George W. Bush

The 43rd President of the United States

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Upbringing

George Walker Bush, the eldest son of George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on July 6, 1946. At the age of two, Bush moved to Midland, Texas, where his father, George Herbert Walker, worked in the oil industry. The Bushes moved to Houston in 1961, and George W. Bush was sent to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He was an all-around athlete, playing baseball, basketball and football. He also had a reputation for being an occasional troublemaker. Later, at the age of 18, family connections helped him enter Yale University in 1964.
Bush was influenced by his parents, George Herbert and Barbara Bush. George W. Bush states in his autobiography Decision Points that he is not simply his father's or his mother's son, but a combination of both.
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Motivation

"We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and Freedom will prevail."

Quitting Drink

  • Had upwards of 10 drinks a day
  • Habitual alcoholic
  • "Quitting drinking was one of the toughest decision I have ever made."


If compared to the Progressive Era:

Taft

  • Got stuck in his bathtub
  • "Big Bill"
  • A reported 354 pounds

If Bush were compared to Progressive Era ideals, his campaign for Governor of Texas in 1994 would have been impeded, as he would have to make public appearances and might have been intoxicated, ruining his campaign. Bush quit drinking in 1984, however, if he kept drinking throughout his presidency, people would lose faith in Bush as a leader and figurehead of the United States. Taft serves as an example of a President who was ridiculed for having an outward physical image; Bush would have been portrayed similarly.

George Bush and the Iraq War

  • George Bush led the Global War on Terror and its various campaigns in retaliation for 9/11 and to destabilize Al-Qaeda
  • Disliked, people questioned foreign policy. "Why are we over there?"
  • Waged in the name of stopping terror and evil from spreading
  • Bush supported the troops but some of the public criticized the troops
  • Train the Afghan National Army and other groups to fend for themselves

Vietnam War

  • North Vietnamese Army was historically Soviet-backed
  • Waged in the name of stopping terror and evil from spreading
  • Train the South Vietnamese to fend for themselves
  • Very little public support, soldiers were called "Baby killers"
  • Why are we over there?

Overall Compare and Contrast

If Bush were compared to Vietnam War era ideals, he would elicit the same reaction from the public: Why are we over there? Generally, the American public would blame the President in times of war, just as they blamed Nixon during the Vietnam War, and later, Kennedy.

The ideals of public image and the public confidence would still apply in the Progressive Era as they do today. If Bush continued to drink, the possibility of him appearing drunk during a public appearance would have increased, and as the President of the United States, the whole world would have been watching.

Political Cartoon

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Skills of George Bush

  • Strong figure
  • Aggression and diplomacy
  • Good public relations and network
  • Family dynasty


If I had the assets of George W. Bush, I would run for the presidency to replace President Obama. I would write an autobiography. Some changes I would make would include

  • U.S Foreign policy
  • U.S Social issues
  • International relations
  • Education reform

Parallels

Growing up, Bush had a privileged childhood, attended Phillips Academy, and later in his presidency, expounded upon his public image as a Texan cowboy. While growing up, Bush never lost his "Yankee" ideals, such as wealth and connections. Bush attended Yale, and later, Harvard Business School, following in the footsteps of his father George H.W. Bush. His love of country is illustrated as he served in the Texas Air National Guard in the time between Yale and Harvard.

As Bush was raised in the shadow of his father, growing up in Midland, Texas with a New England background, he changed from the son of a wealthy oil businessman to a member of the Bush electoral machine.

The Bush electoral machine refers to the Bush family's political success, beginning with Prescott Bush, who served as a U.S. Senator during from 1952-1963. The streak was later followed by George H.W. Bush, who was the 41st President. Bush Junior's brother, Jeb Bush, was the 43rd Governor of Florida.

Overall, Bush regulated his public image, alternating between a professional diplomat and businessman, and a common Texas who supported the troops.