George W. Bush, born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He is a member of the influential Bush family, with his father, George H.W. Bush, having served as the 41st President of the United States. ## Education and early career George W. Bush attended Yale University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1968. After college, he served in the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1974. He later attended Harvard Business School, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 1975. After completing his education, Bush worked in the oil industry in Texas and started his own oil exploration company, Arbusto Energy. ## Political career Bush's political career began in earnest when he was elected as the Governor of Texas in 1994, serving two consecutive terms from 1995 to 2000. As governor, he focused on education reform, tax cuts (aka [trickle down economics](https://doctorparadox.net/gop-myths/trickle-down-economics/)), and criminal justice issues, among other policy areas. Having long lived in the shadow of his father, former President George H.W. Bush, the younger Bush felt compelled to make his own run for the Oval Office as then-President Bill Clinton ended his second term. ### Bush v. Gore and the Brooks Brothers Riot In the 2000 presidential election, Bush ran as the Republican nominee and narrowly defeated Democratic candidate Al Gore in a highly contested race that ultimately was decided by [[The Supreme Court]]. The race came down to the results of the Electoral College votes in the state of Florida -- an extremely close race complicated by several ballot irregularities in counties including Miami-Dade. During the Brooks Brothers Riot on November 22, 2000, noted "dirty deeds" trickster and Republican operative [[Roger Stone]] -- who had been connected to the [[Watergate]] scandal that brought down former President [[Richard Nixon]] -- led the charge to coordinate an unusual "protest" designed to put a stop to recount efforts underway. The "riot" was organized and participated in by a group of well-dressed, primarily Republican operatives and staffers, many of whom had been flown in from Washington, D.C. They were nicknamed the "Brooks Brothers" after the upscale clothing brand, as they were dressed in business attire, which was unusual for typical protests. The group gathered outside the Miami-Dade County election offices, demanding an end to the recount and chanting slogans like "Stop the count!" and "Let us in!" The demonstrators managed to enter the building and caused a commotion, disrupting the recount process. The chaotic scene led to the Miami-Dade County canvassing board deciding to halt the recount, citing concerns over safety and order. This decision ultimately contributed to Bush's narrow victory in Florida, which secured his presidency. He was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001. ## Iraq and Afghanistan wars Bush's presidency was marked by significant domestic and international events, including the [[September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks]]. In response to the attacks, Bush launched the War on Terror, which included the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to dismantle the Taliban regime and the subsequent [[Iraq War]] beginning in 2003 to remove Saddam Hussein from power. These conflicts shaped much of his foreign policy, as well as controversial domestic policies like the USA PATRIOT Act, which expanded government surveillance powers. Bush's administration also dealt with a series of natural disasters, most notably Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which devastated the Gulf Coast region and led to widespread criticism of the government's response. Additionally, his tenure saw significant economic challenges, including the 2008 financial crisis, which led to government intervention in the form of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Bush was reelected in 2004, defeating Democratic nominee John Kerry. However, his approval ratings declined throughout his second term, largely due to growing opposition to the Iraq War and dissatisfaction with the handling of Hurricane Katrina and the financial crisis. ## Post-presidency After leaving office in 2009, Bush returned to Texas and has since focused on his presidential library and foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center. He has also taken up painting and has written several books, including "Decision Points" (2010), a memoir reflecting on his presidency, and "Portraits of Courage" (2017), a collection of his paintings of military veterans. Throughout his post-presidency, Bush has remained involved in various humanitarian efforts, such as supporting veterans, fighting against cancer, and promoting global health initiatives. While he has largely refrained from direct involvement in politics, he occasionally speaks on national issues and the state of the [Republican Party](https://doctorparadox.net/the-gop-is-3-cults-in-a-trenchcoat/).