Why did George W. Bush become President

George W. BushLook back on your 70th birthday

It was one of the relatively rare appearances of George W. Bush at an election rally for his brother Jeb. Back in February, Jeb Bush wanted to be president. Older brother George was easy going, relaxed, far from the burdens of his former office.

"I've been a little calmer in public since we left the White House. Eight years in the spotlight has been a lot. Laura and I are very pleased with what she called the afterlife. We spend a lot of time on ours Hof, where we became tree farmers, where I can practice my speeches.

I've written two books. That amazed a lot of people who believed I couldn't read, and certainly not write. "

He was underestimated for almost his entire life, the ex-president added one of his most famous twists, a "Bushism".

Despite all the seriousness of his presidency, Bush kept making his listeners laugh, for example when he confused the State of the Union speech beyond recognition.

George W. Bush at a press conference in the White House on January 26, 2006 (dpa / picture alliance / Martin H. Simon)

George W. Bush is always called with the first letter of his middle name, Walker, to distinguish him from his father, George Herbert Walker Bush. Sometimes in the USA there is also talk of Bush 41, the father and Bush 43, the son. An American dynasty of politicians. The grandfather Senator, the great-grandfather of influential investment bankers, mother Barbara Bush is descended from US President Franklin Pierce.

Father Bush got into the oil business in the 1940s. The family moved from Connecticut, New England, to Midland, Texas.

In boarding school and at the elite Yale University, George W., the eldest of six Bush children, was known to be hard-drinking and party-happy. "He didn't behave so well when he was younger," Bush said years after his presidency.

The 40th birthday was a turning point for Bush. He swore off alcohol, became a devout Christian and got into politics. For his father, since 1994 as governor of Texas, in the election campaign in 2000 as a Republican presidential candidate with socially conservative ideas. Always with the support of the family, from Mrs. Laura, especially from mother Barbara. It pains them when people criticize George W. One should be careful never to do that in front of her.

He won the election despite Bill Clinton's Vice President Al Gore having more votes and the Florida recount has been stopped. Brother Jeb Bush was governor there at the time.

The pivotal point of his presidency, however, became the attacks of September 11, 2001, less than nine months after Bush moved into the White House.

"America is on its knees today. We pray for the people whose lives were lost here. For the workers, for the grieving families. I hear them! I hear them! The rest of the world hears them! And the people who make them." Brought down buildings, everyone will hear from us soon! "

Operation Enduring Freedom, the war against the Taliban and the Al Qaeda terror network in Afghanistan, began on October 7th. Bush had surrounded himself in his cabinet with his father's neo-conservative friends. Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also supported the idea of ​​the US as the only remaining superpower to control the fate of the world.

"Removing Saddam Hussein was the right decision"

On March 20, 2003, the war against Iraq was added, although the evidence of its weapons of mass destruction and its links to international terrorism was far from reliable.

Would he behave like he did in 2001 in the war on terror? In 2013, Bush said:

"You have to look at the tactics again. On the other hand, removing Saddam Hussein was the right decision. America is safer, the Iraqi people have the chance to live in a free society."

Results of the campaign up to 2010: Almost 4,500 dead US soldiers, according to the independent organization Iraq Body Count, the war has now cost more than 250,000 victims, mainly civilians.

George W. Bush gave his country a Ministry of Homeland Security, a Patriot Act that allowed the secret services to spy on US citizens and foreigners to an unprecedented extent, the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba and torture prisons like Abu Ghraib in Iraq. A moral low point for America, rounded off by the failure of the Bush administration in the face of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the bursting of the real estate bubble and the subsequent global economic crisis in 2008. When George W. Bush made way for President Obama in the White House, he was as unpopular as Richard Nixon had been before him.

But the Americans forgive. In 2015, the ex-president was more popular than Obama and Hillary Clinton.

When the portrait of the 43rd President was unveiled in the White House in 2012, Bush said, "I am delighted that my portrait brings a symmetry to the White House collection. It now starts and ends with a George W."

Despite identical initials: George Washington, their first president, very few Americans will name their first president in the same breath as the 43rd incumbent George Walker Bush. Even after he has turned 70.