George W. Bush
George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American retired politician who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. A member of the Republican Party, Bush family, and son of the 41st president George H. W. Bush, he previously served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. While in his twenties, Bush flew warplanes in the Texas Air National Guard. After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1975, he worked in the oil industry. In 1978, Bush unsuccessfully ran for the House of Representatives. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball before he was elected governor of Texas in 1994. As governor, Bush successfully sponsored legislation for tort reform, increased education funding, set higher standards for schools, and reformed the criminal justice system. He also helped make Texas the leading producer of wind-powered electricity in the nation. In the 2000 presidential election, Bush defeated Democratic incumbent Vice President Al Gore despite losing the popular vote, after a narrow and contested win that involved a Supreme Court decision to stop a recount in Florida. Upon taking office, Bush signed a major tax cut program and education reform bill, the No Child Left Behind Act. He pushed for socially conservative efforts such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and faith-based initiatives. A decisive event that reshaped his administration was the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, resulting in the start of the war on terror and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Bush ordered the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban, destroy al-Qaeda, and capture Osama bin Laden. He signed the Patriot Act to authorize surveillance of suspected terrorists. Bush also ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq on the belief that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs); although no WMDs were ever found in Iraq, Hussein was nevertheless overthrown and captured by U.S. forces. Bush also signed the Medicare Modernization Act, which created Medicare Part D. Bush was re-elected president in 2004, defeating Democrat John Kerry and winning the popular vote. During his second term, Bush reached multiple free trade agreements. He appointed John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. He sought major changes to Social Security and immigration laws, but both efforts failed in Congress. Bush was widely criticized for his handling of Hurricane Katrina and the midterm dismissal of U.S. attorneys. Amid his unpopularity, the Democrats regained control of Congress in the 2006 elections; afterwards, Congress made multiple attempts to impeach Bush, with all being unsuccessful. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars continued, and in January 2007, Bush launched a surge of troops in Iraq. By December, the U.S. entered the Great Recession, prompting the Bush administration to obtain congressional approval for multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's financial system, including the Troubled Asset Relief Program. After finishing his second term, Bush returned to Texas, where his presidential library opened in 2013. He has maintained a low profile since leaving office. At various points in his presidency, Bush was among both the most popular and unpopular presidents in U.S. history. He received the highest recorded approval ratings in the wake of the September 11 attacks, but also one of the lowest such ratings during the 2007–2008 financial crisis. Although public favorability of Bush has improved since he left office, his presidency has generally been rated as below-average by scholars.
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