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George W. Bush Essay

1845 words - 7 pages

BUSH, George W(alker)(1946- ), 43d president of the U.S. (2001- ). The eldest son of George H. W. Bush, 41st president of the U.S. (1989-93), he is the first son of a former president to win the White House since John Quincy Adams in 1824.Early Career.Born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Conn., he spent most of his childhood first in Midland and then in Houston, Tex. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale, the same university his father had attended, and fulfilled his military service requirement with the Texas Air National Guard (1968-73). After earning a master's degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School, he returned to Midland in 1975, hoping, like his father, to make his fortune in the oil industry. In 1977 he married a schoolteacher and librarian, Laura Welch (1946- ). He lost a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives the following year.Bush's rapid financial and political ascent did not begin until 1986, when he turned 40, swore off alcohol, and renewed his Christian faith. A business deal with Harken Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based firm, offered him the financial stake he needed, and after assisting in his father's 1988 presidential campaign, he became managing partner of the Texas Rangers professional baseball team in 1989. He was elected governor of Texas in 1994, unseating a popular Democrat incumbent, and won a landslide reelection victory in 1998, the same year his brother Jeb Bush (1953- ) was elected governor of Florida.The 2000 Election.Campaigning as a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, Bush won the Republican presidential nomination and, together with his vice-presidential running mate, Richard B. Cheney, went on to defeat the Democratic ticket of Al Gore and Joseph I. Lieberman in one of the tightest presidential elections in U.S. history. The victory was not sealed until a mid-December ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court left Florida's crucial electoral votes in Bush's column. The presidential contest was the first since 1888 in which the electoral-college winner failed to finish first in the popular vote. After the Supreme Court ruling, Bush stressed the theme of reconciliation, noting that he was "not elected to serve one party, but to serve the nation."Bush as President.Bush took office on Jan. 20, 2001, and enjoyed an early legislative success when Congress passed a $1.35-trillion tax-reduction measure, intended to stimulate the lagging U.S. economy. For the first four months of his term, the president's Republican allies controlled both the House and the Senate. That changed when Vermont Senator James M. (Jim) Jeffords (1934- ) announced that he would leave the Republican party and become an independent, shifting the balance in the Senate to the Democrats. In August, Bush dealt with a growing national controversy between medical researchers and antiabortion groups by agreeing to authorize federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research, but only for cell lines that already existed on Aug....

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