George Walker Bush
George Walker Bush, born July 6, 1946, son of George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife, born Barbara Pierce, is the 43rd president of USA (since January 20, 2001).|
Member of the Republican Party, he was elected twice governor of the State of Texas (between 1994 and 1998 and between 1998 and 2000) then abandons his post as governor after his victory in the presidential election. He was elected president for a second term on November 2, 2004. His presidencies are marked by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, by the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq.
In May 2008, the Time Newspaper ranks him seventh on its list of the hundred most influential people in the world.
Elder of a family of six children, George W. Bush was born in the first year of the Baby Boom in New Haven in the state of Connecticut.
He has two sisters. One of them died when she was three years after an operation to treat her leukaemia had gone wrong, and three brothers, including John Ellis Bush ( "Jeb") who was born seven years after him.
The Bush family moved to Houston in 1959 where the father had moved his prosperous oil company.
As a teenager, George W. Bush is sent to a boarding school for boys in the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, considered at the time as the "toughest private school of America" by Time Magazine.
He was then admitted to Yale, where his grandfather was a director, to pursue higher education. He will get a Bachelor of Arts in History. He is, at that time, member of a secret student brotherhood that later became famous, the Skull and Bones, just like his father George H. W. Bush (1948), his grandfather Prescott Bush (1917) and John Kerry, his future rival in the presidential election of 2004, were part of it.
He made his military service in the Air National Guard in Texas in 1968 where he became a pilot of an F-102. His unit is responsible for air defence of the south and the Gulf of Mexico.
During his enlistment, he takes his leave to participate in electoral campaigns with his father or friends.
At the end of his military service, Bush is admitted to the prestigious Harvard Business School, after being refused at the Law faculty of the University of Texas. He obtained his MBA in 1975.
In 1977, he married Laura Welch. They will have two twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, born in 1981.
In 1978, he is candidate to the election of the House of Representatives in Texas but was defeated by the outgoing representative, Kent Hance, his opponent in the Democratic Party.
He began his career in the petrol industry with the creation of Arbusto Energy (arbusto means bush in Spanish), a research firm for petrol and gas. The company faces a crisis in 1979 and, after renaming the company Bush Exploration, George W. Bush sold it, in 1984, to Spectrum 7, one of his Texan competitors, but wil then take the direction of it. The next crisis (1985-1987) provokes the same scenario that puts George W. Bush at the head of Harken Energy. Some then accuse his father (President of USA) to have been pushing so that some disturbing elements in this sale wouldn’t need a thorough investigation. Others respond that the arrival of Bill Clinton has not altered the case, proving the independence of the investigations. From 1983 to 1992, he is part of the board of the film production company Silver Screen Partners, owned by Roland W. Betts, a friend and former colleague at university.
After working on the victorious campaign of his father in 1988, he gathered some friends and relatives and bought the Texas Rangers, a baseball team in 1989. Some accused him thereafter to have benefited of political pressures in connection with this purchase.
He now lives in Crawford, where he owns a ranch where he spends his vacations.
George W. Bush confessed in front of cameras a long period of debauchery, of which he got out when he was around forty years old. He was an alcoholic. His family and friends of his father have done everything to give him a socially acceptable appearance in supporting him closely and financially in his economic enterprises. He says it is faith and his wife who helped him. His father did not believe he had a chance to win the first election.
George W. Bush is a born again Christian, ie a Christian who is "born again" as Jesus' words to Nicodemus (Gospel of John 3.3): "Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man is born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. "
He claims to pray several times a day and often refers, more or less openly, to passages of the Bible in his speeches. He won his campaign by winning support of a part of the evangelical Christians. He even won an important part of the Catholic electorate in 2004 by winning over 50% of its votes against a candidate yet emerged from this community.
He printed this faith in the heart of the governmental Labour. The meetings of the Government in the White House would begin with a prayer and the reading of a passage from the Bible.
This fundamental aspect of the personality of George W. Bush suggests a mystical dimension that pervades the action of the American government. Some Christians argue that weapons and faith are not compatible for a "born-again Christian."
Events such as those of September 11 and the catastrophe of New Orleans appear in this mystical perspective as facts that can be analyzed in terms of religion. The expression "fight the axis of evil" motto of international policy against terrorism after the events of September 11, stresses this out.
In 1994, Bush sells the Texas Rangers, right after his election as Governor of Texas, after beating the very popular outgoing Democrat governor, Ann Richards.
He is the second Republican governor of Texas since 1877 and the first governor of that state to complete two full terms of four years since he was re-elected in 1998 with 69% of the votes.
He policy is very noticed in Europe for the use made of the death penalty: he signed the execution order of the court for 152 prisoners convicted of crimes and sentenced to death.
He skilfully manoeuvre with the elected Democrats which represents the majority in Congress, so that a part of them will join him during his 2000 presidential campaign, when he had already posed as opposing candidate.
The 2000 presidential election opposed George W. Bush to Al Gore, vice president of USA and candidate of the Democratic Party.
After imposing himself with difficulty during the primary against John McCain, the senator from Arizona, George W. Bush focuses his campaign on the country's internal affairs, including substantially lower the level of the external US commitment, in accordance to the isolationist tradition of the republicans.
During this campaign, Bush surrounds himself with policy experts like Karl Rove (a family friend and strategist confirmed in election campaign), Karen Hughes, an adviser of Texas or Dick Cheney, former secretary of defence, that he chooses as candidate for vice-presidency.
