George Walker Bush: A life in politics

Former president George Walker Bush has stepped back into the political fire with a speech of criticism against Nativism, and President Trump’s ‘America First’ motives. 

George W. Bush is a president with a legacy that is shrouded in much debate. His slow response to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina is widely criticized, and his military invasion of Iraq is questioned. However, his leadership through one of the nation’s toughest tragedies, 9/11 is nationally praised. 

The 43rd president has certainly led a life of intrigue, from owning stock in the Texas Rangers baseball team to Air National Guard Service.  


George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1946. He was born to President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush. He was the oldest of six siblings who include his brothers Jeb, Neil, and Marvin, as well as his sisters Robin and Dorothy. Bush was raised in Texas where his father was an executive in the oil industry. Bush went to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and furthered his academic career in prestigious institutes such as Yale University and Harvard School of Business. During the late Vietnam War Bush served in the Texas National Air Guard and finished his active duty service in 1970. Then in 1977 he married Laurel Welch and had two children, Jenna and Barbara. Bush started his major political career in 1978 when he ran for the House of Representatives from Texas and lost to his democratic opponent. He then returned to Texas to work in his oil business. Bush moved to Washington D.C. and aided with his father’s successful 1988 presidential campaign. According to Bush became an investor in the Texas Rangers baseball team, but later sold his ownership stake for 15 million dollars. In 1994 Bush ran for governor of Texas and won, and then was re-elected 4 years later. Then in 1999, Bush announced his campaign for the presidency. 


George Bush and his running mate Dick Cheney narrowly defeated former Vice-President Al Gore and his running mate Joe Lieberman in what is considered the closest presidential election of all time. An article from Brittanica states that despite losing the popular vote by a few thousand votes to Gore, Bush was able to secure the presidency in an Electoral College victory of 271-266, 1 more electoral vote than required. This was the 4th time a candidate had won the election, but not won the popular vote. This was also the first time the son of a president became president since John Quincy Adams took office. 


The primary focus of Bush’s first term was in response to the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks. A month after 9/11 Bush retaliated with a military invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime and an attempt to capture Osama Bin Laden. He succeeded in defeating the regime, but Bin Laden was not captured for several years. Bush also created the Department of Homeland Security, a cabinet which specifically targets terrorism defense. He continued what he called “the war on terror” when he invaded Iraq in 2003 to capture Saddam Hussein. Hussein was captured in December of 2003. Bush also had several congressional accomplishments including the No Child Left Behind Act, and several tax-cut bills. 

Bush defeated Democratic opponent John Kerry in the 2004 election with an electoral college victory of 286-251. 

Bush’s second term was filled with more controversy than his first. The devastating tragedy of Hurricane Katrina brought billions of dollars in damages to America’s Gulf coast and Bush was widely panned for responding to the tragedy very slowly. The United States also reached one of it’s worst financial crises since the Great Depression. This was largely due to the cost of fighting two wars and widespread tax-cut bills; both orders under the Bush administration. 


After leaving the office in 2009, Bush moved back to Crawford, Texas with Laurel Bush. Bush wrote and published a memoir titled Decision Points. Bush has garnered national attention recently for his public speech which several political observers, including the Washington Post, Politico, and the New York Times have deemed as a criticism of President Donald Trump’s politics. He has also gained public attention for a hurricane relief concert he had attended last week.