In the January 26, 1987, issue of "Time magazine, in an article entitled "Where Is the Real George Bush?" journalist Robert Ajemian reported that a friend of Bush's had urged him to spend several days at "Camp David thinking through his plans for his prospective presidency, to which Bush is said to have responded in exasperation, "Oh, the vision thing." This oft-cited quote became a shorthand for the charge that Bush failed to contemplate or articulate important policy positions in a compelling and coherent manner. The phrase has since become a "metonym for any politician's failure to incorporate a greater vision in a campaign, and has often been applied in the media to other politicians or public figures.
Bush had been planning a presidential run since as early as 1985, and entered the Republican primary for President of the United States in October 1987. His challengers for the Republican presidential nomination included U.S. Senator "Bob Dole of "Kansas, U.S. Representative "Jack Kemp of New York, former Governor "Pete DuPont of "Delaware, and conservative Christian "televangelist "Pat Robertson.
Though considered the early frontrunner for the nomination, Bush came in third in the Iowa caucus, behind winner Dole and runner-up Robertson. Much as Reagan did in 1980, Bush reorganized his staff and concentrated on the New Hampshire primary. With Dole ahead in New Hampshire, Bush ran television commercials portraying the senator as a tax raiser; he rebounded to win the state's primary. Following the primary, Bush and Dole had a joint media appearance, when the interviewer asked Dole if he had anything to say to Bush, Dole said, in response to the ads, "yeah, stop lying about my record" in an angry tone. This is thought to have hurt Dole's campaign to Bush's benefit. Bush continued seeing victory, winning many Southern primaries as well. Once the multiple-state primaries such as "Super Tuesday began, Bush's organizational strength and fundraising lead were impossible for the other candidates to match, and the nomination was his.
Leading up to the "1988 Republican National Convention, there was much speculation as to Bush's choice of running mate. Bush chose little-known U.S. Senator "Dan Quayle of "Indiana, favored by conservatives. Despite Reagan's popularity, Bush trailed Democratic nominee "Michael Dukakis, then "Governor of Massachusetts, in most polls.
Bush, occasionally criticized for his lack of eloquence when compared to Reagan, delivered a well-received speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention. Known as the ""thousand points of light" speech, it described Bush's vision of America: he endorsed the "Pledge of Allegiance, "prayer in schools, "capital punishment, "gun rights, and "opposed abortion. The speech at the convention included Bush's famous pledge: ""Read my lips: no new taxes."
The general election campaign between the two men was described in 2008 as one of the dirtiest in modern times. Bush blamed Dukakis for polluting the "Boston Harbor as the "Massachusetts governor. Bush also pointed out that Dukakis was opposed to a law that would require all students to say the "Pledge of Allegiance, a topic well covered in Bush's nomination acceptance speech.
Dukakis's unconditional opposition to capital punishment led to a pointed question being asked during the presidential debates. Moderator "Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis if Dukakis would hypothetically support the death penalty if his wife, "Kitty, were raped and murdered. Dukakis's response of no, as well as a provocative ad about convicted felon "Willie Horton, contributed toward Bush's characterization of Dukakis as "soft on crime".
Bush defeated Dukakis and his running mate, "Lloyd Bentsen, in the "Electoral College, by 426 to 111 (Bentsen received one vote from a "faithless elector). In the nationwide popular vote, Bush took 53.4% of the ballots cast while Dukakis received 45.6%. Bush became the first serving Vice President to be elected President since "Martin Van Buren in 1836 as well as the first person to succeed someone from his own party to the Presidency via election to the office in his own right since "Herbert Hoover in 1929.
Bush was "inaugurated on January 20, 1989, succeeding Ronald Reagan. He entered office at a period of change in the world; the fall of the "Berlin Wall and the collapse of "Soviet Union came early in his presidency. He ordered military operations in "Panama and the "Persian Gulf, and, at one point, was recorded as having a record-high approval rating of 89%.
In his Inaugural Address, Bush said:
I come before you and assume the Presidency at a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful, prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn; for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. The "totalitarian era is passing, its old ideas blown away like leaves from an ancient, lifeless tree. A new breeze is blowing, and a nation refreshed by freedom stands ready to push on. There is new ground to be broken, and new action to be taken.
