Research

Political Party - Republican

Years in office - 1989 - 1993

Brief historical background:
George H.W. Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Bush, a future Connecticut U.S. senator. After attending the Phillips Academy in Andover, he enlisted in the Navy. During World War II, he flew 58 combat missions, and he received a Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. Following the war, George Bush married Barbara Pierce, and he attended Yale University where he was a member of the baseball team and a Phi Beta Kappa member. He then began a career in West Texas’ oil industry. George Bush has five children: George W., John (a.k.a. Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy.

Path to President:
George H.W. Bush served two-terms as a U.S. Representative of Texas. After running unsuccessuflly for the Senate (twice), he received several appointments to top federal positions: Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In the 1980 presidential election, he unsuccessfully ran as a Republican presidential candidate, however, he eventually became the running mate of the successful Republican nominee, the then California governor Ronald Reagan. After serving eight years as the U.S. vice president, he (and running mate Senator Dan Qualye of Indiana) successfully defeated Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election.

President George Bush
President George Bush


Highlights/Lowlights of career:
President George H.W. Bush believed in the "integrity of government". He increased federal spending for education, child care, and R & D. Additionally, he championed the rights of the disabled, a better interstate highway system, an improved criminal justice system, and a cleaner environment. However, President Bush's shaky relationship with Congressional Democrats and conservative Republicans did not help the struggling U.S. economy (or, his popularity) move forward. For example, his "no new taxes" promise ended when he signed new taxes into law, with the oversight of congressional Democrats.

Two domestic policy issues:
1.) Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: This act lowered legal and physical barriers to disabled citizens.
2.) Clean Air Act: Implemented higher air quality standards and cleaner burning fuels.

Two foreign policy issues:
1.) Panama: President Bush sent American troops to the Latin American nation to overthrow General Manuel Noriega's regime because it "threatened the security of the canal and the Americans living there". Noriega was eventually tried on drug-trafficking charges in the United
2.) Iraq: In response to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's invasion of the oil-producing nation of Kuwait, President Bush successfully convinced Congress,


General H. Norman Schwarzkoph with American Troops (Operation Desert Storm)
General H. Norman Schwarzkoph with American Troops (Operation Desert Storm)


Presidential Report Card
(Be sure to include a letter grade and at least two comments)

Character: B - President Bush wanted to help the American people. He wanted to restore government's credibility, especially when the American people saw it as ineffective when scandals such as "Iran-Contra" ensued (although, he was involved in "Iran-Contra"...). He was not afraid to "go against the flow" in the form of previous Reagan administration policies and the ideologies of Congressional Republicans and Democrats.

Morals: A- - President Bush cared strongly about the American people and the environment. He succsessfully passed the Disabilities Act of 1990 to help disabled persons and the Clean Air Act to raise environmental standards.

Economics: B - The economy was not entirely President Bush's fault. The Reagan administration left him with a grotesque federal budget deficit, and the Reagan administration's essentially non-existent business regulations led to a savings-and-loans crisis, requring federal (and taxpayer) intervention. However, President Bush and Congress failed to resolve this problem.

Effectiveness: - B - Although the Bush administration did successfully pass civil rights and environmental laws, the former President was not successful in winning the support of Congressional Democrats and conservative Republicans. Because of this, the President ended up signing new taxes ("Read my lips: no new taxes..."), and he failed to balance the high federal budget deficit.

Political Skill: B - President Bush, unlike Presidents Reagan and Obama was not a gifted speaker. Although, he was a generous man, he was inable to win over the ideologies of Congressional Democrats and conservative Republicans in the hope of lowering the federal budget deficit or creting a North American Free Trade Organization with the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Vision: A- - President Bush believed in a "credible" government that was actually concerned about its citizens. He believed in helping those in need, saving the environment, and protecting the American people and peoples of other nations such as Kuwait.

Leadership: B - President Bush had high expectations and hopes for Washington. However, his conflicts with the ideologies of Congressional Democrats and conservative Republicans distracted the federal government from successfully helping the country.

OVERALL: B