Bush was the winner of one of the closest elections in American history, against Democratic Vice President Albert Gore. The election ended with a ruling by the United States Supreme Court, which split along partisan lines to give Bush the presidency.
Among his cabinet appointees are: Colin Powell, US Secretary Of State; Spencer Abraham, US Secretary Of Energy; Gale Norton, US Secretary Of Interior; and Tommy Thompson, US Secretary Of Health And Human Services. His controversial appointee for the important US Attorney General post is John Ashcroft, and Condoleeza Rice is his US National Security Advisor.
Bush was born on July 6, 1946 in Connecticut, and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a Bachelor's degree from Yale University with an undistinguished academic record and membership in Delta Epsilon Kappa and the Skull and Bones Society, then a Master's of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard, avoiding combat in the Vietnam War, before beginning his career in the oil and gas business in Midland in 1975, working in the energy industry until 1986. His forays into the industry were disastrous, losing millions of dollars - though this was a common fate during the period in that industry, as oil prices collapsed. After working on his father's successful 1988 presidential campaign, he assembled the group of partners from his father's close friends that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989.
He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected Governor of Texas on November 8, 1994. He went on to become the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms. His tenure in office featured many achievements and, despite a reputation for bipartisan leadership, some controversy, even international controversy; for example, during Bush's tenure, Texas saw a sharp rise in capital punishment.
His career is remarkable for his rapid political ascent; for example, both the previous president, Bill Clinton, and Bush's opponent, Al Gore, had spent their entire adult lives in politics.
He is the first president with an MBA degree.
Bush is married to Laura Welch Bush, a former teacher and librarian, and they have 19-year-old twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna. Bush's brother Jeb is the governor of Florida. His father George Bush was the 41st president and his grandfather, Prescott Bush, served as senator from Connecticut. The Bush family has been intimately involved in American and global politics and business throughout this century.
He has deliberately distanced himself from his Connecticut roots, considering himself a Texan, embracing its culture and style. He had serious problems with alcohol for years after college, including a drunk driving arrest in Maine. He later forswore alcohol and became a born-again Christian. Bush shares his father's tendency for stumbling on words and thus making unintentionally humorous or nonsensical statements.
Criticism of Bush the candidate centered less around policy (in part because he had such a brief political track record) than on the perception that he was, in a word, "dumb". This is based both on his dissipated youth, his verbal gaffes, and his uninterest in policy details he considers unimportant, but also on his embracement of Texan culture. See Internet humor/George W. Bush lexicon for an example of the association of Bush with Texan stereotypes, which may be viewed as positive or negative, depending on which side of the fence you prefer.
Economy: deep tax cuts, primarily affecting the rich
Education: mandatory national testing
Drilling in ANWR
Redesign of military with emphasis on supermodern hardware, less international deployment
Laws signed by GWB
- Laura Welch Bush (wife) (first lady)
- Vice Presidents: Richard Cheney (vice president)
- George Bush (father and former US president)