Early in his term, Bush faced the problem of what to do with leftover "deficits spawned by the Reagan years. At $220 billion in 1990, the deficit had grown to three times its size since 1980. Bush was dedicated to curbing the deficit, believing that America could not continue to be a leader in the world without doing so. He began an effort to persuade the "Democratic controlled Congress to act on the budget; with Republicans believing that the best way was to cut "government spending, and Democrats convinced that the only way would be to "raise taxes, Bush faced problems when it came to consensus building.
In the wake of a struggle with Congress, Bush was forced by the Democratic majority to raise tax revenues; as a result, many Republicans felt betrayed because Bush had promised "no new taxes" in his 1988 campaign. Perceiving a means of revenge, Republican congressmen defeated Bush's proposal which would enact spending cuts and tax increases that would reduce the deficit by $500 billion over five years. Scrambling, Bush accepted the Democrats' demands for higher taxes and more spending, which alienated him from Republicans and gave way to a sharp "decrease in popularity. Bush would later say that he wished he had never signed the bill. Near the end of the "101st Congress, the president and congressional members reached a compromise on a budget package that increased the marginal tax rate and phased out exemptions for high-income taxpayers. Although he originally demanded a reduction in the "capital gains tax, Bush relented on this issue as well. This agreement with the Democratic leadership in Congress proved to be a turning point in the Bush presidency; his popularity among Republicans never fully recovered.
Coming at around the same time as the budget deal, America entered into a mild recession, lasting for six months. Many government programs, such as welfare, increased. As the unemployment rate edged upward in 1991, Bush signed a bill providing additional benefits for unemployed workers. The year 1991 was marked by many corporate reorganizations, which laid off a substantial number of workers. Many now unemployed were Republicans and independents, who had believed that their jobs were secure.
By his second year in office, Bush was told by his economic advisors to stop dealing with the economy, as they believed that he had done everything necessary to ensure his reelection. By 1992, interest and inflation rates were the lowest in years, but by midyear the unemployment rate reached 7.8%, the highest since 1984. In September 1992, the "Census Bureau reported that 14.2% of all Americans "lived in poverty. At a press conference in 1990, Bush told reporters that he found foreign policy more enjoyable.
During a speech to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the "Apollo 11 moon landing, Bush announced a vision to complete "Space Station Freedom, resume exploration of the "Moon and begin exploration of "Mars. Although a space station was eventually constructed–work on the "International Space Station began in 1998–other work has been confounded by NASA budgetary issues. In 1998, Bush received the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement's National Space Trophy for his pioneering leadership of the U.S. space program.
Bush signed a number of major laws in his presidency, including the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; this was one of the most pro-"civil rights bills in decades. He is also the only President to successfully veto a civil rights act, having vetoed the job-discrimination protection Civil Rights Act of 1990. Bush feared racial quotas would be imposed, but later approved watered-down "Civil Rights Act of 1991. He worked to increase federal spending for education, childcare, and advanced technology research. He also signed the "Radiation Exposure Compensation Act which provides monetary compensation of people who had contracted cancer and a number of other specified diseases as a direct result of their exposure to atmospheric "nuclear testing undertaken by the United States during the "Cold War, or their exposure to high levels of "radon while doing "uranium mining. In dealing with the environment, Bush reauthorized the "Clean Air Act, requiring cleaner burning fuels. He quarreled with Congress over an eventually signed bill to aid police in capturing criminals, and signed into law a measure to improve the nation's highway system. Bush signed the "Immigration Act of 1990, which led to a 40 percent increase in legal "immigration to the United States.
Bush became a life member of the "National Rifle Association early in 1988 and had campaigned as a "pro-gun" candidate with the NRA's endorsement. In March 1989, he placed a temporary ban on the import of certain semiautomatic rifles. This action cost him endorsement from the NRA in 1992. Bush publicly resigned his life membership in the organization after receiving a form letter from NRA depicting agents of the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as "jack-booted thugs." He called the NRA letter a "vicious slander on good people."
Points of Light
President Bush devoted attention to voluntary service as a means of solving some of America's most serious social problems. He often used the ""thousand points of light" theme to describe the power of citizens to solve community problems. In his 1989 inaugural address, President Bush said, "I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good."
Four years later, in his report to the nation on The Points of Light Movement, President Bush said, "Points of Light are the soul of America. They are ordinary people who reach beyond themselves to touch the lives of those in need, bringing hope and opportunity, care and friendship. By giving so generously of themselves, these remarkable individuals show us not only what is best in our heritage but what all of us are called to become."
