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George W. Bush Administration


									George W. Bush
           Election of 2000
• Democrats nominate VP Al Gore
  – Tried to distance himself from Clinton scandals
  – Tried to continue Clinton‟s “New Democrat”
    positives (balanced budget, positive economy)
• Republicans nominate Texas Governor
  George W. Bush
  – Weak in foreign affairs and no national experience
  – Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense, was
    his VP nominee
• Liberal Ralph Nader ran as an independent
  (Green Party)
   Major Issue in Election of
• What to do with budget surplus
  – Bush: Give back to the people in form of
    massive tax cuts, privatize Social Security,
    increase funding for faith-based initiatives
  – Gore: modest tax cuts that benefited poor
    and middle class, apply some to national
    debt, expand Medicare, improve present
    Social Security
• Florida election results
  so close it triggered
  state‟s automatic
  recount by hand
   – Jeb Bush was governor
     so Sec. of State was in
     charge of re-count
   – Re-count confirmed
     Bush‟s narrow victory
    Florida Controversy Con‟t
• Democrats contend irregularities with ballots
  – Confusing
  – Issues at polls
  – Wanted ballots re-counted in specific counties
    (counties that tended to vote Democratic)
• Fla. Supreme Court ordered hand-count of
  60,000 ballots that machines failed to count
  – Most believe Bush would have won a majority of
    the 60,000
          More Controversy
• Republican controlled Florida legislature
  stated they would send the Republican
  Electors no matter the re-count results
• U.S. Supreme Court (5-4) ruled Florida
  cannot count disputed ballots in only selected
  counties and did not have a uniform standard
  for whole state so no re-count could take
  – Re-count would have made the re-counted votes
    more important which violated the 14th
    Amendment‟s Equal Protection Clause
 Bush wins 271-266

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Bush Presidency Starts Rocky
                                       • Won by 537 votes in
                                       • Lost by over
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                                         500,000 nationwide
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   are needed to s ee this pic ture.   • Republican majority
                                         in House dwindled
                                         to 10 and 50-50 in
         Bush‟s First Term
• Very Conservative
  – Wore Christian values on sleeve
  – Removed government support for
    programs supporting abortion, stem-cell
    research, etc.
  – Increased government spending in faith-
    based initiatives
  – $1.3 trillion tax cut during economic
    downturn ($400 billion budget deficit)
    • 9/11/01: Al-Qaeda
      members hijack
      plans and turn them
      into missiles
    • Targets:
      – WTC
      – Pentagon
      – White House (or
        Camp David)
          Osama Bin Laden
• Moved to Afghanistan in
• Trained and given
  weapons by U.S. to
  fight USSR
• Founded Al-Qaeda in
  1980s to train men and
  network with other
  terrorist groups to
  attack U.S.
• Believed to be responsible for four
  attacks against U.S. before 9/11/01:
  – World Trade Center (1993)
  – Attack on U.S. embassies in Kenya and
  – USS Cole
U.S. Reaction
       • Congress approves
         $40 billion for
       • 10/01: U.S. and
         others attack
       • War in Iraq, 3/03
       • Increased Patriotism
       War in Afghanistan
                                      • U.S. defeated Taliban
                                        but failed to find Bin
                                      • Spent so much time
                                        and resources in Iraq
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                                        Taliban emerged again
                                      • 2011: U.S. has Taliban
                                        on the run again, but
                                        they are currently still
                                         – President Obama has
                                           pledged to bring troops
                                           home by the summer (if
                                           things are stable)
       U.S. Changed Forever
• Series of anthrax letters kill people in U.S. in
   – Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist who worked for a
     biodefense company in Maryland committed
     suicide shortly after being indicted for sending
• Congress passes the Patriot Act in 2001
   – Permitted telephone taps, surveillance, authorized
     detention and deportation of immigrants
      • Supporters: Bush‟s concern for safety and protection
      • Critics: Violation of Civil Rights, too vague in language
                 War in Iraq
• Bush claimed Iraqi government under Sadam
  Hussein had a history of human rights
  violations, oppressed its own people and had
  weapons of mass destruction
• As part of Persian Gulf War, Iraq had to
  permit weapons inspectors into country
• Hussein harassed inspectors, would not
  cooperate, etc.
  – U.N. did little but put sanctions on Iraq
  – U.S. wants UN to attack--they refuse
  – No WMD‟s found
           U.S. Attacks Iraq
• Bush believed Iraq
  could be a democratic
  beacon to the Islamic
• 2003: With help of
  Great Britain and                  QuickTime™ and a
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  others, US. Attacks in
• Hussein flees
• May, 2003: Bush claims
  “Mission Accomplished”
     Mission Accomplished?
• Jan., 2005: Iraq adopted a constitution and
  held free elections
• Over 4000 U.S. soldiers killed
• 2006: Saddam Hussein captured and
  executed by Iraqis
• Controversy:
  – Faulty intelligence led to invasion
     • Led to creation of Department of Homeland Security
  – Why Iraq? (no proof they helped Al Qaeda)
  – Length of war
     • Obama declared end of war in 2010
   Senate Condemned Bush
• June, 2008: The Senate Select
  Committee on Intelligence found that
  President Bush and administration
  repeatedly overstated evidence that
  Hussein had nuclear, chemical and
  biological weapons and misled the
  public about ties between Iraq and al-
             Election of 2004
• George W. Bush v.
  John Kerry.
• War in Iraq was the
  major issue.
• John Kerry was
  Vietnam vet.
• Came out against war,
  though he voted for it as
• Also stated he would
  not end it immediately.
           2004 Election

