Office with his son, George W. Bush - NARA - 186449.tif|thumb|upright|George W. Bush with his father outside the White House, April 29, 1992)In 1978, Bush ran for the House of Representatives from Texas's 19th congressional district. The retiring member, George H. Mahon, had held the district for the Democratic Party since 1935. Bush's opponent, Kent Hance, portrayed him as out of touch with rural Texans, and Bush lost the election with 46.8 percent of the vote to Hance's 53.2 percent.NEWS,weblink Bush Wasn't Always a Front-Runner, The Washington Post, October 17, 1999, September 1, 2008, Bush and his family moved to Washington, D.C., in 1988 to work on his father's campaign for the U.S. presidency.BOOK, Bush, George W., Bill Adler, The Quotable George W. Bush: A Portrait in His Own Words, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2004, 978-0-7407-4154-8, 237927420, NEWS, June 17, 2005, September 1, 2008, PBS,weblink George W. Bush and the religious right in the 1988 campaign of George H.W. Bush, He served as a campaign advisor and liaison to the media, and assisted his father by campaigning across the country. In December 1991, Bush was one of seven people named by his father to run his father's 1992 presidential re-election campaign, as a "campaign advisor".NEWS, Seven Who Will Manage Bush's 1992 Presidential Campaign, December 6, 1991, The New York Times,weblink June 23, 2009, The previous month, his father had asked him to tell White House chief of staff John H. Sununu he should resign.NEWS, The White House: Clearing the Decks, Jack E. White, Laurence I. Barrett, December 16, 1991, Time,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink July 24, 2008, dead,

Governor of Texas (1995–2000)

Bush declared his candidacy for the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election at the same time his brother Jeb sought the governorship of Florida. His campaign focused on four themes: welfare reform, tort reform, crime reduction, and education improvement. Bush's campaign advisers were Karen Hughes, Joe Allbaugh, and Karl Rove.BOOK, Wayne Slater, James Moore, 2003, Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential, Wiley, 978-0-471-42327-0, 210, File:George H. W. Bush, Laura Bush, George W. Bush 1997.jpg|thumb|left|Governor Bush (right) with father, former president George H. W. BushGeorge H. W. BushAfter easily winning the Republican primary, Bush faced popular Democratic incumbent Governor Ann Richards.NEWS,weblink Ann Richards, Telegraph (UK), September 15, 2005, November 25, 2008, London, 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 into law after he became governor.NEWS, Tapper, Jake,weblink Salon News, Guns and Money, August 11, 1999, June 23, 2009, July 24, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, According to The Atlantic Monthly, 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".NEWS,weblink The Atlantic, Karl Rove in a Corner, Joshua, Green, November 2004, November 25, 2008, July 24, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, The Atlantic, and others, connected the lesbian rumor to Karl Rove,NEWS, Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau,weblink CIA Leak Probe: Libby Indicted / Powerful aide Rove could still feel heat from investigation, San Francisco Chronicle, October 29, 2005, January 22, 2009, July 24, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, but Rove denied being involved.WEB,weblink Los Angeles News â€“ Don't Mess With Texas â€“ page 1, LA Weekly, September 16, 2004, January 22, 2009, July 24, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush won the general election with 53.5 percent against Richards' 45.9 percent.WEB,weblink Texas Almanac, Elections of Texas Governors, 1845–2010, ;ENCYCLOPEDIA, MSN Encarta, George Bush, November 1, 2009,weblinkweblink dead, (File:Texas Governor Election Results by County, 1994.svg|thumb|upright=1.1|Results of the 1994 gubernatorial election in Texas)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.WEB,weblink Violence Against Women Act: History and Federal Funding, December 1, 2005, Congressional Research Service â€“ The Library of Congress, May 24, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 23, 2013, Critics contended that during his tenure, Texas ranked near the bottom in environmental evaluations. Supporters pointed to his efforts to raise the salaries of teachers and improve educational test scores.In 1999, Bush signed a law that required electric retailers to buy a certain amount of energy from renewable sources (RPS),SB7 Law textTexas Legislature Online, May 1999. Retrieved September 24, 2011.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink March 4, 2013, Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard, Texas State Energy Conservation Office, September 24, 2011, NEWS,weblink Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, September 24, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink April 27, 2012, dead, which helped Texas eventually become the leading producer of wind powered electricity in the U.S.Koronowski, Ryan. weblink" title="">It's Not Just Oil: Wind Power Approaches 8% of Texas Electricity in 2010 ''Repower America', January 19, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011.NEWS, Galbraith, Kate and Price, Asher,weblink A mighty wind, 5, Texas Monthly, August 2011, February 26, 2014, July 30, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, WEB, July 28, 2011,weblink Swift Boats and Texas Wind,, July 31, 2012, July 30, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, In 1998, Bush won re-election with a record 69 percent of the vote.NEWS, Associated Press, November 3, 1998, June 30, 2006,weblink Texas Gov. George W. Bush wins in landslide, CNN,weblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2006, dead, 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 extended those terms to four years starting in 1975.WEB,weblink" title="">weblink February 11, 2009,weblink Texas Politics â€“ The Executive Branch,, March 18, 2016, In his second term, Bush promoted faith-based organizations and enjoyed high approval ratings. He proclaimed June 10, 2000, to be Jesus Day in Texas, a day on which he urged all Texans to "answer the call to serve those in need".WEB,weblink Jesus Day proclamation, September 1, 2008, March 17, 2000, JPEG, Throughout Bush's first term, he was the focus of national attention as a potential future presidential candidate. Following his re-election, speculation soared, and within a year he decided to seek the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.

Presidential campaigns

2000 presidential candidacy

{{See also|George W. Bush 2000 presidential campaign}}


(File:George W. Bush in Concord, New Hampshire signing papers for presidential run.jpg|thumb|George W. Bush in Concord, New Hampshire, signing to be a candidate for president)Incumbent Democratic president Bill Clinton was in his second and final term, and the field for nomination in both parties was wide open. Bush was the Governor of Texas in June 1999 when he announced his candidacy for President, joining John McCain, Alan Keyes, Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, Orrin Hatch, Elizabeth Dole, Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, John Kasich, and Bob Smith.Bush portrayed himself as a compassionate conservative, implying he was more centrist than other Republicans. He campaigned on a platform that included bringing integrity and honor back to the White House, increasing the size of the United States Armed Forces, cutting taxes, improving education, and aiding minorities. By early 2000, the race had centered on Bush and McCain.Bush won the Iowa caucuses, and although he was heavily favored to win the New Hampshire primary, he trailed McCain by 19 percent and lost that primary. Despite this, Bush regained momentum, and according to political observers, he effectively became the front runner after the South Carolina primary, which—according to The Boston Globe—made history for his campaign's negativity. The New York Times described it as a smear campaign.NEWS,weblink The anatomy of a smear campaign, The Boston Globe, Davis, Richard H., March 21, 2004, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2006, dead, NEWS, Hook, Janet, Michael Finnegan,weblink McCain loses some of his rebel edge, Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2007, June 23, 2009, May 15, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, NEWS,weblink Confronting Ghosts of 2000 in South Carolina, The New York Times, October 19, 2007, April 14, 2013, Steinhauer, Jennifer,weblink" title="">weblink December 9, 2008, dead,

General election

(File:ElectoralCollege2000.svg|thumb|upright=1.3|2000 electoral vote results)On July 25, 2000, Bush surprised some observers when he selected Dick Cheney—a former White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Representative, and Secretary of Defense—to be his running mate. At the time, Cheney was serving as head of Bush's vice presidential search committee. Soon after at the 2000 Republican National Convention, Bush and Cheney were officially nominated by the Republican Party.Bush continued to campaign across the country and touted his record as Governor of Texas. During his campaign, Bush criticized his Democratic opponent, incumbent Vice President Al Gore, over gun control and taxation.NEWS, Sack, Kevin, Toner, Robin, August 13, 2000,weblink The 2000 Campaign: The Record; In Congress, Gore Selected Issues Ready for Prime Time, The New York Times, June 23, 2009, May 15, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, When the election returns were tallied on November 7, Bush had won 29 states, including Florida. The closeness of the Florida outcome led to a recount. The initial recount also went to Bush, but the outcome was tied up in lower courts for a month until eventually reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.George W. Bush, et al., Petitioners v. Albert Gore, Jr., et al., 531 U.S. 98 (2000). Retrieved February 12, 2010. On December 9, in the controversial Bush v. Gore ruling,NEWS,weblink Poll: Majority of Americans accept Bush as legitimate president, April 27, 2011, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc, December 13, 2000, {{dead link|date=January 2019|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}} the Court reversed a Florida Supreme Court decision that had ordered 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 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The machine recount showed that Bush had won the Florida vote by a margin of 537 votes out of six million cast.WEB, December 2001,weblink 2000 Official General Election Presidential Results, September 1, 2008, Federal Election Commission, Although he had received 543,895 fewer individual nationwide votes than Gore, Bush won the election, receiving 271 electoral votes to Gore's 266 (Gore's statewide victories had electoral votes tallying 267; however, one of Gore's pledged electors abstained, rendering the official tally at 266). Bush was the first person to win an American presidential election with fewer popular votes than another candidate since Benjamin Harrison in 1888.

2004 presidential candidacy

(File:Bush 43 10-19-04 Stpete.jpg|thumb|upright|George W. Bush speaks at a campaign rally in 2004)(File:ElectoralCollege2004.svg|thumb|upright=1.3|2004 electoral vote results)In his 2004 bid for re-election, Bush commanded broad support in the Republican Party and did not encounter a primary challenge. He appointed Ken Mehlman as campaign manager, and Karl Rove devised a political strategy.WEB,weblink An Interview With Karl Rove, September 1, 2008, August 1, 2004, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS, May 26, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush and the Republican platform emphasized a strong commitment to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, support for the USA PATRIOT Act,WEB,weblink 2004 Republican Party Platform: on Civil Rights, August 20, 2008,,weblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2006, dead, a renewed shift in policy for constitutional amendments banning abortion and same-sex marriage,After initial comments made in March, there was no statement on the latter issue until June. NEWS, Rosenberg, Debra, A Gay-Marriage Wedge, Newsweek, 143, 26, June 28, 2004, 8, reforming Social Security to create private investment accounts, creation of an ownership society, and opposing mandatory carbon emissions controls.WEB,, 2004 Republican Party Platform: on Energy & Oil, August 20, 2008,weblink February 18, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush also called for the implementation of a guest worker program for immigrants,NEWS,weblink The 2004 Campaign: The Republican Agenda; Draft GOP Platform Backs Bush on Security, Gay Marriage, and Immigration, June 23, 2009, August 25, 2004, The New York Times, Kirkpatrick, David D, May 13, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead, which was criticized by conservatives.NEWS, The New York Times, June 23, 2009, August 26, 2004, Kirkpatrick, David D, The 2004 Campaign: The Platform; Conservatives Mount Stem Cell and Immigration Challenges,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2006, dead, The Bush campaign advertised across the U.S. against Democratic candidates, including Bush's emerging opponent, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. 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 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.In the election, Bush carried 31 of 50 states, receiving a total of 286 electoral votes. He won an absolute majority of the popular vote (50.7 percent to his opponent's 48.3 percent).NEWS,weblink And now... four more years, September 1, 2008, November 4, 2004, The Guardian, London, Julian, Borger, May 15, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush's father George H.W. Bush was the previous president who won an absolute majority of the popular vote; he accomplished that feat in the 1988 election. Additionally, it was the first time since Herbert Hoover's election in 1928 that a Republican president was elected alongside re-elected Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress.

Presidency (2001–2009)

(File:President George W. Bush addresses the media at the Pentagon on Sept. 17, 2001.jpg|thumb|President Bush addressing the media at the Pentagon, September 17, 2001)Bush had originally outlined an ambitious domestic agenda, but his priorities were significantly altered following the September 11 attacks.NEWS,weblink From His 'Great Goals' of 2000, President's Achievements Mixed, June 19, 2009, September 2, 2004, The Washington Post, Milbank, Dana, Wars were waged in Afghanistan and Iraq, and there were significant domestic debates regarding immigration, healthcare, Social Security, economic policy, and treatment of terrorist detainees. Over an eight-year period, Bush's once-high approval ratingsWEB,weblink Bush Job Approval Highest in Gallup History, Gallup Poll, October 20, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2006, dead, steadily declined, while his disapproval numbers increased significantly.NEWS,weblink President Bush's Approval Ratings, The Washington Post, June 23, 2009, In 2007, the United States entered the longest post-World War II recession.NEWS, Krasny, Ron,weblink SF Fed Economics see longest recession since WW2, April 24, 2009, April 24, 2009, Reuters, June 6, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead,