In 1990, the Points of Light Foundation was created as a nonprofit organization in Washington to promote this spirit of "volunteerism. In 2007, the Points of Light Foundation merged with the "Hands On Network with the goal of strengthening volunteerism, streamlining costs and services and deepening impact. "Points of Light, the organization created through this merger, has approximately 250 affiliates in 22 countries and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and companies dedicated to volunteer service around the world. In 2012, Points of Light mobilized 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service worth $635 million.
On October 16, 2009, President "Barack Obama held a Presidential Forum on Service hosted by former President George H. W. Bush and Points of Light at the "George Bush Presidential Library Center on the campus of "Texas A&M University. The event celebrated the contributions of more than 4,500 Daily Point of Light award winners and honored President Bush's legacy of service and civic engagement.
In 2011, Points of Light paid tribute to President George H. W. Bush and volunteer service at Washington, D.C.'s "Kennedy Center. President Bush was joined by Presidents "Jimmy Carter, "Bill Clinton, and "George W. Bush to highlight the role volunteer service plays in people's lives.
Daily Point of Light Award
President Bush created the Daily Point of Light Award in 1989 to recognize ordinary Americans from all walks of life taking direct and consequential voluntary action in their communities to solve serious social problems. The President focused great attention on these individuals and organizations, both to honor them for their tremendous work and to call the nation to join them and multiply their efforts. By the end of his administration, President Bush had recognized 1,020 Daily Points of Light representing all 50 states and addressing issues ranging from care for infants and teenagers with AIDS to adult illiteracy and from gang violence to job training for the "homeless. The Daily Point of Light continues to be awarded by Points of Light and President Bush continues to sign all of the awards.
On July 15, 2013, President "Barack Obama welcomed President Bush to the White House to celebrate the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award. They bestowed the award on Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton of "Union, Iowa, for their work founding Outreach, a nonprofit that delivers free meals to hungry children in 15 countries.
Bush appointed the following Justices to the "Supreme Court of the United States:
In addition to his two "Supreme Court appointments, Bush appointed 42 judges to the "United States Courts of Appeals, and 148 judges to the "United States district courts. Among these appointments was "Vaughn R. Walker, who would later be revealed to be the earliest known gay federal judge. Bush also experienced a number of "judicial appointment controversies, as 11 nominees for 10 "federal appellate judgeships were not processed by the "Democratically-controlled "Senate Judiciary Committee.
In the 1980s, Panamanian leader "Manuel Noriega, a once U.S.-supportive leader who was later accused of spying for "Fidel Castro and using Panama to traffic drugs into the United States, was one of the most recognizable names in America and was constantly in the press. The struggle to remove him from power began in the Reagan administration, when economic sanctions were imposed on the country; this included prohibiting American companies and government from making payments to Panama and freezing $56 million in Panamanian funds in American banks. Reagan sent more than 2,000 American troops to Panama as well. Unlike Reagan, Bush was able to remove Noriega from power, but his administration's unsuccessful post-invasion planning hindered the needs of Panama during the establishment of the young democratic government.
In May 1989, Panama held democratic elections, in which "Guillermo Endara was elected president; the results were then annulled by Noriega's government. In response, Bush sent 2,000 more troops to the country, where they began conducting regular military exercises in Panamanian territory (in violation of prior treaties). Bush then removed an embassy and "ambassador from the country, and dispatched additional troops to Panama to prepare the way for an upcoming invasion. Noriega suppressed an October "military coup attempt and massive protests in Panama against him, but after a U.S. serviceman was shot by Panamanian forces in December 1989, Bush ordered 24,000 troops into the country with an objective of removing Noriega from power; "Operation Just Cause" was a large-scale American military operation, and the first in more than 40 years that was not related to the Cold War.
The mission was controversial, but American forces achieved control of the country and Endara assumed the Presidency. Noriega surrendered to the United States and was convicted and imprisoned on "racketeering and drug trafficking charges in April 1992. President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush visited Panama in June 1992, to give support to the first post-invasion Panamanian government.
In 1989, just after the "fall of the Berlin Wall, Bush met with "Soviet General Secretary "Mikhail Gorbachev in "a conference on the Mediterranean island of "Malta. The administration had been under intense pressure to meet with the Soviets, but not all initially found the "Malta Summit to be a step in the right direction; General "Brent Scowcroft, among others, was apprehensive about the meeting, saying that it might be "premature" due to concerns where, according to "Condoleezza Rice, "expectations [would be] set that something was going to happen, where the Soviets might grandstand and force [the U.S.] into agreements that would ultimately not be good for the United States." But European leaders, including "François Mitterrand and "Margaret Thatcher, encouraged Bush to meet with Gorbachev, something that he did December 2 and 3, 1989. Though no agreements were signed, the meeting was viewed largely as being an important one; when asked about nuclear war, Gorbachev responded, "I assured the President of the United States that the Soviet Union would never start a hot war against the United States of America. And we would like our relations to develop in such a way that they would open greater possibilities for cooperation.... This is just the beginning. We are just at the very beginning of our road, long road to a long-lasting, peaceful period." The meeting was received as a very important step to the end of the Cold War.
