George Bush Administration
George Bush, born in 1946, 43rd president of the United States (2001- ), who took office after one of the closest and most disputed elections in U.S. history and launched a war against terrorism after a devastating terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Bush was reelected in 2004, defeating Democratic opponent John F. Kerry by sweeping the South and winning the key battleground state of Ohio.
When he took office, George Walker Bush, son of former president George Herbert Walker Bush, became the first son to follow his father into the White House since John Quincy Adams followed John Adams in the early 19th century. Bush, a Republican, was also the first presidential candidate since Benjamin Harrison in 1888 to win the electoral vote, and thus the presidency, while losing the nationwide popular vote. Bush lost the popular vote to Democratic candidate Al Gore by more than 500,000 votes out of more than 105 million cast nationwide. However, he secured a 271 to 266 victory in the electoral college when, after five weeks of legal wrangling, Gore failed to overturn election results that gave the state of Florida, with 25 electoral votes, to Bush. See also Disputed Presidential Election of 2000.
As president, Bush faced the challenges of global terrorism. After the September 11 attacks, he declared a war against terrorism, pledging to defeat those who threatened the security of the United States. Bush led a coalition of countries into Afghanistan to topple the Taliban government, which had harbored al-Qaeda, the international terrorist network responsible for the September 11 attacks. In a controversial decision, he also directed a U.S. invasion of Iraq to remove President Saddam Hussein from power. Bush alleged that Hussein was an ally of al-Qaeda and possessed weapons of mass destruction that represented a growing threat to the United States. But after the invasion no weapons of mass destruction were found, and in September 2003 Bush told a group of reporters there was “no evidence” that Hussein was linked to the September 11 attacks. Domestically Bush confronted a slowing economy when he first took office, and he successfully advocated for tax cuts in an effort to stimulate economic growth. The U.S. economy rebounded, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a record high during Bush’s second term.