•Bush defeated Kerry 286 to 252.
    Bush‟s Second Term
                                      • Appointed two conservative
                                        Supreme Court justices
                                      • Chief Justice John Roberts
                                        was to replace Sandra Day
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                                         – William Rehnquists died
                                         – Conservative Roberts
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                                           became Chief Justice in
Hurricane Katrina (2005)
            •   Hurricane Katrina hits the New
                Orleans and Mississippi areas.
            •   Category 5 hurricane.
            •   Approximately 2000 killed
            •   $86 Billion
            •   Bush administration bashed for
                slow response.
                 – Fed. Govt blamed State govt
                   who had primary responsibility
                 – State govt also ripped for slow
                CIA Leak Scandal
                                       • Valerie Plame‟s name
                                         leaked to press
                                          – Secret CIA operative
                                          – Her husband had been
                                            critical of Bush
          Quic kTime™ and a                 administration
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                                         “Scooter” Libby
                                         accused of the leak
                                          – Libby lied under oath and
                                            was sentenced to 5 years
                                            for perjury
                                          – Bush commuted his
                                          – Rove and Libby resigned
      Abu Ghraib Scandal
• Oct. „05: Congress passed the McCain
  Detainee Amendment against inhumane
  treatment of prisoners
• Dec. „05: Bush publicly stated
  government does not torture nor
  condone torture
          Abu Ghraib Con‟t
• Abu Ghraib is US POW camp in Iraq
• Feb. „06: testimony and photos leaked to
  press showing Iraqi prisoners being treated
  inhumanely, posed nude, etc.
  – Sept. „06: Bush acknowledged secret CIA prison
    camps (one at Guantanamo Bay), but denied
    prisoners were tortured
  – Many called for US to investigate, punish, close
    these prisons, protect civil rights of prisoners
  – Also, pressure on Secretary of Defense Donald
    Rumsfeld to resign
Election of 2006
        • Democrats take control
          of Congress for first
          time since 1994.
           – Largely due to war in
             Iraq, deteriorating
             economy, scandal (Mark
             Foley scandal occurred
             at election time)
        • Nancy Pelosi named
          Speaker of House (first
              Mass Resignations
                                     • Colin Powell had
                                       resigned in 2004 over
                                       war in Iraq
                                     • Democratic gains
                                       triggered massive
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                                       Administration including
                                       Donald Rumsfeld who
                                       had been under fire for
                                       War in Iraq
         Illegal Immigration
• October, 2006: Congress passed
  Secure Fence Act
  – Authorized the construction of a 700-mile
    fence along the Mexico-U.S border
• Bush proposed a bill that would allow
  for the legalization of illegal immigrants
  – Conservatives broke with Bush
  – Proposal died there
           More Controversy
• Oct. „06: Bush vetoed bill that would have
  expanded federal funding for stem-cell
• Aug. „07: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
  – Gonzales had fired a number of Justice
    Department prosecutors without cause
     • Believed they were fired for not being loyal to Bush,
       despite their having no party affiliation.
     • Found to have run illegal wiretap program
     • Questionable techniques in prisoner interrogation
       techniques of detainees
                Energy Crisis
•   Gas and oil prices continue to increase
•   Oil companies making record profits
•   Call for government to regulate!
•   Dec. „07: Bush signs legislation increasing
    fuel-effiency standards for vehicles
    – Prices averaged over $4.00 a gallon in summer
    – Bush lifted ban on offshore drilling to add to oil
      supply (hoping prices would drop)
    – Economic recession caused demand and prices
      for gas/oil to drop in „09
          Economy Struggling
• Poor housing market (record foreclosure rate)
• Dollar declining worldwide
• Energy crisis
• Higher unemployment (approximately 10%
  and rising when Bush left office)
• International recession
    – Caused by mortgage crisis, energy crisis, poor
      banking/credit practices, inflation, deregulation
    – Bush‟s approval rating hit all-time low in Sept. „08:
      Bush Attempts to Help
• July, 2008: Bush signed legislation that gave
  the Treasury Department authority to rescue
  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country‟s
  two largest mortgage companies and give
  states $4 billion grants to buy foreclosed
• October, 2008: Bush signed $700 billion bank
  bailout package
• April, 2011: Recession appears to be
  – Stock market is at highest level since early „08
  – Unemployment rate is at 9.2% and dropping
    Recession Aid Continued
• Nov., „08: Federal Reserve and Treasury
  Dept. announced they would finance $800
  billion in lending programs to buy bad debt,
  bad mortgages, and help consumers secure
   – Increased spending led to more national debt
   – Led to increase in groups such as TEA Party
     (Taxed Enough Already) who want cuts in
     government spending, size and taxes
• Bush left office with an approval rating of
  approximately 30%.

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