Ranked #29: Bush helped America feel united after the 9/11 attacks. However as time went on this unity began to fall apart as America invaded Iraq and the financial crisis of 2008 almost completely melted the economy.
Summary: George W. Bush has a lively, witty personality. He’s the type of guy that likes to tell jokes and can be at ease with total strangers. I always thought that he would be the perfect person to have a beer with, since I think there would be no end to his storytelling humor. In fact, he was known to go to great lengths to generate fun. He was the life of the party and lived like a playboy until he reached the age of about 40. Even while his dad was in office, he could be depended on to say something outrageous. I think this was largely due to the fact that he likely drank a lot. After meeting his future wife he slowly began to mature, particularly after she said that she would leave him if didn’t. Bush always seemed like a guy who never had to work very hard at anything to get by. It was at about the same point that he became interested in business and politics.
Bio: George W. was always a baseball fanatic. He played the game with a lot of enthusiasm throughout his younger years. What he lacked in talent, he made up for with his devotion to the sport. He would later in life become part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team. Bush is also an above average golfer who actually prefers golf video games. He enjoys hunting and fishing. As of late, he has shown a budding interest in oil painting.
As President, Bush won a highly-disputed election in 2000 that was eventually decided by the US Supreme Court. He had already served as Texas Governor and had excellent name recognition by the time he ran. Once in office, he started with a casual approach to the presidency - until September 11, 2001 when that all changed very quickly. His first term was largely dedicated to work on counter-terrorism as he led the reactionary effort to attack the country of Iraq. He also introduced major tax cuts for the purpose of stimulating the economy. The tax cuts unfortunately were undermined by the fact that there was no corresponding reduction in spending and the fact that the US was paying for two wars with a blank check. He established an education program called No Child Left Behind and attempted to reform Medicare and Social Security. During his tenure, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf of Mexico and literally destroyed the city of New Orleans. His administration during this crisis was accused of negligence and incompetence as a result of the slow response to the disaster. Then there was the financial crisis of 2008 that sent the nation into the worse financial situation since the Great Depression of 1929.
It will be years before an objective evaluation of his presidency can possibly take place. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, he had a really great opportunity to unite our divided nation. In fact, he became the most popular President in the history of polling when he actually reached 90% approval after that event. I think his ordering of the invasion of Iraq and the restructuring of the national security structure created an environment of mistrust and anger among the American public that he never recovered from. This, along with Katrina and the financial crisis certainly didn’t make things better for him. As it stands now, it all, opinions regarding the legacy of this President are dependent upon which side of the ideology a person stands.
Pros: United America after 911. Invasion of Afghanistan. Lowered taxes. No Child Left Behind.
Cons: Invaded Iraq for no coherent reason. NSA spying on Americans. Financial crisis of 2008. Questionable election in 2000.
Born: July 6, 1946, New Haven, Connecticut
Term: January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009 (1 term)