The night of the elections, Gore beats Bush by nearly 550 000 votes nationally but the two candidates are very close at the state level and large voters who elect the President. The results are so tight in some states, like New Mexico and Florida, it is sometimes necessary to set up a second breakdown. Defects and ambiguities in some forms of vote cause disputes in polling stations, especially in Florida where the gap is only a hundred votes, and where several thousand ballots were declared invalid.
In New-Mexico, after being declared the winner with ten thousand votes ahead, a new recount sees advance to Al Gore melt to three hundred votes. In Florida, some polling stations officially closed for irregularities. The counting of votes is long because a methodical recount is ordered especially in three counties, but in the end George Bush is still winning with approximately 1 500 votes ahead.
The lawyers for Al Gore, however, will get from the Supreme Court of Florida (in which six out of seven judges are Democrats) a new manual recount in three counties, those in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward. In doing so, the Court of Florida exceeds its judicial powers and rewrote the electoral code which will be immediately argued at the Supreme Court of the USA by the lawyers for George W. Bush, especially since the three counties are mostly dominated by Democrats and are best able to provide a reserve to Al Gore, enough to get him elected.
After a first warning to the Supreme Court of Florida on overtaking its prerogatives and its encroachment on the legislative front, the Supreme Court of USA (including seven out of nine judges that were appointed by Republican presidents) eventually cancel the ultimate manual recount of votes in Florida, considered illegal by five votes against and only four while the county of Miami-Dade has not yet finished the manual recount and Bush is still ahead by more than a hundred votes and that is how George W. Bush is finally appointed president of the United States by the Supreme Court, just through the votes of Florida which allow him to get the votes of 271 electors against 266 to Al Gore. The final official result is therefore 50 459 211 votes for Bush (47.9%), 51 003 894 for Gore (48.4%), %), Ralph Nader (ecologist) gets 2 834 410 (2.7%) and Patrick Buchanan (Reform Party) 446 743 (0.4%). There still were 12 votes for other candidates (all 0.6%).
At no time, Al Gore has managed to overtake George Bush during the second counting of Florida. In March 2001, a consortium of several American newspapers have carried out at their own expense a recount of ballots in the three key counties, but also throughout Florida. According to different situations envisaged, their conclusions were that if the Court had not stopped the manual recount, George Bush would still win the election or would have lost it for three votes in one case facing Al Gore.
This is not the first time in the country's history that a president is invested with fewer votes than his opponent at the national level. In the nineteenth century, Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison were also elected with fewer votes than their opponent. John F. Kennedy won against Richard Nixon in 1960 with 120 000 votes ahead.
On 29 October 2002, Bush signed a project in Congress, entitled the Help America Vote Act of 2002, to widespread use of machines to record votes.
During the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush is opposed to Democratic Senator John Kerry. First falling behind in the polls, he takes advantage of the lack of dynamism of his opponent to take a significant advance, with an argument based on the lack of political consistency of the senator. The latter, however, surprised the public during the first TV debate, directly attacking the president on the "colossal error" of the war in Iraq: the campaign is reactivated. During the next two debates, both candidates compete without one of the two really taking any advantage.
The ballot is once more very tight. George W. Bush is re-elected in the vote on 2 November 2004 with a historic score of over 62 million voters against 59 million to John Kerry who conceded defeat from the day after the election. The Republican camp also won a historic victory in elections for the renewal of the Senate and House of Representatives.
The division between the Republicans’ "red states" and the Democrats’ "blue states" are as clear as in 2000 between Bush and Gore.
The intellectual cities in the north-east and north as Boston, New York and Chicago, cities on the west coast as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, which represent states with the highest concentrations of population, are anchored in the Democratic camp. In fact, the 32 cities with over 500 000 residents accounted for by the USA have almost all voted Democratic while the majority of them are, however, in Republicans states (Atlanta, Miami, Las Vegas, New Orleans , Etc.)..
It is in terms of counties that the advantage switches sharply and broadly to the Republicans. Three-quarters of U.S. counties have voted for Bush and only those states of New England and Hawaii have voted predominantly for John Kerry. Thus, 54 of the 67 counties of Pennsylvania voted for George W. Bush, but the State was narrowly won by Kerry through his scores in the two major cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Democrats would also have lost the states of Illinois, Michigan, Washington and Wisconsin if they had not benefited from their huge majority in Chicago, Detroit, Seattle or Milwaukee. By contrast, voters in San Diego in California choose George W. Bush in a "pro-Kerry” State.
The geo-political opposition can be explained, in some way, by the sociological profile of the inhabitants of most major cities which corresponds to that of traditional Democratic voters (preponderance of unmarried women and ethnic minorities), while the sociology of suburbs (the borough of Staten Island in New York or Orange County near Los Angeles, for example) and rural towns (Charleston, South Carolina) corresponds to that of Republican voters (white men, married couples with children ).
The final outcome of the election is as follows: George W. Bush gets 62 041 268 votes (50 7%) against 59 028 548 to John Kerry (48 3%) 463 635 to Ralph Nader (0 4%) and 397 157 to Michal Badnarik (Libertarian, 0 3%). The other candidates collect all 365 170 votes (0 3%). Major voters are divided as follows: 286 for George W. Bush, 251 for John Kerry and John Edwards 1 for the colistier of John Kerry.
Because of the highest voter turnout, George W. Bush and John Kerry have both set records in regard to the number of votes obtained. George Bush rose from 50.4 to 62 million (gain of $ 11.6 million), John Kerry over Al Gore won 8 million votes (51 to 59 million). Ralph Nader has collapsed from 2.9 to 0.46 million.
In 2008, Barak Obama succeeded to Bush as the $$th President of the United States of America.