Domestic policy

Economic policy

Bush took office during a period of economic recession in the wake of the bursting of the dot-com bubble.Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing, Roger Lowenstein, Penguin Books, 2004, {{ISBN|1-59420-003-3}}, {{ISBN|978-1-59420-003-8}} page 114-115 The terrorist attacks also impacted the economy. His administration increased federal government spending from $1.789 trillion to $2.983 trillion (60 percent), while revenues increased from $2.025 trillion to $2.524 trillion (from 2000 to 2008). Individual income tax revenues increased by 14 percent, corporate tax revenues by 50 percent, customs and duties by 40 percent. Discretionary defense spending was increased by 107 percent, discretionary domestic spending by 62 percent, Medicare spending by 131 percent, social security by 51 percent, and income security spending by 130 percent. Cyclically adjusted, revenues rose by 35 percent and spending by 65 percent.Historical Budget Data, Congressional Budget Office, Tables F-1, F-3, F-7, F-9, and F-12.The increase in spending was more than under any predecessor since Lyndon B. Johnson.Spending Under President George W. Bush, Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Mar 2009, Table 2 The number of economic regulation governmental workers increased by 91,196.WEB, Bush's Regulatory Kiss-Off â€“ Obama's assertions to the contrary, the 43rd president was the biggest regulator since Nixon,weblink Reason, January 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, September 2, 2009, May 13, 2012, File:Bushtaxcuts.jpg|thumb|upright|left|President Bush signing a $1.35 trillion tax cut into law, June 7, 2001]]The surplus in fiscal year 2000 was $237 billion—the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever.Office of Management! and Budget; National Economic Council, September 27, 2000 In 2001, Bush's budget estimated that there would be a $5.6 trillion surplus over the next ten years.weblink" title="">A BLUEPRINT FOR NEW BEGINNINGS â€“ A RESPONSIBLE BUDGET FOR AMERICA'S PRIORITIES, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON 2001, page 7 Facing congressional opposition, Bush held townhall style meetings across the U.S. in order to increase public support for his plan for a $1.35 trillion tax cut program—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." Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan warned of a recession and Bush stated that a tax cut would stimulate the economy and create jobs.NEWS, Kelly, Wallace,weblink $1.35 trillion tax cut becomes law, CNN InsidePolitics archives, June 7, 2001, June 30, 2006, May 15, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, opposed some of the tax cuts on the basis that they would contribute to budget deficits and undermine Social Security.NEWS, CBS Interviews Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill,weblink September 1, 2008, May 15, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, O'Neill disputes the claim, made in Bush's book Decision Points, that he never openly disagreed with him on planned tax cuts.NEWS,weblink O'Neill Says He 'Clearly' Disagreed With Bush Tax Cuts, The Washington Post, December 12, 2010, December 6, 2010, By 2003, the economy showed signs of improvement, though job growth remained stagnant. Another tax cut program was passed that year.During the 2001 to 2008 years, GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.125 percent,WEB,weblink Gross Domestic Product, Bureau of Economic Analysis, August 1, 2013, July 31, 2013, less than for past business cycles.WEB,weblink Price, L., Ratner, D, October 26, 2005, Economy pays price for Bush's tax cuts, June 23, 2009, May 15, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush entered office with the Dow Jones Industrial Average 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.WEB,weblink Historical Prices for Dow Jones Industrial Average, Yahoo! Finance, October 5, 2013,weblink live, Only four other US presidents have left office with the stock market lower than when they began.Lim, Paul J. "100 Year Curse". Money, February 9, 2018File:Deficits vs. Debt Increases - 2009.png|thumb|upright=1.35|Deficit and debt increases 2001–2009. Gross debt has increased over $500 billion each year since FY2003.]]Unemployment originally rose from 4.2 percent in January 2001 to 6.3 percent in June 2003, but subsequently dropped to 4.5 percent {{as of|2007|July|lc=y|df=US}}.WEB, September 1, 2008,weblink Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, United States Department of Labor, October 5, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink live, Adjusted for inflation, median household income dropped by $1,175 between 2000 and 2007,NEWS, Middle class: 'On the edge',weblink CNN, Tami, Luhby, July 24, 2008, July 24, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink September 14, 2013, live, while Professor Ken Homa of Georgetown University has noted that "Median real after-tax household income went up two percent".WEB,weblink From Clinton to Bush, after-tax household income is up!, The Homa Files, Ken, Homa,weblink" title="">weblink live, September 19, 2013, The poverty rate increased from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 12.3 percent in 2006 after peaking at 12.7 percent in 2004.WEB, Historical Poverty Timeline,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink January 3, 2007, United States Census, December 31, 2006, dead, By October 2008, due to increases in spending,Greenburg, Jan Crawford. Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court, 2007, Penguin Books, p. 273 the national debt had risen to $11.3 trillion,Debt nation, post two, Small Business Services CPA Group, Inc. an increase of over 100 percent from 2000 when the debt was only $5.6 trillion.WEB, Revenues, Outlays, Surpluses, Deficits, and Debt Held by the Public, 1962 to 2006, Congressional Budget Office, September 1, 2008,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink June 28, 2007, dead, NEWS,weblink Spending and the National Debt, September 1, 2008, September 2, 2007, The Washington Times, October 5, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Most debt was accumulated as a result of what became known as the "Bush tax cuts" and increased national security spending.WEB,weblink Fiedler, R., Kogan, December 13, 2006, From Surplus to Deficit: Legislation Enacted Over the Last Six Years Has Raised the Debt by $2.3 Trillion, November 10, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink October 5, 2013, dead, In March 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama said when he voted against raising the debt ceiling: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure."NEWS, Chicago Tribune,weblink Saying 'no' to raising the debt ceiling, April 11, 2011, October 5, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, By the end of Bush's presidency, unemployment climbed to 7.2 percent.WEB, 2008 Employment Situation,weblink United States Department of Labor, June 23, 2009, In December 2007, the United States entered the longest post–World War II recession, which included a housing market correction, a subprime mortgage crisis, soaring oil prices, and a declining dollar value.NEWS,weblink Guodong, Du, Dollar hits record low against euro, oil prices rally, Xinhua News Agency, February 27, 2008, June 23, 2009, October 5, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, In February, 63,000 jobs were lost, a five-year record.Aversa, Jeannine, Employers Slash 63,000 Jobs in February, Most in 5 Years, Feeding Recession Fears", Associated Press, March 7, 2008. Retrieved July 11, 2008.NEWS,weblink Recession in the US 'has arrived', BBC News, January 8, 2008, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink October 5, 2013, dead, 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,NEWS,weblink New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, June 23, 2009, September 11, 2003, Stephen, Labaton, The New York Times,weblink" title="">weblink October 5, 2013, dead, 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.NEWS,weblink The Reckoning â€“ Bush's Philosophy Stoked the Mortgage Bonfire, December 20, 2008, 4 of 6, JO, Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Stephen Labaton, The New York Times,weblink" title="">weblink October 5, 2013, dead, WEB,weblink H.R. 1461 (109th): Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005, May 25, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink live, March 5, 2012, NEWS,weblink Bush can share the blame for financial crisis, October 9, 2008, September 20, 2008, Landler, Mark, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times,weblink" title="">weblink April 14, 2014, dead, In September 2008, the crisis became much more serious beginning with the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac followed by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a federal bailout of American International Group for $85 billion.See American International Group for details and citations.Many economists and world governments determined that the situation had become the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.NEWS,weblink A financial crisis unmatched since the Great Depression, Elliott, Larry, March 18, 2008, June 23, 2009, The Guardian, London,weblink" title="">weblink November 11, 2012, dead, NEWS,weblink Worst Financial Crisis Since '30s, With No End Yet in Sight, Fox News Channel, September 18, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink November 11, 2013, June 23, 2009, dead, Additional regulation over the housing market would have been beneficial, according to former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan.NEWS,weblink The Washington Post, December 9, 2008, October 24, 2008, Greenspan Says He Was Wrong On Regulation, Irwin, Neil, Amit R. Paley, Bush, meanwhile, proposed a financial rescue plan to buy back a large portion of the U.S. mortgage market.NEWS,weblink Bush hails financial rescue plan, September 22, 2008, BBC News, September 20, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink October 5, 2013, dead, Vince Reinhardt, a former Federal Reserve economist now at the American Enterprise Institute, 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 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.NEWS,weblink MSN Money, Blacklisted News, Employers cut 533K jobs in November, most in 34 years, December 5, 2008, June 23, 2009, March 2, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink dead, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in the last four months of 2008, 1.9 million jobs were lost.WEB, Bureau of Labor Statistics,weblink January 9, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink October 6, 2013, live, By the end of 2008, the U.S. had lost a total of 2.6 million jobs.NEWS,weblink David, Goldman, Worst year for jobs since '45, CNN, January 9, 2009, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink October 6, 2013, dead,

Education and health

Bush undertook a number of educational agendas, such as increasing the funding for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health 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.NEWS, President Bush and House Republicans Undermine Life Saving Health Research, United States House of Representatives, September 12, 2006, File:No Child Left Behind Act.jpg|thumb|President Bush signing the No Child Left Behind ActNo Child Left Behind ActOne of the administration's early major initiatives was the No Child Left Behind Act, 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 of Massachusetts.NEWS, The New York Times,weblink March 16, 2010, September 26, 2010, Sam, Dillon, No Child Left Behind Act, October 6, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, It was signed into law by Bush in early 2002.WEB,weblink President Signs Landmark No Child Left Behind Education Bill, January 8, 2002, The White House, May 5, 2008, October 6, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 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.NEWS,weblink Scores Up Since 'No Child' Was Signed, May 30, 2008, June 6, 2007, The Washington Post, Paley, Amit R, Critics argue that it is underfundedNEWS, W. James Antle III, Leaving No Child Left Behind, August 1, 2005,weblink The American Conservative, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink September 21, 2012, dead, and that NCLBA's focus on "high-stakes testing" and quantitative outcomes is counterproductive.NEWS, Harvard Graduate School of Education,weblink No Child Left Behind?, HGSE News, June 1, 2002, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink October 6, 2013, dead, Harvard Graduate School of Education, ; BOOK, Raising Standards or Raising Barriers?, Edited by Gary Orfield, Mindy L. Kornhaber, The Century Foundation Press, May 1, 2001, After being re-elected, Bush signed into law a Medicare drug benefit program that, according to Jan Crawford, resulted in "the greatest expansion in America's welfare state in forty years" – the bill's costs approached $7 trillion.Greenburg, Jan Crawford, Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court, 2007, Penguin Books, p. 274 In 2007, Bush opposed and vetoed State Children's Health Insurance Program (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.NEWS, Michael Abramowitz, Jonathan Weisman,weblink Bush Vetoes Health Measure, The Washington Post, October 4, 2007, October 9, 2007, 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.NEWS, October 4, 2007,weblink Bush Vetoes Child Health Bill Privately, The New York Times, September 1, 2008,

Social services and Social Security

Following Republican efforts to pass the Medicare Act of 2003, Bush signed the bill, which included major changes to the Medicare program by providing beneficiaries with some assistance in paying for prescription drugs, while relying on private insurance for the delivery of benefits.WEB,weblink Summary of Medicare Act of 2003, August 20, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink July 24, 2008, dead, The retired persons lobby group AARP 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".WEB, The White House,weblink President Signs Medicare Legislation, December 8, 2003, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink October 6, 2013, dead, (File:President George W. Bush discussing Social Security.jpg|thumb|left|President Bush discussing Social Security reform at the Lake Nona YMCA Family Center in Orlando, Florida, March 18, 2005)Bush began his second term by outlining a major initiative to "reform" Social Security,NEWS, Wolk, Martin, MSNBC,weblink Bush pushes his Social Security overhaul, August 20, 2008, February 16, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink October 21, 2012, dead, 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, 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) into secured investments. Democrats opposed the proposal to partially privatize the system.Bush embarked on a 60-day national tour, campaigning for his initiative in media events known as "Conversations on Social Security" in an attempt to gain public support.NEWS, September 1, 2008,weblink Social Security: On With the Show, Jim VandeHei, Peter Baker, February 12, 2005, The Washington Post, Nevertheless, public support for the proposal declined,NEWS, April 28, 2005,weblink Bush shifts approach on Social Security reform, September 9, 2007, Financial Times, and the House Republican leadership decided not to put Social Security reform on the priority list for the remainder of their 2005 legislative agenda.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink December 5, 2005, Social Security in Limbo, The Hill, June 1, 2005, Patrick, O'Connor, dead, The proposal's legislative prospects were further diminished by autumn 2005 due to political fallout from the response to Hurricane Katrina.WEB, Hurricane dims Bush's hopes on Social Security, September 22, 2005, Yeager, Holly,weblink September 9, 2007, Financial Times,weblink" title="">weblink September 23, 2005, dead, After the Democrats gained control of both houses of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections, there was no prospect of further congressional action on the Bush proposal for the remainder of his term in office.

Environmental policies

Upon taking office in 2001, Bush stated his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which seeks to impose mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, citing that the treaty exempted 80 percent of the world's populationWEB, March 13, 2001,weblink Letter from the President to Senators Hagel, Helms, Craig, and Roberts, Office of the Press Secretary,weblink" title="">weblink dead, May 7, 2013, and would have cost tens of billions of dollars per year.WEB,weblink Summary of the Kyoto Report â€“ Assessment of Economic Impacts, Energy Information Administration, July 16, 2002,weblink" title="">weblink dead, May 23, 2011, 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 to create an interagency task force to streamline energy projects,Bush, George W. Executive Order 13212 â€“ Actions To Expedite Energy-Related Projects United States Department of Energy, May 18, 2001. Amendment. Retrieved September 24, 2011. and later signed two other executive orders to tackle environmental issues.WEB, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Kelly K. Sovacool, Preventing National Electricity-Water Crisis Areas in the United States,weblink Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, September 24, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink December 8, 2013, 389, July 20, 2009, Benjamin K. Sovacool, In 2002, Bush announced the Clear Skies Act of 2003,WEB,weblink Executive Summary â€“ The Clear Skies Initiative, The White House, February 14, 2002, September 1, 2008, which aimed at amending the Clean Air Act to reduce air pollution through the use of emissions trading programs. Many experts argued that this legislation would have weakened the original legislation by allowing higher emission rates of pollutants than were previously legal.WEB,weblink The Sierra Club, Clear Skies Proposal Weakens the Clean Air Act, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink September 17, 2008, dead, The initiative was introduced to Congress, but failed to make it out of committee.Later in 2006, Bush declared the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument, creating the largest marine reserve 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.WEB,weblink Bush creates world's biggest ocean preserve, June 16, 2006, MSNBC, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink November 8, 2012, dead, The move was hailed by conservationists for "its foresight and leadership in protecting this incredible area".WEB,weblink The Nature Conservancy Applauds President Bush for Creating World's Largest Marine Conservation Area in Hawaii, June 16, 2006, The Nature Conservancy, September 1, 2008, November 28, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush has said he believes that global warming is realNEWS, Interview with President Bush, White House Transcript, Politico, May 13, 2008, May 14, 2008, Q. Mr. President, for the record, is global warming real? A. Yes, it is real, sure is.,weblink 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".WEB,weblink Press Conference, The White House, June 26, 2006, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 2, 2013, dead, The Bush Administration's stance on global warming remained controversial in the scientific and environmental communities. Critics have alleged that the administrationWEB, MSNBC, October 27, 2004,weblink NASA Scientist Rips Bush on Global Warming, September 1, 2008, May 7, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, ; NEWS,weblink 60 Minutes: Rewriting the Science, CBS News, March 19, 2006, September 1, 2008, April 13, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, misinformed the public and did not do enough to reduce carbon emissions and deter global warming.BOOK, Hell or High Water, Joe, Romm, William Morrow, 2006, 978-0-06-117212-0, 77537768,weblink ; Romm calls Bush's "don't rush to judgment" and "we need to ask more questions" stance a classic delay tactic. Part 2.