Another summit was held in July 1991, where the "Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) was signed by Bush and Gorbachev in Moscow. The treaty took nine years in the making and was the first major arms agreement since the signing of the "Intermediate Ranged Nuclear Forces Treaty by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987. The contentions in START would reduce the strategic nuclear weapons of the United States and the USSR by about 35% over seven years, and the Soviet Union's land-based "intercontinental ballistic missiles would be cut by 50%. Bush described START as "a significant step forward in dispelling half a century of mistrust". After the "dissolution of the USSR in 1991, President Bush and Gorbachev declared a U.S.-Russian strategic partnership, marking the end of the "Cold War.
On August 2, 1990, Iraq, led by "Saddam Hussein, invaded its oil-rich neighbor to the south, "Kuwait; Bush condemned the invasion and began rallying opposition to Iraq in the US and among European, Asian, and Middle Eastern allies. "Secretary of Defense "Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with "King Fahd; Fahd requested US military aid in the matter, fearing a possible invasion of his country as well. The request was met initially with "Air Force fighter jets. Iraq made attempts to negotiate a deal that would allow the country to take control of half of Kuwait. Bush rejected this proposal and insisted on a complete withdrawal of Iraqi forces. The planning of a ground operation by US-led coalition forces began forming in September 1990, headed by General "Norman Schwarzkopf. Bush spoke before a joint session of the "U.S. Congress regarding the authorization of air and land attacks, laying out four immediate objectives: "Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait completely, immediately, and without condition. Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored. The security and stability of the Persian Gulf must be assured. And American citizens abroad must be protected." He then outlined a fifth, long-term objective: "Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective – a new world order – can emerge: a new era – freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.... A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak." With the "United Nations Security Council opposed to Iraq's violence, Congress authorized the "use of military force with a set goal of returning control of Kuwait to the Kuwaiti government, and protecting America's interests abroad.
Early on the morning of January 17, 1991, allied forces launched the first attack, which included more than 4,000 bombing runs by coalition aircraft. This pace would continue for the next four weeks, until a ground invasion was launched on February 24, 1991. Allied forces penetrated Iraqi lines and pushed toward "Kuwait City while on the west side of the country, forces were intercepting the retreating Iraqi army. Bush made the decision to stop the offensive after a mere 100 hours. Critics labeled this decision premature, as hundreds of Iraqi forces were able to escape; Bush responded by saying that he wanted to minimize U.S. casualties. Opponents further charged that Bush should have continued the attack, pushing Hussein's army back to Baghdad, then removing him from power. Bush explained that he did not give the order to overthrow the Iraqi government because it would have "incurred incalculable human and political costs.... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq."
Bush's approval ratings skyrocketed after the successful offensive. Additionally, President Bush and Secretary of State Baker felt the coalition victory had increased U.S. prestige abroad and believed there was a window of opportunity to use the political capital generated by the coalition victory to revitalize the Arab-Israeli peace process. The administration immediately returned to Arab-Israeli peacemaking following the end of the Gulf War; this resulted in the "Madrid Conference, later in 1991.
Somali Civil War
Faced with a humanitarian disaster in "Somalia, exacerbated by a complete breakdown in civil order, the United Nations had created the "UNOSOM I mission in April 1992 to aid the situation through humanitarian efforts, though the mission failed. The Bush administration proposed American aid to the region by assisting in creating a secure environment for humanitarian efforts and UN Resolution 794 was unanimously adopted by the "Security Council on December 3, 1992. A "lame duck president, Bush launched "Operation Restore Hope the following day under which the United States would assume command in accordance with Resolution 794. Fighting would escalate and continue into the Clinton administration.
Bush's administration, along with the "Progressive Conservative "Canadian Prime Minister "Brian Mulroney, spearheaded the negotiations of the "North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which would eliminate the majority of "tariffs on products traded among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, to encourage trade amongst the countries. The treaty also restricts patents, copyrights, and trademarks, and outlines the removal of investment restrictions among the three countries.
