Who knew a son could follow so many footsteps of a father. George W. Bush, son of former president George Bush, has done exactly that; which has led him too many great successes throughout his career in the political arena of politics. George W. Bush a strong businessman, a leader in politics, and a running member of one of the most famous Presidential campaigns ever. George W. Bush, known as “W” to most people, was born in New Haven, Connecticut on July 6, 1946 to the parents of George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Pierce Bush. Most of his adolescence was spent in Midland and Houston, Texas.
He is the eldest son of five siblings, which include, Jeb, governor of Florida, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. Like his father, Bush attended the same college, Philips Andover Academy in Massachusetts before he went and graduated from Yale University with a bachelor”s degree in 1968 (A&E 1). While attending school, he joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and became a member of Skull and Bones at Yale. Unlike his father, George Bush did not receive any kind of scholarships for baseball instead he was president of his fraternity as his extracurricular activity (Newsmakers 1).
W then returned to Texas in May, still following the footsteps of his father, he enlisted with the Texas Air National Guard where he became a F-102 pilot. He was trained in a fi! fty-three-week program to fly fighter jets. He completed in 1973 and eventually became a lieutenant but never had to go to Vietnam. He spent his time in Houston holding various short-term jobs, one including a stint at a program called Pull for Youth for underprivileged kids. Although, during this time of the early seventies reporters like to call this a, “nomadic period” for Bush.
Time magazine wrote: “he became a real Texan in the family, chewing tobacco, using barnyard humor, settling in the state”s western corner, the one harboring what his aunt Nancy Ellis calls, a ‘slightly outrageous streak”” (Newsmakers 1). After working as a management trainee in agriculture firm and on U. S. Senate Campaigns in Florida and Alabama, he went to Harvard Business School in 1972 and received his M. B. A. in 1975. Still following the footsteps of his father, Bush decided to go into the business of the oil industry.
He earned his first million within ten years, but the oil industry for Bush didn”t exactly turn out the way it had for his father. W built a small independent oil and gas exploration company called Arbusto (the Spanish word for “bush”). He married Laura Welch, a librarian and former teacher, in 1977 and then joined the 1978 race for the U. S. House of Representatives. He ran against a very well known democratic Senator, Kent Hance. Bush lost by six points after setting a new Texas record for fundraising capabilities for a House candidate (A&E 1).
In 1981, Laura gave birth to their twin daughters named after their grandmothers, Barbara and Jenna (A&E 1). By this time Bush”s oil industry was re-named Bush Exploration. By the early 1980″s, when the energy market turned soft, Bush Exploration foundered. In 1983, Bush combined with Spectrum 7; three years later Bush arranged fo! r Spectrum 7 to be sold to Harken Energy for a bargain price. He later sold his original stock shares and made a considerable profit of 600,000 dollars (Newsmakers 1).
W also got a consulting contract and stock options with Harken which all combined to be a deal of about one million in his pocket over the next few years (Newsmakers 1). Later in 1990, Time reported: “before Iraq invaded Kuwait, Bush sold 66% of his Harken stake at the top of the market for nearly 850,000, which was a 200% profit on his original stake” (Newsmakers 2). This upset the Vice President and W, where they stated: “The media ought to be ashamed of itself for what they”re doing” (Newsmakers 2).
Needless to say, Bush went out of the business and chose to go for politics. By now he was all name and no money. On his 40th birthday, George Bush came to a cross road in his life where he stopped drinking and became a strong Methodist with his wife Laura. He became noticeably more serious in changing his profession to strictly politics. He moved his family to Washington D. C. in 1987 to began working on his fathers 1988 Presidential campaign (A&E 1). Though he had no official title on the campaign he became his father”s hardest and most trusted worker.
He became known as a talented speaker and as the campaign”s chief liaison to Christian conservatives, he gained respect for handling volatile diplomatic matters, such as the firing of chief John Sununu, and for swiftly taking care of business (Newsmakers 1). The experience in Washington was one that Bush did not like, even though it brought him closer to his father, he did not like the hostile environment that the political life brought him.
Bush still felt that he was trailing behind his father”s footsteps with no independence for himsel! of doing something different. After his fathers successful election in November 1988 W moved back to Texas with his family, this time living in Dallas. He wasted no time in venturing out to find something new; baseball was what he found. In a matter of months he gathered up a team of wealthy investors and brought the American League”s Texas Rangers to Dallas. He took role as managing partner for the team. He brought support to the team and helped boost attendance to the games. By doing this, it brought W much admiration from the Texans and the Rangers.
He earned an identity of his own which was something he had been struggling a long time for. He earned a good deal of money through this great investment of 606,000, but he walked away with nearly fifteen million when the team was sold in 1998 (A&E 1). He earned this money as just a managing partner in which he only owned 5% of the team. After such great success with the Rangers, Bush decided it was time to try a hand in loca! Despite his mother”s opinion, Bush wanted to run as governor of Texas against the powerful Democrat Ann Richards.