Energy policies

In his 2006 State of the Union Address, Bush declared, "America is addicted to oil" and announced his Advanced Energy Initiative to increase energy development research.NEWS, January 31, 2006, October 1, 2006,weblink President George W. Bush's address before a joint session of the Congress on the State of the Union,weblink" title="">weblink January 31, 2011, C-SPAN, File:20080618 Bush Kempthorne oil exploration speech.jpg|thumb|President Bush delivering a statement on energy, urging Congress to end offshore oil drill ban, June 18, 2008]]In his 2007 State of the Union Address, Bush renewed his pledge to work toward diminished reliance on foreign oil by reducing fossil fuel consumption and increasing alternative fuel production.WEB,weblink President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address, The White House, January 23, 2007, June 23, 2009, May 2, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Amid high gasoline prices in 2008, Bush lifted a ban on offshore drilling.NEWS, August 3, 2008, July 14, 2008,weblink Bush lifts executive ban on offshore oil drilling, CNN, May 2, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, However, the move was largely symbolic because there was 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 cells{{nbsp}}... 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."WEB,weblink President Bush Discusses Energy, June 18, 2008, August 3, 2008, The White House,weblink" title="">weblink May 2, 2013, dead, In his 2008 State of the Union Address, 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."NEWS,weblink George W. Bush: 2008 State of the Union Address, American Rhetoric, January 28, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 2, 2013, dead,

Stem cell research and first veto

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 has been forbidden by law since the passage in 1995 of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment by Congress and the signature of President Bill Clinton.WEB, September 1, 2008,weblink AAAS Policy Brief: Stem Cell Research, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Bush has said he supports adult stem cell research and has supported federal legislation that finances adult stem cell research. However, Bush did not support embryonic stem cell research.WEB,weblink President Discusses Stem Cell Research, Office of the President,weblink" title="">weblink live, May 6, 2013, On August 9, 2001, Bush signed an executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for the 71 existing "lines" of stem cells,WEB,weblink NIH's Role in Federal Policy Stem Cell Research, National Institutes of Health, June 23, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink June 17, 2009, but the ability of these existing lines to provide an adequate medium for testing has been questioned. Testing can be done on only 12 of the original lines, and all approved lines have been cultured in contact with mouse cells, which creates safety issues that complicate development and approval of therapies from these lines.NEWS, Time, August 11, 2003, September 1, 2008,weblink Stem Cells in Limbo, Michael D., Lemonick, May 2, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, On July 19, 2006, Bush used his veto power for the first time in his presidency to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. 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.NEWS,weblink Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem Cell Bill, CNN, September 25, 2006, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink May 2, 2013, dead,

Genetic Nondiscrimination

On May 21, 2008, Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).NEWS,weblink Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008,, July 15, 2013, WEB,weblink PUBLIC LAW 110–233 â€“ MAY 21, 2008, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 2, 2014, The bill aimed to protect Americans against health insurance and employment discrimination based on a person's genetic information. The issue had been debated for 13 years before it finally became law. The measure is designed to protect citizens without hindering genetic research.


File:Bush delivers statement at Mexican border.jpg|thumb|President Bush discussing border security with Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff near El Paso, November 2005]]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.NEWS,weblink Study: Immigration grows, reaching record numbers, USA Today, December 12, 2005, Almost half entered illegally.NEWS,weblink Immigration surge called 'highest ever{{'", |newspaper=The Washington Times |date=December 12, 2005 |archiveurl= |archivedate=January 8, 2010 |url-status=dead }} In 2006, Bush urged Congress to allow more than 12 million illegal immigrants to work in the United States with the creation of a "temporary guest-worker program". 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.NEWS,weblink Bush takes tough talk on immigration to Texas, September 9, 2006, CNN, November 29, 2005, June 28, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, From May to June 2007, Bush strongly supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was written by a bipartisan group of Senators with the active participation of the Bush administration.PRESS RELEASE, Fact Sheet: Border Security and Immigration Reform,weblink May 17, 2007, Executive Office of the President of the United States, The White House, February 3, 2012, May 2, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, The bill envisioned a legalization program for illegal 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; and other measures. Bush 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.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Best of the Immigration Fact Check: Top 10 Common Myths, June 8, 2007, Executive Office of the President of the United States, The White House,weblink" title="">weblink June 12, 2007, February 3, 2012, dead, Bush contended that the proposed bill did not amount to amnesty.NEWS, Fox News Channel, June 26, 2008,weblink May 30, 2008, Senate Votes to Continue Work on Immigration Reform Compromise, Garrett, Major, Trish Turner, October 17, 2012,weblink" title="">weblink dead, A heated public debate followed, which resulted in a substantial rift within the Republican Party, most conservatives opposed it because of its legalization or amnesty provisions.NEWS,weblink Talk radio helped sink immigration reform,, August 20, 2007, The bill was eventually defeated in the Senate on June 28, 2007, when a cloture motion failed on a 46–53 vote.NEWS,weblink The Hill, 46–53, immigration bill goes down in defeat, Klaus, Marre, June 28, 2007, Bush expressed disappointment upon the defeat of one of his signature domestic initiatives.NEWS,weblink Senate immigration bill suffers crushing defeat, CNN,weblink" title="">weblink May 2, 2013, dead, ; WEB,weblink President Bush Disappointed by Congress's Failure to Act on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, June 28, 2007, The White House,weblink" title="">weblink live, May 3, 2013, The Bush administration later proposed a series of immigration enforcement measures that do not require a change in law.WEB,weblink The White House Fact Sheet: Improving Border Security and Immigration Within Existing Law, August 10, 2007, The White House, May 2, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink live, On September 19, 2010, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert 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.WEB, Ravid, Barak, Haaretz,weblink Olmert: Bush offered to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees if peace deal reached, Israel, October 27, 2010, September 17, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead,

Hurricane Katrina

File:Hurricane Katrina President Bush with New Orleans Mayor.jpg|thumb|President Bush shaking hands with New Orleans Mayor Ray NaginRay NaginHurricane Katrina struck early in Bush's second term and was one of the most damaging natural disasters in U.S. history. Katrina formed in late August during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and devastated much of the north-central Gulf Coast of the United States, particularly New Orleans.NEWS, Knabb, Richard D, Rhome, Jamie R., Brown, Daniel P, December 20, 2005, Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Katrina: August 23–30, 2005, National Hurricane Center, Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on August 27WEB,weblink Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana, The White House, August 27, 2005, May 7, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink live, and in Mississippi and Alabama the following day.WEB,weblink Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Mississippi, The White House, August 28, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink live, May 7, 2013, ; WEB,weblink Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Alabama, The White House, August 28, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink live, May 7, 2013, He authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to manage the disaster, but his announcement failed to spur these agencies to action.BOOK, Dyson, Michael Eric, Michael Eric Dyson, Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, Basic Civitas, 2006, 978-0-465-01761-4, 57,weblink The eye of the hurricane made landfall on August 29, and New Orleans began to flood due to levee breaches; later that day, Bush declared a major disaster in Louisiana,WEB,weblink Statement on Federal Disaster Assistance for Louisiana, The White House, August 29, 2005, May 7, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink live, officially authorizing FEMA to start using federal funds to assist in the recovery effort.(File:President Bush Biloxi after Katrina.jpg|thumb|left|President Bush with hurricane victims in Biloxi, September 2, 2005)On August 30, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff declared it "an incident of national significance",WEB,weblink Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, August 31, 2005, The White House,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, February 14, 2008, dead, triggering the first use of the newly created National Response Plan. Three days later, on September 2, National Guard troops first entered the city of New Orleans.WEB,weblink TPM Hurricane Katrina Timeline, September 20, 2005, TPM, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, The same day, Bush toured parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and declared that the success of the recovery effort up to that point was "not enough".NEWS, National Guard descends on New Orleans, giving evacuees hope, Associated Press,weblink USA Today, September 3, 2005, September 1, 2008, 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;NEWS, Hsu, Spencer S., Susan B. Glasser, The Washington Post,weblink FEMA Director Singled Out by Response Critics, September 6, 2005, it was also argued that the federal response was limited as a result of the Iraq WarNEWS,weblink Overseas deployments hinder National Guard hurricane presence, September 1, 2008, Pete, Yost, Associated Press, August 30, 2005, Independent Media Center,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, and Bush himself did not act upon warnings of floods.NEWS, 6,weblink Transcript, Presidential Videoconference Briefing, August 28, 2005, USA Today, May 3, 2010, NEWS, USA Today, 5,weblink Transcript, Presidential Videoconference Briefing, August 28, 2005, May 3, 2010, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." George W. Bush to Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, September 1, 2005. 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.NEWS,weblink 1, Katrina called Bush's biggest blunder, May 31, 2012,weblink" title="">weblink live, November 4, 2012, The Boston Globe,

Midterm dismissal of U.S. attorneys

(File:George W Bush and Alberto Gonzales.jpg|thumb|President Bush announcing his nomination of Alberto Gonzales as the next U.S. Attorney General, November 10, 2004)During Bush's second term, a controversy arose over the Justice Department's midterm dismissal of seven United States Attorneys.WEB, March 22, 2007,,weblink The Firing Of US Attorneys â€“ Nefarious Or Business As Usual?, September 1, 2008, Gill, Kathy, December 19, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink dead, The White House maintained that the U.S. attorneys were fired for poor performance.NEWS, March 7, 2007, USA Today,weblink They lost my confidence, September 1, 2008, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales later resigned over the issue, along with other senior members of the Justice Department.NEWS, Eggen, Dan, Michael Fletcher, Embattled Gonzales Resigns,weblink September 1, 2008, August 28, 2007, The Washington Post, JOURNAL, Gonzales' Resignation Letter, Alberto Gonzales, August 26, 2007, United States Department of Justice, Please accept my resignation as Attorney General of the United States, effective September 17, 2007, s:Gonzales' Resignation Letter, Alberto Gonzales, The House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas for advisers Harriet Miers 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. Bush maintained that all his advisers were protected under a broad executive privilege protection to receive candid advice. The Justice Department determined that the President's order was legal.NEWS, Reuters, March 1, 2008,weblink Mukasey won't pursue contempt probe of Bush aides, February 25, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Although Congressional investigations 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.WEB,weblink House judiciary panel files civil lawsuit to enforce Miers, Bolten subpoenas, May 30, 2008, March 10, 2008, Porter, Patrick, JURIST, Jurist Legal News and Research,weblink" title="">weblink March 11, 2008, dead, On July 31, 2008, a United States district court judge ruled that Bush's top advisers were not immune from Congressional subpoenas.NEWS, Apuzzo, Matt,weblink Federal judge rules Bush's aides can be subpoenaed, USA Today, July 31, 2008, April 20, 2010, In all, twelve Justice Department officials resigned rather than testify under oath before Congress. They included Attorney General Alberto GonzalesNEWS, Jordan, Lara Jakes, Associated Press, September 15, 2007, Attorney general bids farewell to Justice: Praises work of department,weblink The Boston Globe, September 19, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink June 20, 2010, dead, and his chief of staff Kyle Sampson,NEWS, Bush's Law: The Remaking of American Justice After 9/11, Lichtblau, 293, 037542492X,weblink Gonzales' liaison to the White House Monica Goodling,NEWS, April 6, 2007, Gonzales aide Goodling resigns,weblink Associated Press, Lara Jakes, Jordan, April 7, 2007, NBC News, December 3, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, aide to the president Karl RoveNEWS,weblink Bush Advisor Karl Rove to Resign at End of Month, Mike Emanuel and AP, Fox News Channel, August 13, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink October 2, 2013, July 31, 2012, dead, and his senior aide Sara Taylor.NEWS, Michael A., Fletcher, May 28, 2007, Another Top Bush Aide Makes an Exit, The Washington Post,weblink In addition, legal counsel to the president Harriet MiersNEWS, Panel Holds Two Bush Aides in Contempt, The New York Times, The House Judiciary Committee voted today to seek contempt of Congress citations against a top aide to President Bush and a former presidential aide over their refusal to cooperate in an inquiry about the firing of federal prosecutors{{nbsp, ... president's chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers |date=July 25, 2007 |url= |accessdate=September 22, 2010 |first=David |last=Stout |archivedate=April 17, 2014 |archiveurl= |url-status=dead }} and deputy chief of staff to the president Joshua BoltenNEWS, Stout, David, Panel Holds Two Bush Aides in Contempt, The New York Times, July 25, 2007,weblink July 26, 2007, were both found in contempt of Congress.In 2010, the Justice Department investigator concluded that though political considerations did play a part in as many as four of the attorney firings,NEWS,weblink Associated Press, George Bush adviser Karl Rove's role in firing U.S. attorney detailed in newly released transcripts â€“ Page 2, Daily News, New York, August 12, 2009, April 12, 2011, February 25, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, the firings were "inappropriately political", but not criminal. According to the prosecutors, there was insufficient evidence to pursue prosecution for any criminal offense.NEWS,weblink DOJ: Prosecutor firing was politics, not crime, The Boston Globe, July 21, 2010, July 31, 2012,weblink" title="">weblink July 23, 2010, Matt, Apuzzo, Pete, Yost, dead,

Purge of the Central Intelligence Agency

Following the resignation of CIA director George Tenet in 2004, Bush nominated Porter Goss to head the agency. The White House ordered Goss to purge agency officers who were disloyal to the administration.NEWS,weblink Purging the disloyal at the CIA,, November 15, 2004, April 4, 2017, Geraldine, Sealey, After Goss' appointment, many of the CIA's senior agents were fired or quit. The CIA has been accused of deliberately leaking classified information to undermine the 2004 election.NEWS,weblink Dubious Purge at the CIA, Washington Post, January 4, 2005, April 4, 2017, Haviland, Smith,