The agreement came under heavy scrutiny amongst mainly Democrats, who charged that NAFTA resulted in a loss of American jobs. NAFTA also contained no provisions for labor rights; according to the Bush administration, the trade agreement would generate economic resources necessary to enable Mexico's government to overcome problems of funding and enforcement of its labor laws. Bush needed a renewal of negotiating authority to move forward with the NAFTA trade talks. Such authority would enable the president to negotiate a trade accord that would be submitted to Congress for a vote, thereby avoiding a situation in which the president would be required to renegotiate with trading partners those parts of an agreement that Congress wished to change. While initial signing was possible during his term, negotiations made slow, but steady, progress. President Clinton would go on to make the passage of NAFTA a priority for his administration, despite its conservative and Republican roots—with the addition of two side agreements—to achieve its passage in 1993.
The treaty has since been defended as well as criticized further. The American economy has grown 54% since the adoption of NAFTA in 1993, with 25 million new jobs created; this was seen by some as evidence of NAFTA being beneficial to the United States. With talk in early 2008 regarding a possible American withdrawal from the treaty, Carlos M. Gutierrez, current "United States Secretary of Commerce, writes, "Quitting NAFTA would send economic shock waves throughout the world, and the damage would start here at home." But John J. Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, wrote in "The Boston Globe that "the "U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico ballooned to 12 times its pre-NAFTA size, reaching $111 billion in 2004."
On January 8, 1992, Bush fainted after "vomiting at a banquet hosted by the then "Prime Minister of Japan, "Kiichi Miyazawa. Bush was suffering from "gastroenteritis.
As other presidents have done, Bush issued a series of pardons during his last days in office. On December 24, 1992, he granted executive clemency to six former government employees implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal of the late 1980s, most prominently former Secretary of Defense "Caspar Weinberger. Bush described Weinberger, who was scheduled to stand trial on January 5, 1993, for criminal charges related to Iran-Contra, as a "true American patriot".
In addition to Weinberger, Bush pardoned Duane R. Clarridge, Clair E. George, "Robert C. McFarlane, "Elliott Abrams, and Alan G. Fiers Jr., all of whom had been indicted and/or convicted of criminal charges by an "Independent Counsel headed by Lawrence Walsh.
- "Texas A&M University
- "Sacred Heart University
- "Dartmouth College, awarded a "Doctor of Laws
- "Harvard University awarded a "Doctor of Laws degree on May 29, 2014.
Awards and honors
In 1990 "Time magazine named him the "Man of the Year. In 1991 the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation awarded Bush its Lone Sailor award for his naval service and his subsequent government service. In 1993, he was made an Honorary "Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II.
1992 presidential campaign
Bush announced his reelection bid in early 1992; with a coalition victory in the Persian Gulf War and high approval ratings, reelection initially looked likely. As a result, many leading Democrats declined to seek their party's presidential nomination. But an economic recession, and doubts of whether Bush ended the Gulf War properly, reduced his popularity.
Conservative political columnist "Pat Buchanan challenged Bush for the Republican nomination, and shocked political pundits by finishing second, with 37% of the vote, in the New Hampshire primary. Bush responded by adopting more conservative positions on issues, in an attempt to undermine Buchanan's base. Once he had secured the nomination, Bush faced his challenger, Democrat and "Governor of Arkansas "William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton. Clinton attacked Bush as not doing enough to assist the working middle-class and being "out of touch" with the common man, a notion reinforced by reporter "Andrew Rosenthal's false report that Bush was "astonished" to see a demonstration of a supermarket "scanner.
In early 1992, the race took an unexpected twist when Texas billionaire "H. Ross Perot launched a third party bid, claiming that neither Republicans nor Democrats could eliminate the deficit and make government more efficient. His message appealed to voters across the political spectrum disappointed with both parties' perceived fiscal irresponsibility. Perot later bowed out of the race for a short time, then reentered.
Clinton had originally been in the lead, until Perot reentered, tightening the race significantly. Nearing election day, polls suggested that the race was a dead-heat, but Clinton pulled out on top, defeating Bush in a 43% to 38% popular vote margin. Perot won 19% of the popular vote, one of the highest totals for a third party candidate in U.S. history, drawing equally from both major candidates, according to exit polls. Bush received 168 electoral votes to Clinton's 370.