With much advice not to, Bush jumped right into the race while his brother, Jeb, did the same in Florida. With their experience from being their father”s aid since they were eighteen, they felt they could handle such a large duty as governor. Many reporters felt that Bush had such an advantage by just having his last name, but to Bush he feels the complete opposite. W quoted: “The biggest advantage and the biggest handicap I have is my name” (Newsmakers 2). The campaign against Ann Richard”s was tough, she used sayings such as: “If he didn”t have his daddy”s name he would not amount to anything.
She also used names such as: “jerk” to sometimes address him during a debate (Newsmakers 2-3). Bush”s response to the accusations was very appropriate, needless to say he did not go to her level of maturity. The debate focused on welfare reform, a crackdown on crime (e! specially juveniles), increased autonomy and state financing for local school districts, and personal responsibility (Newsmakers 3). Bush is quoted as saying: “Let Texans run Texas,” this was a message that appealed to all Texans during the campaign (Newsmakers 3).
Bush defeated Ann Richards by 350,000 votes. Elected governor of Texas on November 8,1994; twenty thousand people attended Bush”s inauguration in Austin, including the famous preacher Billy Graham, legendary baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan, movie star Chuck Norris, and, of course, George and Barbara Bush (Newsmakers 3). Becoming the 46th governor of Texas, Bush has earned a reputation as a compassionate conservative: who shapes policy based on the principals of limited government, personal responsibility, strong families and local control (“Governor” 1).
In an historic re-election victory, he became the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms on November 3, 1998, winning 68. 6 percent of the votes, 27 percent of the African-American votes, and 27 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of women. He is the first Republican to win the heavily Hispanic and Democratic border countries of El Paso, Cameron and Hidalgo (“Governor” 2). In six months, he signed nearly all of his proposed reforms into law by working closely with Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock (Newsmakers 3).
Making Texas a Beacon State, he has made policies such as: responsible government, better schools, strong families, safer streets, cleaner environment, growing economy are all some issues that he ha! s improved during his governorship in Texas. Education is Bush”s first priority in Texas. He has increased 47 percent of the TAAS tests in all parts. The number of minorities passing the mathematics portion of TAAS has increased 25 percent.
The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress Report Card on Math Achievement showed Texas African-American fourth graders ranked first in nation in improvement, with Hispanic students close behind (“Message”1). Texas eighth graders ranked fourth in the country on the 1998 National Assessment of Education Progress writing test. All minority groups and Texas African American and Hispanic eighth graders ranked first and second in the nation. Reading performance has improved 87 percent of all students in grades 3-8 and 10 passed the reading TAAS in 1998, an increase from 77 percent four years ago.
From 1994 to 1998, the number of schools rated “exemplary” rose from just 67 to 1,048. During the same time, the number of “recognize! d” schools more than tripled from 516 to 1,666 (“Message” 1). He has worked with the Legislatures to increase the state”s share of funding for schools, so that they can: restore local control, strengthen the state”s accountability system, give parents greater choice of schools and to foster competition and creativity through charter schools. This will give the people of Texas an expanded menu of educational opportunity.
His greatest goal is that every child will learn to read by third grade and continue to read at grade level or better throughout public school (“Message”1). Legislation signed by the governor during the 1999 Texas Legislative Session included the largest funding increase for public education in the state”s history and nearly two billion in tax cuts and relief, the largest tax cut in Texas history (“Governor” 1). In June of 1999, Bush made the one decision that would change the rest of his life.
It was time to decide if he would once again follow in his father”s footsteps, and become the 43rd President of the United States. In July, 2000, Bush announced his choice of running mate: Richard B. Cheney, a former congressman from Wyoming who served as Secretary of Defense under Bush”s father and is now in the oil business in Texas (A&E 2). Their opponents would be Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman, two strong, powerful democrats. Throughout the campaign of 2000, the candidates were shown to be close in the poles because both had issues that were appealing to the American people.
Some of the main issues are: pro-life, pro-choice, social security, budget and economy, affirmative action, education, government reform, health care and prescription drugs (“Issues” 1-20). On November 7, 2000, both candidates await for the winning election of their lifetime. Their life experience would be rolled u! p into one day and two hundred seventy Electoral College votes. When the night of their lifetime finally arrived, the night ended with no presidency to guide America.
That night has led to the counting, re-counting, and even hand counting of the ballots. It has also brought on numerous lawsuits from individuals to the parties themselves. It has scaled from local jurisdiction courts all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Even today, court cases are being heard that each party hopes to win in order to bring finality to the election. Even after the smoke clears and a President is declared, there will always be an uncertainty to the validity of this election in the minds of the people of the United States.
George W. Bush, a man of pride, ambition, and power. He has served the state of Texas as their Governor, and now he has been declared twice our President of the United States of America. Will he serve America in the way he claims he can, will he be a leader for all to follow and look up to, will he be the man he acts upon being? The nation waits as the Supreme Court continue to make their rulings to find out which man will take this role as the Presidency of the United States.