Foreign policy

File:George W. Bush welcomes Silvio Berlusconi.jpg|thumb|President Bush with Italian Prime Minister Silvio BerlusconiSilvio Berlusconi(File:George W Bush Overseas Visits.svg|thumb|Countries visited by President George W. Bush during his time in office)In July 2001, Bush visited Pope John Paul II at Castel Gandolfo.Decision Points Bush, George W. Random House 2010 page 116During his presidential campaign, Bush's foreign policy platform included support for stronger economic and political relationship with Latin America, especially Mexico, and a reduction of involvement in "nation-building" and other small-scale military engagements. The administration pursued a national missile defense.NEWS,weblink President Bush Speech on Missile Defense, Federation of American Scientists, May 1, 2001, September 1, 2008, March 13, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush was an advocate of China's entry into the World Trade Organization.NEWS,weblink Bush backs China's WTO entry despite standoff, CNN, April 6, 2001,weblink" title="">weblink May 15, 2011, dead, After the September 11 attacks on New York, Bush launched the War on Terror, in which the United States military and a small international coalition invaded Afghanistan. In his 2002 State of the Union Address, Bush referred to an "axis of evil" consisting of Iraq, Iran and North Korea.WEB,weblink State of the Union Address (January 29, 2002) â€“ Miller Center,, January 29, 2002, July 31, 2012, P.O. Box 400406, October 11, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead, In 2003, Bush then launched the invasion of Iraq, searching for Weapons of Mass Destruction, which he described as being part of the War on Terrorism.NEWS, November 30, 2005, January 19, 2009,weblink Key points from Bush speech, CNN, May 15, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Those invasions led to the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.File:Bush meets Pranab Mukherjee.jpg|thumb|left|Foreign Minister of India Pranab MukherjeePranab MukherjeeBush began his second term with an emphasis on improving strained relations with European nations. He appointed long-time adviser Karen Hughes to oversee a global public relations campaign. Bush lauded the pro-democracy struggles in Georgia and Ukraine.WEB, Freedom Agenda,weblink,, November 22, 2016, In March 2006, Bush reversed decades of U.S. policy when he visited the Republic of India in a trip focused particularly on areas of nuclear energy, counter-terrorism co-operation; and discussions that would eventually lead to the India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement.NEWS,weblink Nuclear deal announced as Bush visits India, USA Today, March 2, 2006, March 16, 2010, WEB,weblink U.S. –India Joint Statement, March 2, 2006, The White House, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink June 11, 2009, dead, This was in stark contrast to the stance taken by his predecessor, Bill Clinton, whose approach and response to India after the 1998 nuclear tests has been characterized as "sanctions and hectoring".WEB,weblink Roemer key to U.S. –India relationship â€“ Daniel Libit and Laura Rozen, Politico.Com, March 16, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink November 26, 2009, dead, Midway through Bush's second term, questions arose whether Bush was retreating from his freedom and democracy agenda, which was highlighted in policy changes toward some oil-rich former Soviet republics in central Asia.NEWS,weblink Retreat From the Freedom Agenda, September 1, 2008, Diehl, Jackson, April 24, 2005, The Washington Post, 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 UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for traveling to Washington to show "unity of purpose with America", and said "America has no truer friend than Great Britain."WEB,weblink Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, Bush, George W., The White House, September 20, 2001, April 6, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 27, 2009, dead,

September 11 attacks

File:FEMA - 3905 - Photograph by SFC Thomas R. Roberts taken on 09-14-2001 in New York.jpg|thumb|President Bush, standing with firefighter Bob Beckwith, addressing rescue workers at Ground Zero in New York, September 14, 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, promising a strong response to the attacks. He also emphasized the need for the nation to come together and comfort the families of the victims. Three days after the attacks, Bush visited Ground Zero and met with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, firefighters, police officers, and volunteers. To much applause, Bush addressed the gathering via a megaphone while standing in a heap of rubble: "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."WEB,weblink September 14, 2001, President Bush Salutes Heroes in New York, The White House,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, June 23, 2009, dead, {{listen|filename=Bush Addresses Congress 9-20-01.ogg|title=President Bush Declares 'Freedom at War with Fear', September 20, 2001|type=speech|align=left}}In a September 20 speech, Bush condemned Osama bin Laden and his organization Al-Qaeda, and issued an ultimatum to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, where bin Laden was operating, to "hand over the terrorists, or{{nbsp}}... share in their fate".WEB,weblink September 20, 2001, Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, The White House, June 23, 2009, May 27, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead,

War on Terrorism

File:Blair MOF.jpg|thumb|President Bush presenting former British Prime Minister Tony Blair with the Presidential Medal of FreedomPresidential Medal of FreedomAfter September 11, Bush announced a global War on Terror. The Afghan Taliban regime was not forthcoming with Osama bin Laden, so Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime.NEWS,weblink September 20, 2001, Transcript of President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001, June 23, 2009, CNN,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, In his January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address, he asserted that an "axis of evil" consisting of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq was "arming to threaten the peace of the world" and "pose[d] a grave and growing danger".WEB,weblink January 29, 2002, President Delivers State of the Union Address, The White House, June 23, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 2, 2009, The Bush Administration asserted both a right and the intention to wage preemptive war, or preventive war.WEB,weblink National Security Council, The White House, June 23, 2009,weblink July 1, 2009, dead, This became the basis for the Bush Doctrine which weakened the unprecedented levels of international and domestic support for the United States which had followed the September 11 attacks.WEB,weblink President Bush: Job Ratings, Polling Report, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, Dissent and criticism of Bush's leadership in the War on Terror increased as the war in Iraq continued.BOOK, Cumings, Bruce, Ervand Abrahamian, Moshe Ma'oz, Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth About North Korea, Iran, and Syria, New Press, 2006, 978-1-59558-038-2, 62225812, Lopez, George, "Perils of Bush's Pre-emptive War Doctrine", The Indianapolis Star, October 3, 2003.WEB,weblink Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction, White House, April 20, 2010, February 25, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, In 2006, a National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the Iraq War had become the "cause célèbre for jihadists".NEWS,weblink NIE: Al Qaeda 'Damaged' Becoming More Scattered, CNN, September 26, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, NEWS,weblink Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight, The Washington Post, September 24, 2006, Karen, DeYoung,

Afghanistan invasion

File:GW Bush and Hamid Karzai in Kabul 2006-03-01.jpg|thumb|President Bush and President Hamid KarzaiHamid KarzaiOn October 7, 2001, U.S. and British forces initiated bombing campaigns that led to the arrival of Northern Alliance troops in Kabul on November 13. 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,NEWS,weblink June 23, 2009, December 11, 2001, Shanker, Tom, Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, A Nation Challenged; Military Campaign; Taliban Defeated, Pentagon Asserts, but War Goes On, February 25, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 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 Transitional Administration chaired by Hamid Karzai.WEB,weblink Fact Sheet: International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Center for Defense Information, February 14, 2002, September 1, 2008, February 25, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, NEWS,weblink More Dutch troops for Afghanistan, BBC News, February 3, 2006, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, In 2002, based on UNICEF figures, Nicholas Kristof reported that "our invasion of Afghanistan may end up saving one million lives over the next decade" as the result of improved healthcare and greater access to humanitarian aid.Kristof, Nicholas D., "A Merciful War," The New York Times, February 1, 2002. "Now aid is pouring in and lives are being saved on an enormous scale. Unicef, for example, has vaccinated 734,000 children against measles over the last two months, in a country where virtually no one had been vaccinated against the disease in the previous 10 years. Because measles often led to death in Afghanistan, the vaccination campaign will save at least 35,000 children's lives each year{{nbsp}}... Heidi J. Larson of Unicef says that if all goes well, child and maternal mortality rates will drop in half in Afghanistan over the next five years. That would mean 112,000 fewer children and 7,500 fewer pregnant women dying each year."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, which the Bush Administration later acknowledged to have resulted from a failure to commit enough U.S. ground troops.NEWS,weblink U.S. Concludes bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight, September 6, 2015, April 17, 2002, The Washington Post, Barton, Gellman, Thomas E., Ricks, It was not until May 2011, two years after Bush left office, that bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces under the Obama administration. Bin Laden's successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, remains 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.WEB,weblink Taliban Appears To Be Regrouped and Well-Funded, September 1, 2008, May 8, 2003, The Christian Science Monitor,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, The 2005 failure of Operation Red Wings showed that the Taliban had returned.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, January 9, 2014, Gates: Bombs Away in Memoir â€“ How Green Lantern Drove a Decision, Capaccio, Tony, January 9, 2014, Bloomberg L.P., January 9, 2014, In 2006, the Taliban insurgency appeared larger, fiercer and better organized than expected, with large-scale allied offensives such as Operation Mountain Thrust attaining limited success.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink August 2, 2006, World Cannot Give Up on Afghanistan, Coalition Officials Say, September 1, 2008, June 28, 2006, United States Department of Defense, NEWS,weblink Frustrated Karzai toughens stance, September 1, 2008, July 22, 2006, BBC News, Alastair, Leithead,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, NEWS,weblink Revived Taliban waging 'full-blown insurgency', September 1, 2008, July 22, 2006, USA Today, Paul, Wiseman, As a result, Bush commissioned 3,500 additional troops to the country in March 2007.NEWS,weblink The Washington Post, May 31, 2008, Baker, Peter, March 11, 2007, A11, Additional Troop Increase Approved,

Iraq invasion

File:George W. Bush walks with Ryan Phillips to Navy One.jpg|thumb|upright|President Bush, with Naval Flight Officer Lieutenant Ryan Philips, after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln prior to his Mission Accomplished speechMission Accomplished speechBeginning with his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address, Bush began publicly focusing attention on Iraq, which he labeled as part of an "axis of evil" allied with terrorists and posing "a grave and growing danger" to U.S. interests through possession of weapons of mass destruction.WEB, Iraq: The War Card,weblink The Center for Public Integrity, November 9, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, In the latter half of 2002, CIA reports contained assertions of Saddam Hussein's intent of reconstituting nuclear weapons programs, not properly accounting for Iraqi biological and chemical weapons, and that some Iraqi missiles had a range greater than allowed by the UN sanctions.WEB,weblink Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs, October 2002, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA,weblink live, September 11, 2013, WEB,weblink CIA Whites Out Controversial Estimate on Iraq Weapons, The National Security Archive, July 9, 2004, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink live, June 23, 2009, 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.Judis, John B. and Ackerman, Spencer, "The Selling of the Iraq War", The New Republic, June 2003.Hersh, Seymour M., "The Stovepipe", The New Yorker, October 27, 2003.In late 2002 and early 2003, Bush urged the United Nations to enforce Iraqi disarmament mandates, precipitating a diplomatic crisis. 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.NEWS,weblink Associated Press, U.S. advises weapons inspectors to leave Iraq, USA Today, March 17, 2003, September 1, 2008, 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.WEB,weblink Enforcement Measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, September 1, 2008, February 13, 2003, United Nations Charter,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, File:US Navy 031127-F-5435R-006 President George W. Bush pays a surprise visit to Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).jpg|thumb|left|President Bush paying a surprise visit to Baghdad International AirportBaghdad International AirportMore than 20 nations (most notably the United Kingdom), designated the "coalition of the willing" joined the United StatesNEWS, Steve, Schifferes,weblink US names 'coalition of the willing', BBC News, March 18, 2003, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, in invading Iraq. They launched the invasion on March 20, 2003. 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.NEWS,weblink Mission Not Accomplished, Time, October 6, 2003, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, From 2004 until 2007, the situation in Iraq deteriorated further, with some observers arguing that there was a full-scale civil war in Iraq.NEWS, Colin Powell says Iraq in a 'civil war',weblink Truthout, November 28, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink February 11, 2007, February 17, 2007, dead, 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, led by James Baker, concluded that the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating". While Bush admitted there were strategic mistakes made in regards to the stability of Iraq,NEWS,weblink Bush: we went to war on faulty intelligence, The Times, UK, December 14, 2005, June 23, 2009, February 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink dead, he maintained he would not change the overall Iraq strategy.NEWS,weblink President George W. Bush speaks during a video teleconference with Vice President Dick Cheney, on screen, and military commanders, October 21, 2006, September 1, 2008, February 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink dead, NEWS, October 21, 2006,weblink Bush Reviews Iraq War Strategy as Violence Mounts (Update3), September 1, 2008, Bloomberg L.P., February 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink dead, According to Iraq Body Count, some 251,000 Iraqis have been killed in the civil war following the U.S.-led invasion, including at least 163,841 civilians.WEB,weblink Iraq Body Count, September 18, 2016, File:Bush al-Maliki handshake.jpg|thumb|President Bush with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-MalikiNouri al-MalikiIn January 2005, free, democratic elections were held in Iraq for the first time in 50 years.NEWS,weblink Sporadic violence doesn't deter Iraqi voters, CNN, January 31, 2005, May 31, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink February 25, 2008, dead, 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 as president and Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister of Iraq. A referendum to approve a constitution in Iraq was held in October 2005, supported by most Shiites and many Kurds.NEWS, Fox News Channel,weblink Iraq Constitution Passes in Referendum, October 25, 2005, May 31, 2008, Associated Press, August 18, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, On January 10, 2007, Bush announced a surge of 21,500 more troops for Iraq, as well as a job program for Iraqis, more reconstruction proposals, and $1.2 billion (equivalent to ${{Inflation|US|1.2|2007|r=1}} billion in {{Inflation-year|US}}) for these programs.NEWS,weblink Admitting strategy error, Bush adds Iraq troops, MSNBC, January 11, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, On May 1, 2007, Bush used his second-ever veto to reject a bill setting a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops,NEWS, Sheryl Gay, Stolberg, Zeleny, Jeff, Bush Vetoes Bill Tying Iraq Funds to Exit, The New York Times, May 1, 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, saying the debate over the conflict was "understandable" but insisting that a continued U.S. presence there was crucial.NEWS, CNN, March 19, 2008,weblink Bush on anniversary: War in Iraq must go on, In March 2008, Bush praised the Iraqi government's "bold decision" to launch the Battle of Basra against the Mahdi Army, calling it "a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq".NEWS,weblink Baghdad on lockdown as rockets, bombs fly, CNN, March 28, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, He said he would carefully weigh recommendations from his commanding General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker 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.NEWS,weblink Bush: Baghdad's move against Shiite militias a 'bold decision', CNN, March 27, 2008, August 18, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, By July 2008, American troop deaths had reached their lowest number since the war began,NEWS,weblink Citing Stability in Iraq, Bush Sees Troop Cuts, August 1, 2008, August 3, 2008, The New York Times, Myers, Steven Lee, Sabrina Tavernise, August 18, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, and due to increased stability in Iraq, Bush announced the withdrawal of additional American forces.


Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, Bush issued an executive order that authorized the President's Surveillance Program. The new directive allowed the National Security Agency to monitor communications between suspected terrorists outside the U.S. and parties within the U.S. without obtaining a warrant, which previously had been required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.PRESS RELEASE, Press Briefing by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and General Michael Hayden, The White House, December 19, 2005,weblink September 1, 2008, August 18, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, {{as of|2009}}, the other provisions of the program remained highly classified.REPORT,weblinkweblink June 5, 2016, PDF, weblink" title="">Scribd OCR via, Unclassified Report on the President's Surveillance Program, Inspectors General of the DoD, DOJ, CIA, NSA, and ODN, July 10, 2009, July 11, 2009, The specific intelligence activities that were permitted by the Presidential Authorizations remain highly classified, except that beginning in December 2005 the President and other Administration officials acknowledged that these activities included the interception without a court order of certain international communications where there is "a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al-Qa'ida, affiliated with al-Qa'ida, or a member of an organization affiliated with al-Qa'ida.", dead, Once the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel 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.U.S. Department of Justice White Paper on NSA Legal Authorities. WEB,weblink Legal Authorities Supporting the Activities of the National Security Agency Described by the President, January 19, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, January 13, 2013, The program proved to be controversial; critics of the administration and organizations such as the American Bar Association argued that it was illegal.NEWS, Gonzales defends wiretaps amid protest, CNN, September 2, 2007,weblink January 26, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, ; NEWS, Lawyers Group Criticizes Surveillance Program, The Washington Post, February 14, 2006,weblink September 1, 2008, In August 2006, a U.S. district court judge ruled that the NSA electronic surveillance program was unconstitutional,NEWS,weblink Judge Asked to Suspend Ruling Against Wiretaps, September 1, 2008, February 9, 2006, The Washington Post, but on July 6, 2007, that ruling was vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing.NEWS, Andrea, Hopkins, Court dismisses lawsuit on spying program, Reuters, July 6, 2007,weblink September 1, 2008,weblink August 18, 2006, dead, 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.s:AG letter to Senate leaders regarding FISC decision and conclusion of Terrorist Surveillance Program]] Later in 2007, the NSA launched a replacement for the program, referred to as PRISM, which was subject to the oversight of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.NEWS,weblink U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program, The Washington Post, June 6, 2013, June 6, 2013, Barton, Gellman, Laura, Poitras, This program was not publicly revealed until reports by The Washington Post and The GuardianNEWS, Greenwald, Glenn, NSA taps in to internet giants' systems to mine user data, secret files reveal, The Guardian, June 6, 2013,weblink June 6, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, London, dead, emerged in June 2013.

Interrogation policies

{{See also|Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture|Torture Memos}}File:Victory Day Parade 2005-17.jpg|thumb|President Bush at the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of victory in World War II, Red SquareRed SquareBush authorized the CIA to use waterboarding and several other "enhanced interrogation techniques" that several critics, including Barack Obama, would label as torture.NEWS, Talev, Margaret, Marisa Taylor, April 23, 2009, June 23, 2009, Bush-era interrogations: From waterboarding to forced nudity, McClatchyDC,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink December 8, 2015, NEWS, Mark Mazzetti, Mark, Mazzetti,weblink Obama Releases Interrogation Memos, Says C.I.A. Operatives Won't Be Prosecuted, The New York Times, April 16, 2009, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, NEWS,weblink Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2008, Miller, Greg, Waterboarding is legal, White House says,weblink" title="">weblink February 12, 2008, February 7, 2008, dead, NEWS,weblink New documents shine light on CIA torture methods, Ryan, Browne, CNN, Between 2002 and 2003, the CIA considered certain enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to be legal based on secret Justice Department legal opinions arguing that terror detainees were not protected by the Geneva Conventions' ban on torture, which was described as "an unconstitutional infringement of the President's authority to conduct war".NEWS,weblink Cheney Defends U.S. Use Of Waterboarding, May 1, 2008, February 8, 2008, CBS News,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, NEWS,weblink Cheney, Rumsfeld, other Bush officials claim credit for nabbing Bin Laden, talk up waterboarding, Daily News, New York, May 8, 2011, April 12, 2014, August 18, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 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.WEB,weblink Memorandum for the Files: Re: Status of Certain OLC Opinions Issued in the Aftermath of the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, Steven G., Bradbury, Steven G. Bradbury, May 12, 2009, United States Department of Justice, January 15, 2009, While not permitted by the U.S. Army Field Manuals which assert "that harsh interrogation tactics elicit unreliable information", the Bush administration believed these enhanced interrogations "provided critical information" to preserve American lives.NEWS,weblink CIA admit 'waterboarding' al-Qaida suspects, The Guardian, February 21, 2008, Tran, Mark, London, February 5, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, 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."NEWS,weblink July 26, 2009, CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described, Brian, Ross, Richard, Esposito, November 18, 2005, ABC News,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead, On October 17, 2006, Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law.NEWS,weblink Bush's detainee interrogation and prosecution plan approved by Senate, September 1, 2008, Associated Press, September 28, 2005, USA Today, The new rule was enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, {{ussc|548|557|2006}},NEWS,weblink Rushing Off a Cliff, The New York Times, September 28, 2006, which allowed the U.S. government to prosecute unlawful enemy combatants by military commission rather than a standard trial. The law also denied the detainees access to habeas corpus and barred the torture of prisoners. The provision of the law allowed the president to determine what constitutes "torture".On March 8, 2008, Bush vetoed H.R. 2082,WEB,weblink Bill Text: 110th Congress (2007–2008): H.R.2082.ENR, THOMAS, Library of Congress, October 27, 2010, 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, saying that "the bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the War on Terror".NEWS,weblink Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding, Associated Press, MSNBC, March 8, 2008,weblink July 29, 2012, July 29, 2012, dead, In April 2009, the ACLU sued and won release of the secret memos that had authorized the Bush administration's interrogation tactics.NEWS, CNN, Previously secret torture memo released,weblink July 29, 2012, July 24, 2008, {{dead link|date=January 2019|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}} 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.NEWS,weblink Bush memo footnotes define waterboarding as torture, The Huffington Post, July 26, 2009, Sam, Stein, April 16, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, dead,

North Korea condemnation

File:Hu Jintao Bush.jpg|thumb|President Bush with China's president and Communist Party leader Hu JintaoHu JintaoBush publicly condemned Kim Jong-il of North Korea and identified North Korea as one of three states in an "axis of evil". He said 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."WEB,weblink Pollack, Jonathan. "The United States, North Korea, and the End of the Agreed Framework, Naval War College Review, Summer 2003, LV I, 3,weblink" title="">weblink August 18, 2006, North Korea's October 9, 2006, detonation 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 said 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.WEB,weblink President Bush's Statement on North Korea Nuclear Test, October 9, 2006, June 23, 2009, The White House,weblink" title="">weblink August 22, 2008, dead, 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.NEWS, Associated Press,weblink North Korea Ready to Shut Down Reactor 'Immediately', Fox News Channel, May 7, 2007, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 9, 2007, dead, On September 2, 2007, North Korea agreed to disclose and dismantle all its nuclear programs by the end of 2007.NEWS, U.S.: North Korea agrees to shut down nuke facilities, Associated Press, CNN, September 2, 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink September 17, 2007, dead, By May 2009, North Korea had restarted its nuclear program and threatened to attack South Korea.NEWS, McCurry, Justin,weblink The Guardian, UK, North Korea restarts nuclear reactor and threatens to attack south, May 27, 2009, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink August 22, 2008, dead, On June 22, 2010, "While South Korea prospers, the people of North Korea have suffered profoundly," he said, adding that communism had resulted in dire poverty, mass starvation and brutal suppression. "In recent years," he went on to say, "the suffering has been compounded by the leader who wasted North Korea's precious few resources on personal luxuries and nuclear weapons programs."NEWS, Park, Joseph,weblink Continental News, France, George W. Bush Delivers Message At Korean War Prayer Meeting In Seoul, June 22, 2010, June 24, 2010, August 22, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead,

Syria sanctions

File:Vladimir Putin at APEC Summit in China 19-21 October 2001-13.jpg|thumb|President Bush with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Shanghai, October 21, 2001. Russia had cooperated with U.S. in the War on TerrorWar on TerrorBush expanded economic sanctions on Syria.NEWS, Bush expands sanctions on Syria,weblink BBC News, February 16, 2008, February 14, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink August 22, 2008, dead, In 2003, Bush signed the Syria Accountability Act, which expanded sanctions on Syria. In early 2007, the Treasury Department, 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"U.S. Treasury moves to clamp down on Syrian entities accused of spreading weapons". Registration required. January 4, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2009. {{webarchive |url= |date=May 15, 2011 }} and being supportive of terrorism.WEB, October 30, 2003, May 31, 2008,weblink Syria and Terrorism, U.S. Department of State, 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; and Muhammad Nasif Khayrbik, identified as a close adviser to Assad.NEWS,weblink Administration announces sanctions to combat Syrian influence on Lebanon, U-T San Diego, Associated Press, November 6, 2007, September 28, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink July 9, 2014, dead,


Bush initiated the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Program (PEPFAR). The U.S. government had spent some $44 billion on the project since 2003 (a figure that includes $7{{nbsp}}billion contributed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, a multilateral organization),NEWS,weblink The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation, U.S. Department of State, November 29, 2012, which saved an estimated five million lives.NEWS,weblink Caryl, Christian, What George W. Bush Did Right, Foreign Policy, February 14, 2013, May 28, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, According to The New York Times correspondent Peter Baker, "Bush did more to stop AIDS and more to help Africa than any president before or since."

Assassination attempt

On May 10, 2005, Vladimir Arutyunian, a native Georgian who was born to a family of ethnic Armenians, threw a live hand grenade toward a podium where Bush was speaking at Freedom Square in Tbilisi, Georgia. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was seated nearby. It landed in the crowd about {{convert|65|ft|m|0}} 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.NEWS, Chilcote,weblink Bush grenade attacker gets life, CNN, January 11, 2006, January 3, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink July 4, 2008, dead,

Other issues

File:Red Sea Summit in Aqaba.jpg|right|thumb|President Bush, Mahmoud Abbas, and Ariel Sharon meet at the Red Sea Summit in AqabaAqabaBush withdrew U.S. support for several international agreements, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) with Russia. He also signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty with Russia.Bush emphasized a careful approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians; he denounced Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat for his support of violence, but sponsored dialogues between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Bush supported Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and lauded the democratic elections held in Palestine after Arafat's death.File:GeorgeBush-Juliia Tymoshenko (2008)-Ukraine.JPG|upright|thumb|left|President Bush and Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia TymoshenkoYulia TymoshenkoBush 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, when an EP-3E Aries II surveillance aircraft collided with a People's Liberation Army Air Force jet, leading to the detention of U.S. personnel. From 2003 to 2004, Bush authorized U.S. military intervention in Haiti and Liberia to protect U.S. interests. Bush condemned the militia attacks Darfur and denounced the killings in Sudan as genocide.NEWS, Jim, VandeHei,weblink In Break With UN, Bush Calls Sudan Killings Genocide, The Washington Post, June 2, 2005, September 1, 2008, Bush said an international peacekeeping presence was critical in Darfur, but he opposed referring the situation to the International Criminal Court.In the 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. Bush announced $15 billion for this effortNEWS,weblink Associated Press, News Tip: AIDS Relief in Africa is One of Bush's Most Visible Legacies, Says Duke Expert, Duke Today, Duke University, January 14, 2009, January 30, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink August 11, 2011, dead, which directly supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for more than 3.2 million men, women and children worldwide.NEWS, July 29, 2011, U.S. Government,weblink Latest Results, February 11, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead, On June 10, 2007, Bush met with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and became the first president to visit Albania.NEWS,weblink Bush is Greeted Warmly in Albania, Sheryl, Gay Stolberg, The New York Times, June 10, 2007, Bush has voiced his support for the independence of Kosovo.WEB,weblink Bush Hails Kosovo Independence, February 19, 2008,, September 19, 2008, August 21, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush opposed South Ossetia's independence.NEWS, August 26, 2008,weblink Russia condemned for recognizing rebel regions, CNN,weblink" title="">weblink August 30, 2008, dead, On August 15, 2008, Bush said of Russia's invasion of the country of Georgia: "Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century."NEWS, August 15, 2008,weblink Bush hits Russia on 'bullying and intimidation', USA Today,weblink" title="">weblink October 22, 2012, dead, File:Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and George W. Bush.jpg|thumb|Bush and Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.]]Bush opened the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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."WEB,weblink President Bush Opens 2002 Olympic Games, February 8, 2002, The White House, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink May 14, 2011, dead, In 2008, in the course of a good-will trip to Asia, he attended the Summer Olympics in Beijing.NEWS, August 22, 2008,weblink Bush: Olympics exceeded my expectations, Associated Press, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 22, 2008, Bush twice invoked (Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution#Section 3: Presidential declaration|Section 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment), which allows a president to temporarily transfer the powers and duties of his office to the vice president, who then becomes acting president. On June 29, 2002, Bush underwent a colonoscopy and chose to invoke Section{{nbsp}}3 of the amendment, making Vice President Dick Cheney the acting president. The medical procedure began at 7:09 am. EDT and ended at 7:29 am. EDT. Bush woke up twenty minutes later, but did not resume his presidential powers and duties until 9:24 am. EDT after the president's doctor, Richard Tubb, conducted an overall examination. Tubb said he recommended the additional time to make sure the sedative had no after effects. On July 21, 2007, Bush again invoked Section{{nbsp}}3 in response to having to undergo a colonoscopy, again making Vice President Cheney the acting president. Bush invoked Section{{nbsp}}3 at 7:16 a.m. EDT. He reclaimed his powers at 9:21 a.m. EDT. In both cases, Bush specifically cited Section{{nbsp}}3 when he transferred the presidential powers to the Vice President and when he reclaimed those powers.WEB,weblink Acting Presidents Under the 25th Amendment, American Presidency Project, November 14, 2014,

Judicial appointments

Supreme Court

(File:Roberts, Bush SCOTUS announcement.jpg|thumb|Supreme Court Justice nominee John Roberts and President Bush, July 19, 2005)(File:Bush-Alito-051031.jpg|thumb|Supreme Court Justice nominee Samuel Alito and President Bush, October 31, 2005)Following the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement on July 1, 2005, Bush nominated John Roberts to succeed her. On September 5, following the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 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 long time White House Counsel Harriet Miers for O'Connor's position. After facing significant opposition from both parties, who found her to be ill-prepared and uninformed on the law,Greenburg, Jan Crawford. Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court.2007. Penguin Books. Page 278. Miers asked that her name be withdrawn on October 27. Four days later, on October 31, Bush nominated federal appellate judge Samuel Alito. Alito was confirmed as the 110th Supreme Court Justice on January 31, 2006.WEB, U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes â€“ Nomination of Samuel Alito,weblink, July 31, 2012,weblink August 29, 2008, dead,