Several factors were key in Bush's defeat. The ailing economy which arose from recession may have been the main factor in Bush's loss, as 7 in 10 voters said on election day that the economy was either "not so good" or "poor". On the eve of the 1992 election, after unemployment reports of 7.8% appeared (the highest since 1984), Economic "recession had contributed to a sharp decline in his approval rating – to just 37%.
Conservative Republicans point to Bush's 1990 agreement to raise taxes in contradiction of his famous ""Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge. In doing so, Bush alienated many members of his conservative base, losing their support for his re-election. According to one survey, of the voters who cited Bush's broken "No New Taxes" pledge as "very important", two thirds voted for Bill Clinton. Bush had raised taxes in an attempt to address an increasing budget deficit, which has largely been attributed to the Reagan tax cuts and military spending of the 1980s. The tax revenue increase had not hurt his approval ratings to the extent that it prevented it from reaching 89% during the "Gulf War, four months after the tax vote. By February 1991 his approval rating rose to its highest level—89%.
George Bush was widely seen as a "pragmatic caretaker" president who lacked a unified and compelling long-term theme in his efforts. Indeed, Bush's "sound bite where he refers to the issue of overarching purpose as "the vision thing" has become a "metonym applied to other political figures accused of similar difficulties. "He does not say why he wants to be there", wrote columnist George Will, "so the public does not know why it should care if he gets his way".
His "Ivy League and prep school education led to warnings by advisors that his image was too ""preppy" in 1980, which resulted in deliberate efforts in his 1988 campaign to shed the image, including meeting voters at factories and shopping malls, abandoning set speeches.
His ability to gain broad international support for the "Gulf War and the war's result were seen as both a diplomatic and military triumph, rousing bipartisan approval, though his decision to withdraw without removing "Saddam Hussein left mixed feelings, and attention returned to the domestic front and a souring economy. A "New York Times article mistakenly depicted Bush as being surprised to see a supermarket "barcode reader; the report of his reaction exacerbated the notion that he was "out of touch". Amid the "early 1990s recession, his image shifted from "conquering hero" to "politician befuddled by economic matters".
Although Bush became the first elected Republican president since Hoover in "1932 to lose a reelection bid (facing a 34% approval rating leading up to the 1992 election), the mood did not last. Despite his defeat, Bush climbed back from election day approval levels to leave office in 1993 with a 56% job approval rating. By December 2008, 60% of Americans gave Bush's presidency a positive rating.
Upon leaving office, Bush retired with his wife, Barbara, and temporarily moved into a friend's house near the "Tanglewood community of Houston as they prepared to build a permanent retirement house nearby. Ultimately they built their retirement house in the community of "West Oaks, near Tanglewood. They had a presidential office within the Park Laureate Building on "Memorial Drive. Mimi Swartz of "National Geographic wrote that "The Bushes are too studiously sedate to live in "River Oaks". They spend the summer at "Walker's Point in "Kennebunkport, Maine. On January 10, 1999, the Bushes became the longest-married Presidential couple in history, outlasting "John and "Abigail Adams, who were married for 54 years and 3 days. At 70 years as of January 2015, they still hold the record, by a year and a half, over "Jimmy and "Rosalynn Carter. Bush co-founded an annual fishing tournament in "Islamorada, an island in the "Florida Keys, which was held annually for 10 years.
In 1993, Bush was awarded an honorary "knighthood ("GCB) by "Queen Elizabeth II. He was the third American president to receive the honor, the others being Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.
In 1993, Bush visited Kuwait to commemorate the coalition's victory over Iraq in the Gulf War, where he was targeted in an assassination plot. Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 people allegedly involved in using a car bomb to kill Bush. Through interviews with the suspects and examinations of the bomb's circuitry and wiring, the FBI established that the plot had been directed by the "Iraqi Intelligence Service. A Kuwaiti court later convicted all but one of the defendants. Two months later, in retaliation, Clinton ordered the "firing of 23 "cruise missiles at Iraqi Intelligence Service headquarters in "Baghdad. The day before the strike, U.S. Ambassador to the UN "Madeleine Albright went before the Security Council to present evidence of the Iraqi plot. After the missiles were fired, Vice President "Al Gore said the attack "was intended to be a proportionate response at the place where this plot" to assassinate Bush "was hatched and implemented".
From 1993 to 1999 he served as the chairman to the board of trustees for "Eisenhower Fellowships, and from 2007 to 2009 was chairman of the "National Constitution Center.
In 1997, the same year as the opening of his Presidential Library, the Houston international airport was renamed "George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
President Bush is Honorary Chairman of "Points of Light, an international nonprofit dedicated to engaging more people and resources in solving serious social problems through voluntary service.
