The votes were in; the election was over. On the 20th of January 1989, Republican George Herbert Walker Bush became the forty-first president of the United States. After serving two previous terms as Ronald Reagan’s Vice President, he defeated Governor of Massachusetts Michael S. Dukakis to earn his new title. Bush had become President at a time when many Americans were uncertain about their country’s future. The federal government was intensely in debt due to prior years of budget deficits.
Imported foods were more valuable then exports which questioned the United State’s economic standing. Foreign policy was also a topic well discussed by Americans. Bush seemed to be doing a good job with it all and in the midst of his presidency a second term seemed to be a sure thing for him. However, the 1992 election marked the end of his reign; he lost by a great margin to democrat William J. Clinton who may I add was later impeached! George Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush.
Prescott Bush worked in an investing firm, but ended up moving his family to Connecticut where he later on developed a strong interest in politics which led to his position as Senator of Connecticut. Bush had three brothers and one sister who were all brought up strictly and well-mannered. He attended private Greenwich Day School and exclusive Phillips Academy where he was indeed popular. Along with his good grades, Bush was president of the senior class, captain of the baseball and soccer teams, and also played varsity basketball.
After graduating prep school in 1942, his original plans of attending Yale University had been delayed due to the U. S. interest in World War II. He enlisted in the U. S. National Reserve where he received flight training and became the Navy’s youngest pilot. In 1942, he flew the U. S. S. San Jacinto in the Pacific Ocean where he took part in dangerous fighting. His plane was shot down, but luckily, unlike his two crew members, he was rescued by the U. S. S. Finback, a U. S. submarine.
Bush was recognized for his brave, heroic efforts by receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross, and after recovery served at the Oceana Naval Air Station until the end of the war in August of 1945. Shortly before the end of the war, George Bush married Barbara Pierce, a lady he once met at a Christmas dance. His marriage did not stop him from furthering his education though; George had entered Yale in the fall of 1945. There he was captain of the baseball team, a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and elected to participate in Skull and Bones which was one of Yale’s secret societies.
Bush graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. At this time Bush’s father was still involved in the banking business and he wanted to recruit his son. George however passed up the opportunity by moving to Texas and going into the oil business where he indeed “struck it rich”. His father had become senator in 1952 and that is when politics started to interest Bush as well. In 1962, he was elected chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County, which lies mostly in Houston, Texas. In 1964, he was the Republican candidate for the U.
S. senate, but was defeated by Democrat Ralph Yarborough. Two years later, Bush ran and won a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives, which he had for two terms. In 1970 however, President Nixon encouraged him to try the Senate again which he did. Unfortunately he was defeated by Democrat Lloyd Bentsen. After Bush’s loss in the senate election, President Nixon appointed him as the U. S. ambassador to the UN. When Nixon was re-elected in 1972, he then bumped up Bush to being the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
A year later, the Watergate Scandal incident took place which lead to Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Gerald R. Ford took over the presidency and eventually supported Bush’s choice of becoming the head of the United States Liaison Office in Beijing. A year later he came back to Washington to serve as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, as per Nixon’s request. When President Jimmy Carter was elected to office, Bush resigned his position in the CIA. The 1980 Presidential election was now three years away and George Bush had intentions of entering the race.
In the nominating process, his opponent Ronald Reagan seemed to have an advantage which in due time caused Bush to drop out. Reagan then invited Bush to be his Vice Presidential candidate which worked out well after they defeated Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. On March 30, 1981, Reagan was shot in an attempted assassination and Bush won public respect due to the smooth ways he handled public duties during the Presidents recovery. The duo was then re-elected by a landslide for yet another term together. George Bush now felt once again he should run for presidency.
Joining him for Vice-President was Dan Quayle, Senator of Indiana. The two destroyed Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen in the race by receiving 426 of the 538 electoral votes. As President, Bush faced a dramatically changing world, as the Cold War ended after 40 bitter years, the Communist empire broke up, and the Berlin Wall fell. The Soviet Union ceased to exist; and reformist President Mikhail Gorbachev, whom Bush had supported, resigned. While Bush hailed the march of democracy, he insisted on restraint in U. S. olicy toward the group of new nations.
In other areas of foreign policy, President Bush sent American troops into Panama to overthrow the corrupt regime of General Manuel Noriega, who was threatening the security of the canal and the Americans living there. Noriega was brought to the United States for trial as a drug trafficker. But, Bush’s greatest test came when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, then threatened to move into Saudi Arabia.
Vowing to free Kuwait, Bush rallied the United Nations, the U. S. people, and Congress and sent 425,000 American troops. They were joined by 118,000 troops from allied nations. After weeks of air and missile bombardment, the 100-hour land battle dubbed Desert Storm routed Iraq’s million-man army. Despite unprecedented popularity from this military and diplomatic triumph, Bush was unable to withstand discontent at home from a faltering economy, rising violence in inner cities, and continued high deficit spending. In 1992 he lost his bid for reelection to Democrat William Clinton.