Other courts

In addition to his two Supreme Court appointments, Bush appointed 61 judges to the United States courts of appeals and 261 judges to the United States district courts. Each of these numbers, along with his total of 324 judicial appointments, is third in American history, behind both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Bush experienced a number of judicial appointment controversies. Debate during one confirmation session lasted "39 stupefying hours" according to The New York Times. On August 3, 2001, the Senate did not consent to keep existing nominations in status quo, returning 40 judicial nominations, and 164 total nominations.WEB,weblink President Bush Discusses Judicial Accomplishments and Philosophy, October 6, 2008, The White House, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 23, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink August 13, 2009, dead, NEWS,weblink PAGE TWO: BUZZWORDS, The New York Times, November 16, 2003, April 24, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, BOOK, Denis Steven Rutkus, Mitchel A. Sollenberger, Nova Publishers, Judicial Nomination Statistics: U.S. District and Circuit Courts, 1977–2002,weblink 2004, 43,weblink June 4, 2013, dead, 9781590338216, At the outset, Judicature magazine noted that the "Senate Democrats were gearing up for the approaching confirmation hearings" before the first set of nominees were sent to the Senate. It then cites The New York Times as saying "Senate Democrats have pledged they will not automatically vote to confirm Mr. Bush's judicial nominees and will subject them to intense scrutiny."WEB,weblink "Strict Scrutiny?" the Content of Senate Judicial Confirmation Hearings during the George W. Bush Administration, Judicature, Questia Online Library, November 1, 2011, Dancey, Logan, Nelson, Kjersten R., Ringsmuth, Eve M., January 24, 2014, The Senate had confirmed only eight of Bush's 60 judicial nominations by October 2001. In February 2003, the Democrats successfully filibustered the nomination of Miguel Estrada.WEB,weblink Confirmation gridlock: the federal judicial appointments process under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Questia Online Library, March 22, 2003, Maltese, John Anthony, January 24, 2014,

Cultural and political image


{{See also|Efforts to impeach George W. Bush}}


File:George W Bush approval ratings.svg|thumb|{{legend|#4A7EBB|approve}}{{legend|#BE4B48|disapprove}}{{legend|#98B954|unsure}}Gallup/USA TodayUSA TodayBush's upbringing in West Texas, his accent, his vacations on his Texas ranch, and his penchant for country metaphors contribute to his folksy, American cowboy image.WEB,weblink The History Boys, David, Halberstam, David Halberstam, Vanity Fair (magazine), Vanity Fair, January 28, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink January 11, 2009, dead, NEWS,weblink Bush revels in cowboy speak, BBC News, January 28, 2009, June 6, 2003, Kathryn, Westcott,weblink" title="">weblink September 19, 2008, dead, "I think people look at him and think John Wayne", said Piers Morgan, editor of the British Daily Mirror.NEWS,weblink {{-', John Wayne' president has critics|first=Walter|last=Rodgers|publisher=CNN|accessdate=January 28, 2009|date=January 30, 2003|archiveurl=|archivedate=September 7, 2008|url-status=dead}}Bush has been parodied by the media,NEWS,weblink Pundits Renounce The President, September 1, 2008, Baker, Peter, August 20, 2006, The Washington Post, comedians, and other politicians.WEB, Bush gets bad rap on intelligence,weblink Aubrey, Immelman, September 1, 2008, January 14, 2001, The St. Cloud Times, April 15, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Detractors tended to cite linguistic errors made by Bush during his public speeches, which are colloquially referred to as Bushisms.NEWS, Jacob, Weisberg, Bryan, Curtis,weblink The Complete Bushisms, January 30, 2012, October 24, 2001,weblink" title="">weblink August 24, 2001, Slate, dead, In contrast to his father—who was perceived as having troubles with an overarching unifying theme—Bush embraced larger visions and was seen as a man of larger ideas and associated huge risks.NEWS,weblink Bush Gets 'Vision Thing' and Embraces Big Risks, October 9, 2009, The New York Times, Elisabeth, Bumiller, January 12, 2004,weblink" title="">weblink May 13, 2011, dead, Tony Blair wrote in 2010 that the caricature of Bush as being dumb is "ludicrous" and that Bush is "very smart".NEWS, Blair, Tony, Tony Blair, September 2, 2010, October 27, 2010,weblink Tony Blair on Clinton, Bush and the American Character Time September 2, 2010, Time, In an interview with Playboy, The New York Times columnist David Brooks said Bush "was 60 IQ points smarter in private than he was in public. He doesn't want anybody to think he's smarter than they are, so puts on a Texas act."NEWS, Rogers, Jenny, David Brooks praises Bush, dings Maher in Playboy interview,weblink May 8, 2015, Washington Examiner, April 19, 2012,

Job approval

Bush began his presidency with approval ratings near 50 percent.WEB,weblink Job Performance Ratings for President Bush, September 1, 2008, Roper Center, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink September 18, 2008, dead, After the September 11 attacks, Bush gained an approval rating of 90 percent,NEWS, CBS News,weblink Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22 Percent, January 16, 2009, January 24, 2014, live, December 15, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink maintaining 80 to 90 percent approval for four months after the attacks. It remained over 50 percent during most of his first term and then fell to as low as 19 percent in his second term.NEWS, Bush's Popularity: A (Really) New Low?,weblink July 12, 2012, The New York Times, February 21, 2008, December 2, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 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".NEWS,weblink Person of the Year, Nancy, Gibbs, March 19, 2008, Time, December 25, 2000, ; NEWS,weblink Person of the Year, Nancy Gibbs, John F. Dickerson, March 19, 2008, Time, December 19, 2004, July 27, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, In May 2004, Gallup reported that 89 percent of the Republican electorate approved of Bush.WEB,weblink Deconstructing the Drop in Bush's Job Approval Rating, Gallup (company), Gallup Organization, August 19, 2008, June 1, 2004, September 18, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, However, the support waned due mostly to a minority of Republicans' frustration with him on issues of spending, illegal immigration, and Middle Eastern affairs.NEWS,weblink Republicans criticize Rice over Bush Mideast policy, Associated Press, September 1, 2008, February 15, 2006, USA Today, Within the United States armed forces, according to an unscientific survey, the president was strongly supported in the 2004 presidential elections.NEWS,weblink Troops in survey back Bush 4-to-1 over Kerry, May 9, 2008, Moniz, Dave, October 3, 2004, USA Today, While 73 percent of military personnel said they would vote for Bush, 18 percent preferred his Democratic rival, John Kerry. According to Peter Feaver, a Duke University 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 percent mark in AP-Ipsos polling in December 2004.NEWS,weblink Bush's job approval rating creeps up in AP-Ipsos poll, Taipei Times, March 10, 2007, September 1, 2008, June 13, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 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 and to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, NSA warrantless surveillance, the Plame affair, and Guantanamo Bay detention camp controversies.NEWS, Kakutani, Michiko, Unchecked and Unbalanced, The New York Times, July 6, 2007, September 1, 2008,weblink July 21, 2016,weblink" title="">weblink dead, There were calls for Bush's impeachment, though most polls showed a plurality of Americans would not support such an action.NEWS,weblink Rasmussen Poll: Third of Americans Want Bush Impeached, Joyner, James, May 29, 2008,, OTB Media, December 12, 2005, September 19, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, The arguments offered for impeachment usually centered on the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy,WEB,weblink George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon: Both Wiretapped Illegally, and Impeachably, John W., Dean, December 30, 2005, September 1, 2008, the Bush administration's justification for the war in Iraq, and alleged violations of the Geneva Conventions.NEWS,weblink The Impeachment of George W. Bush, Holtzman, Elizabeth, 2006-01-11, 2019-10-18, en-US, 0027-8378, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who had run against Bush during the 2004 presidential campaign, introduced 35 articles of impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives against Bush on June 9, 2008, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared that impeachment was "off the table".NEWS, Bresnahan, John, CBS News, June 9, 2008,weblink Kucinich Offers Impeachment Articles Against Bush, June 23, 2009, September 27, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Polls conducted in 2006 showed an average of 37 percent approval ratings for Bush,WEB,weblink President Bush â€“ Overall Job Rating, Polling Report, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink September 13, 2008, dead, the lowest for any second-term president at that point in his term since Harry S. Truman in March 1951 (when Truman's approval rating was 28 percent),NEWS,weblink Bush's second-term slump, Silva, Mark, The Swamp, March 7, 2007, April 27, 2007, April 22, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, which contributed to what Bush called the "thumping" of the Republican Party in the 2006 mid-term elections.NEWS, November 8, 2006, Steve, Holland,weblink Bush admits Republicans took a "thumping", Reuters, April 15, 2014,weblink dead, Throughout most of 2007, Bush's approval rating hovered in the mid-thirties;WEB, President Bush Job Approval, September 1, 2008,weblink RealClearPolitics,weblink" title="">weblink August 27, 2008, dead, the average for his entire second term was 37 percent, according to Gallup.NEWS,weblink George W. Bush Presidential Job Approval, July 12, 2012, Gallup,weblink" title="">weblink April 2, 2009, dead, (File:George W Bush approval ratings with events.svg|thumb|President Bush's approval rating with key events marked, 2001–2006)By the beginning of 2008, his final year in office, Bush's approval rating had dropped to a low of just 19 percent, largely from the loss of support among Republicans. Commenting on his low poll numbers and accusations of being "the worst president,"WEB,weblink The Worst President in History, September 1, 2008, 2006, Rolling Stone,weblink" title="">weblink August 22, 2008, dead, NEWS,weblink Defending the home front, September 1, 2008, The Australian, July 14, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink October 9, 2007, dead, Bush would say, "I make decisions on what I think is right for the United States based upon principles. I frankly don't give a damn about the polls."NEWS,weblink Transcript: President Bush on 'FOX News Sunday', Fox News Channel, February 11, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink March 12, 2009, dead, In the spring of that year, Bush's disapproval ratings reached the highest ever recorded for any president in the 70-year history of the Gallup poll, with 69 percent of those polled in April 2008 disapproving of the job Bush was doing as president and 28 percent approving—although the majority (66 percent) of Republicans still approved of his job performance.NEWS, Susan, Page, Disapproval of Bush breaks record,weblink USA Today, April 23, 2008, April 22, 2008, In polls conducted in the fall, just before the 2008 election, his approval ratings remained at record lows of 19 to 20 percent,NEWS, CBS News, Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22%,weblink July 12, 2012, CBS News, February 11, 2009, NEWS, Republicans Give George W. Bush's Overall Job Approval Rating a Final Boost, January 25, 2009,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink January 25, 2009, American Research Group, January 19, 2009, dead, while his disapproval ratings ranged from 67 percent to as high as 75 percent.WEB, President Bush Overall Job Rating in National Polls, July 12, 2012,weblink,weblink" title="">weblink February 3, 2009, dead, In polling conducted January 9–11, 2009, his final job approval rating by Gallup was 34 percent, which placed him on par with Jimmy Carter and Harry S. Truman, the other presidents whose final Gallup ratings measured in the low 30s (Richard Nixon's final Gallup approval rating was even lower, at 24 percent).NEWS,weblink Saad, Lydia, Bush Presidency Closes With 34% Approval, 61% Disapproval,, January 14, 2009, June 23, 2009, January 19, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, According to a CBS News/New York Times poll conducted January 11–15, 2009, Bush's final approval rating in office was 22 percent, the lowest in American history.