His eldest son, "George W. Bush, was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001, and re-elected in 2004. Through previous administrations, the elder Bush had ubiquitously been known as "George Bush" or "President Bush", but following his son's election the need to distinguish between them has made "retronymic forms such as "George H. W. Bush" and "George Bush senior" and colloquialisms such as "Bush 41" and "Bush the Elder" much more common.
The George Bush Presidential Library is the "presidential library named for Bush. This tenth presidential library was built between 1995 and 1997 and contains the presidential and vice-presidential papers of Bush and the vice-presidential papers of "Dan Quayle. It was dedicated on November 6, 1997, and opened to the public shortly thereafter; the architectural firm of "Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum designed the complex.
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on a 90-acre (360,000 m2) site on the west campus of "Texas A&M University in "College Station, Texas, on a plaza adjoining the Presidential Conference Center and the Texas A&M Academic Center. The Library operates under "NARA's administration and the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955's provisions.
The "Bush School of Government and Public Service is a graduate "public policy school at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The graduate school is part of the presidential library complex, and offers four programs: two master's degree programs (Public Service and Administration, and International Affairs) and three certificate programs (Advanced International Affairs, Nonprofit Management, and "Homeland Security). The Master in International Affairs (MIA) degree program offers concentrations in either National Security and Diplomacy or International Development and Economic Policy.
Bush continues to make many public appearances. He and Mrs. Bush attended the "state funeral of Ronald Reagan in June 2004, and "of Gerald Ford in January 2007. One month later, he was awarded the "Ronald Reagan Freedom Award in "Beverly Hills, California, by former First Lady "Nancy Reagan. Despite his political differences with Bill Clinton, it has been acknowledged that the two former presidents have become friends. He and Clinton appeared together in television ads in 2005, encouraging aid for victims of "Hurricane Katrina and the "2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
In October 2006, Bush was honored by the "National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) with the NIAF One America Award for fundraising, with Bill Clinton, for the victims of the "2004 tsunami and "Hurricane Katrina.
Upon the death of "Gerald Ford, Bush became the oldest living (former) president, 111 days older than "Jimmy Carter.
On February 18, 2008, Bush formally endorsed Senator "John McCain for the presidency of the United States. The endorsement offered a boost to McCain's campaign, as the "Arizona Senator had been facing criticism among many conservatives.
On January 10, 2009, both George H. W. and George W. Bush were present at the commissioning of "USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the tenth and last "Nimitz-class "supercarrier of the "United States Navy. Bush paid a visit to the carrier again on May 26, 2009.
In October 2009, Bush criticized the rampant criticism of the current times, reflecting that he did not receive such "day in and day out" during his presidency and named "Keith Olbermann and "Rachel Maddow of "MSNBC as examples; he called the two "sick puppies."
On February 15, 2011, he was awarded the "Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor in the United States—by President "Barack Obama.
In July 2013, Bush had his head shaved in a show of support for the two-year-old son of a member of his security detail, who had "leukemia.
In April 2014, Frederick D. McClure, chief executive of the Bush library foundation, organized a three-day gathering in "College Park, Texas, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bush administration. Also in early 2014, the "John F. Kennedy Library Foundation presented the "Profile in Courage Award to Bush and "Mount Vernon awarded him its first "Cyrus A. Ansary Prize. The Kennedy foundation award was presented by "Jack Schlossberg, the late president's grandson, to "Lauren Bush Lauren, who accepted on her grandfather's behalf. The Ansary prize was presented in Houston with Ansary, Barbara Lucas, "Ryan C. Crocker, dean of the Bush school since January 2010, Barbara Bush, and Curt Viebranz in attendance with the former president. Fifty thousand dollars of the prize was directed by Bush to the "Bush school at "Texas A&M and $25,000 will fund an animation about the "Siege of Yorktown for Mt. Vernon. Viebranz and Lucas represented Mount Vernon at the presentation.
On June 12, 2014, Bush fulfilled a long-standing promise by skydiving on his 90th birthday. He made the parachute jump from a helicopter near his home at 11:15 a.m. in Kennebunkport, Maine. The jump marked the eighth time the former president had skydived, including jumps on his 80th and 85th birthday as well. He had "tweeted about the incident prior to the jump, saying "It's a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump."
On February 5, 2017, George and Barbara Bush participated in the coin toss for "Super Bowl LI.
Bush suffers from "vascular parkinsonism, a form of "Parkinson's disease which has forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair since at least 2012.
In July 2015, Bush suffered a severe neck injury. Wearing a neck brace in October in his first public engagement since the accident, he threw the "ceremonial first pitch for the "Houston Astros at "Minute Maid Park, at the age of 91.
Bush sent a letter to president-elect "Donald Trump in January 2017, to inform him of his own poor health, that he would not be able to attend Trump's "inauguration on January 20, and give his best wishes. On January 18, he was admitted to the intensive care unit at "Houston Methodist Hospital, where he was sedated for a procedure to treat an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia. He was later discharged on 30 January, after surgery successfully removed a blockage from his lungs.
On April 14, 2017, Bush was admitted to hospital in Houston with a recurrence of pneumonia.
Bush delivers a eulogy to Ronald Reagan, June 11, 2004, in the "Washington National Cathedral
George H. W. Bush with son President George W. Bush and China's President "Hu Jintao in Beijing, People's Republic of China, August 10, 2008
Capt. Kevin E. O'Flaherty, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier "USS George H.W. Bush, escorts former President George H. W. Bush, 2009
Bush meets President "Barack Obama in the Oval Office, January 30, 2010
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The new bundle of joy is named after Jenna's grandfather and former President George H.W. Bush, whose nickname growing up was "Poppy."
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But here is the AP story from the time... It turns out the supermarket scanner that drew President Bush's attention at a grocers' convention last week really did have some unusual features. It can read labels – the so-called universal product codes – that are ripped up and jumbled. That is apparently what prompted Bush to tell the National Grocers Association in Orlando Feb. 4 he was "amazed" by the technology. It was widely reported that Bush was surprised to see an ordinary supermarket scanner. 'The whole thing is ludicrous,' Bob Graham, an NCR Corp. systems analyst who showed Bush the scanner, said in a telephone interview from Pleasanton, Calif. 'What he was amazed about was the ability of the scanner to take that torn label and reassemble it.' … [complete description of historical event continues] … The exhibitor had Bush put the machine through its paces before he showed off what he called the machine's "really quite amazing" new feature. He had Bush scan a card with a universal product code ripped and jumbled into five pieces. The machine read it and rang up the correct sale. "Isn't that something," the president said… The New York Times ran a front page account under the headline, "Bush Encounters the Supermarket, Amazed." Cartoonists, broadcasters and columnists lampooned the president as a political Rip Van Winkle. Charles Osgood, the CBS radio correspondent, offered a mea culpa in his daily broadcast Tuesday. "Fair is fair, and especially since I joined the herd last week and took the occasion to pontificate about how unfortunate it is that we isolate our presidents so much," said Osgood. The scanner Bush saw "is amazing, and what it does is really something." … Then came a round of debunking stories, disclosing that Times reporter Andrew Rosenthal never saw the incident but wrote the story from two paragraphs in a pool report. The author of the pool report, Gregg McDonald of the Houston Chronicle, didn't even mention the incident in his own story. The Times returned fire Thursday, saying it had reviewed a network videotape of the Great Scanner Scandal and that Bush "was clearly impressed" by the garden-variety gadget. Not so, says Newsweek, which screened the tape and declared that 'Bush acts curious and polite, but hardly amazed.'
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It's a wonderful day in Maine -- in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump.
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- Bush, George H. W. (1999). All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings. New York: Scribner. "ISBN "0-684-83958-X.
- Bush, George H. W.; Scowcroft, Brent (1998). "A World Transformed. New York: Knopf. "ISBN "0-679-43248-5.
- Bush, George H. W.; Bush, Barbara (2009). "Interview with: George W. Bush, Barbara Bush" (Interview). Interview with McGrath, Jim. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Bush, George W. (2014). 41: A Portrait of My Father. Crown. "ISBN "978-0553447781.
- Bush Koch, Dorothy (2006). My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush. Grand Central Publishing. "ISBN "0446579904.
- Jeffrey A. Engel, ed. (2011). The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President. Princeton UP. Jstor
Speeches and statements
- "George H. W. Bush collected news and commentary". "The New York Times.
- "George H. W. Bush collected news and commentary". "The Wall Street Journal.
- United States Congress. "George H. W. Bush (id: B001166)". "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Extensive essays on Bush and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the "Miller Center of Public Affairs
- Appearances on "C-SPAN
- George H. W. Bush an "American Experience documentary
- George H. W. Bush at "DMOZ
- George H. W. Bush at the "Internet Movie Database