Foreign perceptions

File:UK Anti Bush visit protest.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Anti-war demonstration during President Bush's visit to London, June 2008]]Bush was criticized internationally and targeted by the global anti-war and anti-globalization campaigns for his administration's foreign policy.JOURNAL, Die außenpolitischen Positionen der Parteien im Bundestagswahlkampf 2002, 2002, M. Overhaus, S. Schieder, Politik Im Netz,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink February 1, 2016, de, 3, NEWS, John, Gray,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink August 26, 2007, Was the American ambassador meddling in a Canadian election?, CBC News, December 14, 2005, June 23, 2009, dead, Views of him within the international community—even in France, a close ally of the United States—were more negative than those of most previous American presidents in history.NEWS, Walt, Vivienne,weblink French see Bush as the ugly American, USA Today, February 13, 2003, June 23, 2009, Bush was described as having especially close personal relationships with Tony Blair of Great Britain and Vicente Fox of Mexico, although formal relations were sometimes strained.NEWS,weblink Keeping the U.S. at Bay, Mexican Presidential Candidate Looks to Move Past Fox's Failures, Marcela, Sanchez, March 3, 2006, The Washington Post, NEWS,weblink Mexico's President Snubs Bush, Vicente Fox Cancels Visit To Bush Ranch To Protest Execution, CBS News, August 15, 2002,weblink" title="">weblink April 24, 2008, dead, NEWS,weblink Row over Bush security as Blair defends visit, Ewen MacAskill, Hugh Muir, Julian Borger, Washington, The Guardian; London, November 11, 2003,weblink" title="">weblink August 22, 2008, Other leaders, such as Afghan president Hamid Karzai,NEWS,weblink Afghan Leader Criticizes U.S. on Conduct of War, April 14, 2013, Gall, Carlotta, April 26, 2008, The New York Times, December 11, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni,NEWS, October 14, 2004,weblink Uganda's president criticizes Bush administration's handling of war in Iraq, Wasswa, Henry, June 23, 2009, Sudan Tribune,weblink" title="">weblink October 20, 2007, dead, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero,NEWS, Spanish leader accuses Bush and Blair,weblink Tremlett, Giles, March 16, 2004, June 23, 2009, The Guardian, UK, January 22, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez,NEWS, The Guardian, Ed Pilkington in New York,weblink UK, Chávez attacks 'devil' Bush in UN speech, October 20, 2008, September 21, 2006, August 27, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, openly criticized the president. Later in Bush's presidency, tensions arose between him and Vladimir Putin, which led to a cooling of their relationship.WEB, July 21, 2006,weblink Bush, White House now leery of Putin as Russian turns back on democracy, September 1, 2008, Condon, George E. Jr., U-T San Diego, May 24, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, In 2006, most 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.WEB, September 1, 2008, 2004,weblink In 18 of 21 Countries Polled, Most See Bush's Reelection as Negative for World Security, BBC World Service and Program on International Policy Attitudes, June 9, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, NEWS, March 4, 2004,weblink Polls: World Not Pleased With Bush, September 1, 2008, Associated Press, CBS News,weblink" title="">weblink January 23, 2009, dead, In 2007, the Pew Global Attitudes Project reported that during the Bush presidency, attitudes towards the United States, and towards Americans, became less favorable around the world.WEB, June 23, 2009,weblink America's Image in the World: Findings from the Pew Global Attitudes Project, March 14, 2007, December 28, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink dead, A March 2007 survey of Arab opinion conducted by Zogby International and the University of Maryland found that Bush was the most disliked leader in the Arab world.WEB,weblink Middle East Opinion: Iran Fears Aren't Hitting the Arab Street, Peter, Kiernan, March 1, 2007, World Politics Review Exclusive, May 12, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink live, The Pew Research Center's 2007 Global Attitudes poll found that in only nine countries of 47 did most respondents express "a lot of confidence" or "some confidence" in Bush: Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Israel, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda.WEB, June 27, 2007, Pew Research Center,weblink Pew Global Attitudes Project: Spring 2007, Survey of 47 Publics, Final 2007 Comparative Topline, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink December 14, 2009, dead, mdy-all, During a June 2007 visit to the predominantly MuslimWEB, October 30, 2010,weblink Mapping the Global Muslim Population â€“ A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population,weblink" title="">weblink October 10, 2009, dead, October 7, 2009, Albania, Bush was greeted enthusiastically. Albania has a population of 2.8 million,WEB,weblink Albania: Preliminary results of the Population and Housing Census 2011, February 5, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 12, 2012, has troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the country's government is highly supportive of American foreign policy.NEWS, June 10, 2007,weblink Bush greeted as hero in Albania, BBC, September 1, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink February 5, 2009, dead, A huge image of the President was hung in the middle of the capital city of Tirana flanked by Albanian and American flags while a local street was named after him.WEB, June 10, 2007, September 1, 2008,weblink National Public Radio, NPR, Vicky, O'Hara, Bush Gets Warm Reception in Albania, April 14, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, NEWS, June 8, 2007, July 6, 2011,weblink Albanian Street Named After George W. Bush, Balkan Insight, August 23, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead, A shirt-sleeved statue of Bush was unveiled in Fushë-Krujë, a few kilometers northwest of Tirana.NEWS, July 6, 2011,weblink Albanian town thanks George W. Bush with statue, Reuters, July 6, 2011,weblink July 9, 2011, dead, The Bush administration's support for the independence of Albanian-majority Kosovo, while endearing him to the Albanians, has troubled U.S. relations with Serbia, leading to the February 2008 torching of the U.S. embassy in Belgrade.NEWS,weblink Serbian official blames U.S. for recent violence, The New York Times, December 4, 2008, Dan, Bilefsky, April 9, 2010, May 13, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead,

Acknowledgments and dedications

File:Statue G.W.Bush at Fushë-Kruja.jpg|thumb|upright|The statue of George W. Bush was erected at Fushë-KrujëFushë-KrujëOn May 7, 2005, during an official state visit to Latvia, Bush was awarded the Order of the Three Stars presented to him by President Vaira VÄ«Ä·e-Freiberga.WEB,weblink State President awards the Three Star Order to the U.S.President, Latvian President's Chancery, May 7, 2005, November 5, 2010, lv, May 11, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead, A few places outside the United States bear Bush's name. In 2005, the Tbilisi City Council voted to rename a street in honor of the U.S. president.NEWS, Tbilisi City Council Names Street after U.S. President Bush,weblink March 17, 2013, September 15, 2005, Civil Georgia,weblink" title="">weblink July 3, 2004, dead, Previously known as Melaani Drive, the street links the Georgian capital's airport with the city center and was used by Bush's motorcade during his visit four months earlier.NEWS, Georgian capital names street after Bush,weblink October 21, 2012, September 15, 2005, Tampa Bay Times, January 3, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink dead, A street in Tirana, formerly known as Rruga Puntorët e Rilendjes, situated directly outside the Albanian Parliament, was renamed after Bush a few days before he made the first-ever visit by an American president to Albania in June 2007.NEWS,weblink Albanian Street Named After George W. Bush, Balkan Insight, June 8, 2007, October 21, 2012,weblink" title="">weblink August 23, 2011, dead, In Jerusalem, a small plaza with a monument bearing his name is also dedicated to Bush.W. Bush Plaza, Jerusalem | Flickr â€“ Condivisione di foto!. June 2, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2013.In 2012, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves awarded Bush the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana for his work in expanding NATO.NEWS, March 17, 2013,weblink Bush to be honored by Estonia, United Press International, February 1, 2012,


The George W. Bush presidency has been ranked among the worst in surveys of presidential scholars published in the late 2000s and 2010s.NEWS,weblink Historians Rank George W. Bush Among Worst Presidents, Lincoln and Washington were rated as the best, US News, January 1, 2012, September 2, 2009, February 2, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink dead, WEB, Austin, David, May 1, 2013,weblink History News Network | Historians Still Despise George W. Bush, History News Network, HNN, May 1, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, WEB, Mann, James, August 27, 2015,weblink It's not too soon to judge George W. Bush's presidency on key issues, February 6, 2015, After his re-election in 2004, Bush received increasingly heated criticism from across the political spectrum for his handling of the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, and other challenges. Amid this criticism, the Democratic Party regained control of Congress in the 2006 elections. In December 2007, the United States entered its longest post-World War II recession, often referred to as the "Great Recession", prompting the Bush administration to obtain congressional passage of multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's financial system. Nationally, Bush had become one of the most popular, and then unpopular, presidents in history between the September 11 attacks and the financial crisis of 2008.Bush said in 2013, "Ultimately history will judge the decisions I made, and I won't be around because it will take time for the objective historians to show up. So I am pretty comfortable with it. I did what I did."WEB,weblink George W. Bush: History will be the judge; as for opinion polls, 'I could care less', The Washington Times,weblink

Post-presidency (2009–present)


File:George & Laura Bush board Air Force One 1-20-09 hires 091220-F-0194C-001a.jpg|thumb|right|George and Laura Bush waving to a crowd of 1000 at Andrews Air Force BaseAndrews Air Force BaseFollowing the inauguration of Barack Obama, Bush and his family flew from Andrews Air Force Base to a homecoming celebration in Midland, Texas, following which they returned to their ranch in Crawford, Texas.NEWS, January 20, 2009,weblink Ex-President Bush and Wife Leave Washington for Texas, January 20, 2009, Fox News Channel, Associated Press, January 23, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink mdy-all, They bought a home in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, where they settled down.NEWS, Brown, Angela K.,weblink Enthusiastic Crowds Welcome Bush Back to Texas, March 4, 2011, January 21, 2009, Fox News Channel, April 14, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 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 first game in the team's new stadium in ArlingtonNEWS,weblink Coin toss from George and Laura Bush was a brief taste of luck for Cowboys fans, October 10, 2009, September 21, 2009, Fort Worth Star-Telegram,weblink" title="">weblink November 7, 2009, dead, and an April 2009 visit to a Texas Rangers game, where he thanked the people of Dallas for helping him settle in and was met with a standing ovation.NEWS, Zaleski, Katharine, April 7, 2009,weblink Bush throws first pitch at Rangers game (Slideshow), The Huffington Post, November 1, 2010, April 10, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, He also attended every home playoff game for the Texas Rangers 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 on October 31, 2010.WEB,weblink Video: George W. Bush Throws Out First Pitch Game 4 World Series, Let's Discuss It, Jaynes, Ethan, News Sports, October 31, 2010, November 1, 2010, November 4, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink dead, On August 6, 2013, Bush was successfully treated for a coronary artery blockage with a stent. The blockage had been found during an annual medical examination.NEWS, George W. Bush has heart surgery,weblink USA Today, August 6, 2013, August 6, 2013, David, Jackson, In reaction to the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers, Bush stated: "Laura and I are heartbroken by the heinous acts of violence in our city last night. Murdering the innocent is always evil, never more so than when the lives taken belong to those who protect our families and communities.""'Heartbroken': George W. Bush responds to the Dallas police ambush". Yahoo News. July 8, 2016.

Publications and appearances

(File:Obama, Bush, and Clinton discuss the 2010 Haiti earthquake.jpg|thumb|George W. Bush, then-President Obama, and Bill Clinton meeting in the Oval Office, January 16, 2010)Since leaving office, Bush has kept a relatively low profileNEWS,weblink Laura Bush Discusses Her Husband's Low Profile, June 8, 2009, July 28, 2009, CBS News, Prerana, Swami,weblink" title="">weblink June 11, 2009, dead, 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. In March 2009, he delivered his first post-presidency speech in Calgary, Alberta,NEWS, Associated Press, March 17, 2009,weblink Bush says Obama 'deserves my silence{{'-, |accessdate=June 23, 2009 |publisher=MSNBC |archiveurl= |archivedate=May 18, 2009 |url-status=dead }}NEWS, Mike, Allen, Bush promises not to attack Obama,weblink Politico, March 18, 2009, March 18, 2009, March 19, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink live, appeared via video on The Colbert Report during which he praised U.S. troops for earning a "special place in American history,"NEWS, CBS News,weblink Troops in Iraq hailed by Bush on 'Colbert Report{{'-, |date=June 12, 2009 |accessdate=June 5, 2013 |archivedate=November 4, 2013 |archiveurl= |url-status=live }} and attended the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy.NEWS,weblink August 30, 2009, Funeral mass unites pols, Weir, Richard, Boston Herald, August 30, 2009, September 22, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker on October 26 at the "Get Motivated" seminar in Dallas.NEWS,weblink Bush's first stand on a new podium, Jordan, Mary, October 26, 2009, The Washington Post, November 10, 2009, In the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting on November 5, 2009, the Bushes paid an undisclosed visit to the survivors and the victims' families the day following the shooting, having contacted the base commander requesting that the visit be private and not involve press coverage.NEWS,weblink George W. Bush Secretly Visits Fort Hood Victims, November 7, 2009, November 18, 2009, Bill, Sammon, Fox News Channel,weblink" title="">weblink November 11, 2009, dead, mdy-all, File:Charlie Strong with George W. Bush and Jesse Jackson.jpg|thumb|(L–R) Charlie Strong, Texas Longhorns head football coach, George W. Bush and Reverend Jesse Jackson hold up a Texas Longhorns football jersey at the LBJ Presidential LibraryLBJ Presidential LibraryBush 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.NEWS, Bush promotes book in Chicago,weblink October 21, 2010, Becky, Schlikerman, February 22, 2011, Chicago Tribune,weblink" title="">weblink May 11, 2011, live, He also made news defending his administration's enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, saying, "I'd do it again to save lives."NEWS, {{-', I'd do it again' former President Bush tells Grand Rapids crowd about waterboarding terrorists |work=The Grand Rapids Press |url= |date=June 2, 2010 |first=Ted |last=Roelofs |accessdate=June 6, 2010 |archiveurl= |archivedate=June 5, 2010 |url-status=live }}In 2012, he wrote the foreword of (The 4% Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs), an economics book published by the George W. Bush Presidential Center.Jamie Stengle, Bush institute launches book on economic growth, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, July 18, 2012Sonia Smith, George W. Bush's Armchair Economic Advice, Texas Monthly, July 17, 2012 He also presented the book at the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas.WEB, Book Discussion on The 4% Solution,weblink C-SPAN, April 26, 2015, July 17, 2012, Contributors to The 4% Solution lay out a plan to achieve a four percent economic growth rate, which they argue is necessary to restore America's economic health. The discussion was moderated by James Glassmen, executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, which put out the book. President George W. Bush, who wrote the foreword to the book, made opening remarks. This book launch event was held at the Old Parkland Hospital in Dallas., Bush appeared on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on November 19, 2013, along with the former First Lady, Laura Bush. When asked by Leno why he does not comment publicly about the Obama administration, Bush said, "I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor."NEWS, Loinaz, Alexis L., George W. Bush Gushes About Granddaughter on The Tonight Show, People (magazine), People,weblink November 20, 2013, November 26, 2013, November 28, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink dead, Despite this statement, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, Bush criticized President Barack Obama at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Bush criticized Obama's handling of Iran, specifically with respect to sanctions and a nuclear deal, saying: "You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That's how Americans should view the deal." Bush also attacked Obama's withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, calling it a "strategic blunder", borrowing a term that had been used by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.WEB,weblink The Lone Jewish Republican in Congress Is Nostalgic for George W. Bush, April 28, 2015,, Alongside the 2014 United States–Africa Leaders Summit, Bush, Michelle Obama, the State Department, and the George W. Bush Institute hosted a daylong forum on education and health with the spouses of the African leaders attending the summit. Bush urged African leaders to avoid discriminatory laws that make the treatment of HIV/AIDS more difficult.NEWS, Baker, Peter, Bush Urges Renewed Fight Against Deadly Diseases in Africa,weblink August 6, 2014, The New York Times, August 6, 2014, Bush has spoken in favor of increased global participation of women in politics and societal matters in foreign countries.WEB,weblink Bush, George W., 2011, Speech at the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, Michigan, YouTube, April 10, 2015, I believe women will lead the democracy movement in the Middle East.{{nbsp, ... Women are going to lead the democracy movement, mark my words.{{nbsp}}... We want to empower women and encourage women and to develop civil societies so women can benefit.}}WEB,weblink U.S. –Africa Leaders Summit Spousal Program, Part 2, Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., C-SPAN, Bush, George W., August 6, 2014, April 10, 2015, The success of any nation is impossible without the political participation, the economic empowerment, the education, and health, of women.{{nbsp, ... Taking care of women, is good politics.{{nbsp}}... The first ladies ought to be ambassadors as well.}}On November 2, 2014, Bush spoke at an event to 200 business and civic leaders at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum to raise awareness for the upcoming Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.WEB, President George W. Bush Talks Bible, Museums at Dallas Event,weblink DEMOSS, February 27, 2015,weblink" title="">weblink November 8, 2014, dead, Bush published a biography of his father, George Bush, called (41: A Portrait of My Father). It was released on November 11, 2014.NEWS, November 14, 2014,weblink Bush (43) Shares Spotlight With Bush (41) as Tribute Book Is Published, The New York Times, November 11, 2014, Peter, Baker, In an interview published by Israel Hayom magazine on June 12, 2015, Bush said "boots on the ground" would be needed in order to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). He added that people had said during his presidency that he should withdraw American troops from Iraq, but he chose the opposite, sending 30,000 more troops in order to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, and that they indeed were defeated. Bush was also asked about Iran but declined to answer, stating that any answer he gives would be interpreted as undermining Obama.NEWS,weblink My position was: you need to have boots on the ground, Amos Regev, Boaz Bismuth, File:The Unveiling of Dick Cheney's Vice Presidential Bust.jpg|thumb|Unveiling ceremony for marble bust of Dick CheneyDick CheneyFile:2016 Dallas police shooting memorial service 2.jpg|thumb|Bush with then-President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFile:The Trumps and the Bushes.jpg|thumb|George W. Bush and Laura Bush with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpIn February 2016, George W. Bush spoke and campaigned for his brother Jeb Bush in South Carolina during a rally for the Jeb Bush presidential campaign in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries.WEB,weblink George W. Bush campaigns for Jeb Bush in South Carolina, The Washington Times,weblink While Bush endorsed the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, he declined to endorse the 2016 Republican nominee Donald TrumpWEB,weblink Neither George W nor George HW Bush will endorse Donald Trump, Ben, Jacobs, May 5, 2016, The Guardian, and he did not attend the 2016 Republican National Convention, which formally nominated Trump.NEWS,weblink Bush 41 and Bush 43 plan to skip GOP convention, Politico, May 5, 2016, 9 June 2019, On the eve of Trump's nomination, it was reported that Bush had privately expressed concern about the current direction of the Republican Party and told a group of his former aides and advisors, "I'm worried that I will be the last Republican president."NEWS,weblink Inside the GOP's Shadow Convention, Politico, July 19, 2016, 9 June 2019, WEB,weblink George W. Bush worried he'll be 'the last Republican president', Ivan, Levingston, July 19, 2016, CNBC, Bush and his wife Laura did not vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential election according to a spokesperson for the Bush family, instead choosing to leave their presidential ballots blank.WEB,weblink Election Day 2016 updates: Trump defeats Clinton to become next president of U.S.., LA Times, After the election, Bush, his father, and his brother Jeb called Trump on the phone to congratulate him on his victory.NEWS,weblink Both former Bush presidents call to congratulate Donald Trump, Eric Bradner, CNN, CNN, Both he and Laura attended Trump's inauguration, and images of Bush struggling to put on a rain poncho during the ceremony became an internet meme.WEB,weblink #Meme Of The Week: George W. Bush Battles Poncho At Inauguration And Loses,, While leaving the event, Bush allegedly described the ceremony as "some weird shit".WEB,weblink Did George W. Bush Describe President Trump's Inauguration as 'Some Weird Sh*t'?,, In February 2017, Bush released a book of his own portraits of veterans called Portraits of Courage (full title: Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors).NEWS, President George W. Bush Shines Spotlight on Military With New Book 'Portraits of Courage',weblink February 28, 2017, NBC5, February 28, 2017, Following the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bush and his father released a joint statement condemning the violence and ideologies present at the rally; "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are all reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country."NEWS, Both Presidents Bush Condemn Hatred a Day After Trump's Press Conference,weblink April 22, 2018, TIME, August 16, 2017, Their statement came as President Trump was facing controversy over his statements about the rally. Subsequently, Bush gave a speech in New York where he noted of the current political climate, "Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication." He continued, "Bigotry in any form is blasphemy against the American creed and it means the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation," while urging citizens to oppose threats to American democracy and be positive role models for young people.NEWS, George W. Bush slams Trumpism, without mentioning president by name,weblink April 22, 2018, Politico, October 19, 2017, The speech was widely interpreted as a denouncement of Donald Trump and his ideologies, despite Bush not mentioning Trump by name.NEWS, In stunning attack, George W. Bush accuses President Trump of promoting falsehoods and prejudice,weblink April 22, 2018, The Los Angeles Times, October 19, 2017, NEWS, 'Bigotry Seems Emboldened': George W. Bush Shrewdly Takes Down Donald Trump in Viral Speech,weblink April 22, 2018, People, October 19, 2017, NEWS, George W. Bush's unmistakable takedown of Trumpism — and Trump,weblink April 22, 2018, The Washington Post, October 19, 2017, In April 2018, Bush and his father met in Texas with Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia."Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman toured Hollywood, Harvard and Silicon Valley on US visit". The Independent. April 7, 2018.In May 2019, on the 10th anniversary of former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun's passing, George Bush visited South Korea to pay respects to Roh and gave a short eulogy.NEWS, Maresca, Thomas, George W. Bush honors former President Roh Moo-hyun in South Korea,weblink 9 June 2019, 23 May 2019, en, UPI,


In January 2010, at President Obama's request, Bush and Bill Clinton established the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to raise contributions for relief and recovery efforts following the 2010 Haiti earthquake earlier that month.NEWS,weblink Hillary Clinton meets with Haiti leader after arrival, January 17, 2010, January 11, 2011, CNN,weblink" title="">weblink January 19, 2010, live, 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.NEWS, When Bush Got the Bin Laden Call (While Eating a Souffle), Franke-Ruta, Garance,weblink May 13, 2011, The Atlantic, May 14, 2011, May 16, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink live, 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 wrote to a widow who had lost five sons during the Civil War.NEWS, Presidents Obama and Bush commemorate 9/11 anniversary,weblink CNN, September 11, 2011, October 9, 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink On September 7, 2017, Bush partnered with former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama to work with One America Appeal to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in the Gulf Coast and Texas communities.NEWS,weblink Former presidents fundraise for Irma disaster relief, Shelbourne, Mallory, September 10, 2017, The Hill, September 11, 2017, Over the years, President Bush has had a good natured friendship with Michelle Obama. "President Bush and I, we are forever seatmates because of protocol, and that's how we sit at all the official functions," Obama told the Today Show. "He's my partner in crime at every major thing where all the 'formers' gather. So we're together all the time." She later added, "I love him to death. He's a wonderful man, he's a funny man."WEB,weblink George W. Bush Snuck Michelle Obama a Piece of Candy During His Father's State Funeral, Lauren, Hubbard, December 5, 2018, Town & Country, Bush and Obama have sat next to each other at many events including, the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march in Selma (2015), the interfaith memorial service for the victims in Dallas (2016), the opening at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016), and at the funerals for Nancy Reagan (2015), and John McCain (2018). Bush famously passed mints to Mrs. Obama during the McCain funeral and gave them to her again at his father, George H.W. Bush's funeral in 2018.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama Discusses 'The Beauty of George Bush', Time,


After serving as president, Bush began painting as a hobby after reading Winston Churchill's essay "Painting as a Pastime". Subjects have included people, dogs, and still life.NEWS, No, George W. Bush's paintings tell us nothing about Iraq,weblink Travis, Diehl, Salon (website), Salon, March 26, 2013, April 4, 2014, live, April 7, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink He has also painted self-portraits and portraits of world leaders, including Vladimir Putin and Tony Blair.NEWS, April 3, 2014, George W. Bush expects stellar reviews of new paintings, MSNBC, April 4, 2014,weblink May 6, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink dead, NEWS,weblink BBC News, George W Bush exhibits his paintings of world leaders, Nick, Bryant, April 4, 2014, April 4, 2014, April 5, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink live, NEWS, People (magazine), People, April 9, 2014,weblink April 9, 2014, Art Expert Reviews George W. Bush's Paintings,weblink" title="">weblink April 12, 2014, live, In February 2017, Bush released a book of portraits of veterans, Portraits of Courage. The net proceeds from his book are donated to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. In May 2019, on the 10th anniversary of former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun's passing, George Bush drew a portrait of Roh to give to his family.WEB,weblink George W. Bush honors former President Roh Moo-hyun in South Korea, UPI,

In mass culture


File:George W. Bush Presidential Center 081 - jpfagerback - 2013-04-28.JPG|thumb|right|George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) located in University Park, TexasUniversity Park, TexasPresident Bush's legacy continues to develop today. Supporters credit Bush's counterterrorism policies with preventing another major terrorist attack from occurring in the US after 9/11 and also praise individual policies such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit and the AIDS relief program known as PEPFAR. Critics often point to his handling of the Iraq War, specifically the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, that were the main rationale behind the initial invasion—as well as his handling of tax policy, Hurricane Katrina, climate change and the 2008 financial crisis—as proof that George W. Bush was unfit to be president.WEB,weblink George W. Bush's top five successes â€“ and failures, San Francisco Chronicle, April 23, 2013, April 30, 2013, April 30, 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink NEWS,weblink Debate continues over George W. Bush's legacy, NBC News, April 24, 2013, March 2, 2014, April 28, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink live, Chait, Jonathan. "Donald Trump Is Just George W. Bush But Racist." NYMag. April 14, 2017.Several historians and commentators hold that Bush was one of the most consequential presidents in American history. Princeton University scholar Julian Zelizer described Bush's presidency as a "transformative" one, and said that "some people hate him, some people love him, but I do think he'll have a much more substantive perception as time goes on".NEWS, ABC Online, September 22, 2010,weblink Historian tips rethink of Bush presidency, March 2, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink live, Bryon Williams of The Huffington Post referred to Bush as "the most noteworthy president since FDR" and said the Patriot Act "increased authority of the executive branch at the expense of judicial opinions about when searches and seizures are reasonable" as evidence.NEWS, January 7, 2011, March 2, 2014,weblink Byron, Williams, Is George W. Bush the Most 'Significant' President Since FDR?, The Huffington Post, Bush's administration presided over the largest tax cuts since the presidency of Ronald Reagan,WEB,weblink Comparing the Kennedy, Reagan and Bush Tax Cuts, Tax Foundation, August 24, 2004, April 12, 2014, and his homeland security reforms proved to be the most significant expansion of the federal government since the Great Society.NEWS,weblink Michael D., Tanner, Leviathan on the Right, The New York Times, March 4, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink live, March 2, 2014, Much of these policies have endured in the administrations of his two immediate successors, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.NEWS,weblink Julian, Zelizer, America lives under the shadow of George W. Bush, CNN, January 3, 2013, July 27, 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink March 6, 2016, Jim, Kuhnhenn, Obama Continues Some George Bush Policies Despite Differences In Ideology, Temperament, The Huffington Post, Associate Press, dead, April 24, 2013, A 2010 Siena Research Institute survey of the opinions of historians, political scientists, and presidential scholars ranked him 39th out of 43 presidents. The survey respondents gave President Bush low ratings on his handling of the U.S. economy, communication, ability to compromise, foreign policy accomplishments, and intelligence.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink March 4, 2016, Rushmore Plus One; FDR joins Mountainside Figures Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln as Top Presidents, Siena Research Institute, July 1, 2010, Among the public, his reputation has improved somewhat since his presidency ended in 2009. In February 2012, Gallup reported that "Americans still rate George W. Bush among the worst presidents, though their views have become more positive in the three years since he left office."NEWS, Jackson, David, Gallup: Reagan and Clinton are favorite presidents,weblink USA Today, February 19, 2012, February 20, 2012, live,weblink" title="">weblink Gallup had earlier noted that Bush's favorability ratings in public opinion surveys had begun to rise a year after he had left office, from 40 percent in January 2009 and 35 percent in March 2009, to 45 percent in July 2010, a period during which he had remained largely out of the news.WEB,weblink Bill Clinton More Popular Than Barack Obama, Gallup Politics, January 24, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink January 22, 2014, live, Other pollsters have noted similar trends of slight improvement in Bush's personal favorability since the end of his presidency.WEB, December 14, 2012, December 25, 2012,weblink George W. Bush: Favorability Ratings,weblink" title="">weblink live,, In April 2013, Bush's approval rating stood at 47 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval in a poll jointly conducted for The Washington Post and ABC, his highest approval rating since December 2005. Bush had achieved notable gains among seniors, non-college whites, and moderate and conservative Democrats since leaving office, although majorities disapproved of his handling of the economy (53 percent) and the Iraq War (57 percent).NEWS, The Washington Post,weblink George W. Bush's approval rating just hit a 7-year high. Here's how., Cillizza, Chris, Sullivan, Sean, April 23, 2013, April 24, 2013, His 47 percent approval rating was equal to that of President Obama's in the same polling period.NEWS,weblink Poll: George W. Bush's approval rating rising post-White House, Mali, Meghashyam, April 23, 2013, The Hill (newspaper), The Hill, April 24, 2013, April 24, 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink A CNN poll conducted that same month found that 55 percent of Americans said Bush's presidency had been a failure, with opinions divided along party lines, and 43 percent of independents calling it a success.NEWS, Steinhauser, Paul,weblink CNN poll: how will history remember George W. Bush?, CNN, April 24, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink April 28, 2013, live, Bush's public image saw greater improvement starting in 2017, which has been interpreted as Democrats viewing him more favorably in response to Donald Trump's presidency,WEB, April 22, 2018, April 25, 2017,weblink How Democrats Came to Feel Nostalgic for George W. Bush, The Atlantic, WEB, April 22, 2018, October 23, 2017,weblink Liberals, Stop Applauding George W. Bush, The New Republic, an assessment that has also been expressed by Bush himself.NEWS,weblink Bush says Trump 'makes me look pretty good' by comparison: report, Bowden, John, March 6, 2018, The Hill (newspaper), The Hill, April 22, 2018,

See also

{{Wikipedia books|George W. Bush}}



Further reading


  • 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. 364 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
  • 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|1535-4768}}
  • 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
  • Fortier, John C. and Norman J. Ornstein, eds. Second-term Blues: How George W. Bush Has Governed (2007), 146pp excerpt and online search from
  • 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 322 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) 43 pp: 319+. weblink" title="">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
  • BOOK, Smith, Jean Edward, Bush, 2016, Simon & Schuster,
  • 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|1535-4768}}
  • 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|1535-4768}}
  • 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
  • Woodward, Bob. Plan of Attack (2003), excerpt and text search

Primary sources

External links

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