office January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 41st President of the
United States of America (1989–1993). Prior to being President,
Bush had served as a U.S. congressman from Texas (1967–1971),
ambassador to the United Nations (1971–1973), Republican National
Committee chairman (1973–1974), Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office
in the People's Republic of China (1974–1976), Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency (1976–1977), Chairman of the First
International Bank in Houston (1977–1980), and the 43rd Vice President
of the United States under President Ronald Reagan (1981–1989).
A decorated naval aviator, is the last World War II veteran to have
served as President.
President Bush pursued
moderate policies in both domestic and foreign policy. During the final
days of the Cold War, he was responsible for managing US foreign policy
during the delicate transition of the Soviet Union and eastern Europe
from being communist states to being liberal democracies. He championed
the concept of a New World Order where international law and global
consensus would replace military and strategic confrontation as a means
of accomplishing diplomatic objectives. This idea was exemplified during
the Gulf War, when the U.S. rallied a global coalition to reverse the
invasion of Kuwait by Iraq under Saddam Hussein. However, in December
1989, President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama to remove General
Manuel Noriega from power without an international consensus. In domestic
policy, Bush's most notable initiative was the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation
Act of 1990, a controversial compromise with congressional Democrats
that traded spending controls for tax increases in order to balance
the federal budget.
The Bush political
"dynasty" has been compared to that of the Adams and the Kennedy
families. Bush is the father of the 43rd and current President George
Walker Bush, and the 43rd and current Governor of Florida Jeb Bush.
His father, Prescott Bush, was a United States Senator from Connecticut.
Walker Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Bush and Dorothy
Walker Bush. He was named for his maternal grandfather, George Herbert
Bush began his formal
education at the Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Bush attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts from 1936 to
1942, where he captained the baseball and soccer teams and was a member
of an exclusive fraternity called the A.U.V, or "Auctoritas, Unitas,
Veritas" — Latin for "Authority, Unity, Truth".
It was while at Phillips Academy that Bush learned of the surprise attack
on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Bush met Babe Ruth
as a student at Yale.After graduating from Phillips Academy in June
1942, Bush joined the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday to become an aviator.
After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign
in the U.S. Naval Reserve on June 9, 1943, several days before his nineteenth
birthday, which made him the youngest naval aviator to that date.
flight training, he was assigned to Torpedo squadron (VT-51) as photographic
officer in September 1943. As part of Air Group 51, his squadron was
based on U.S.S. San Jacinto in the spring of 1944. San Jacinto was part
of Task Force 58 that participated in operations against Marcus and
Wake Islands in May, and then in the Marianas during June. On June 19
the task force triumphed in one of the largest air battles of World
War II. On his return from the mission Bush's aircraft made a hard-forced
water landing. A submarine rescued the young pilot, although the plane
was lost as well as the life of his navigator. On July 25, Bush and
another pilot received credit for sinking a small cargo ship off Palau.
After Bush's promotion
to Lieutenant Junior Grade on August 1, San Jacinto commenced operations
against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. On September 2, 1944, Bush
piloted one of four aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations
on Chichi Jima. For this mission his crew included Radioman Second Class
John Delaney and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White, who substituted
for Bush's regular gunner. During their attack four TBM Avengers from
VT-51 encountered intense anti-aircraft fire.
While starting the
attack, Bush's aircraft was hit, and his engine caught on fire. He completed
his attack and released the bombs over his target, scoring several damaging
hits. With his engine on fire, Bush flew several miles from the island,
where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of
the aircraft. However, the other man's parachute did not open, and he
fell to his death. It was never determined which man bailed out with
Bush. Both Delaney and White were killed in action. While Bush waited
four hours in his inflated raft, several fighters circled protectively
overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine U.S.S. Finback.
For this action Bush received the Distinguished Flying Cross. During
the month he remained on Finback, Bush helped rescue other pilots.
However, some people
have expressed skepticism of the official story, asking if Bush bailed
out unnecessarily, causing the needless deaths of his crewmates. The
primary witness against the official story are Charles Bynum and Chester
returned to the San Jacinto in November 1944. He participated in operations
in the Philippines. When San Jacinto returned to Guam, the squadron,
which had suffered 300 percent casualties of its pilots, was replaced
and sent to the United States. Through 1944, he had flown 58 combat
missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three
Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded aboard the San
After this valuable
combat experience, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk Navy Base and put
in a training wing for new torpedo pilots. He was later assigned as
a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153. With the surrender
of Japan, he was honorably discharged in September 1945 and then entered
Yale University. In 2003, construction began on the USS , the tenth
Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy. Its motto is "Strength
in the Pursuit of Peace". It is scheduled for completion in 2009.
George Herbert Walker Bush is listed fourth down.While at Yale, he joined
the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was elected president. He also
captained the Yale baseball team. As a left-handed first baseman, Bush
played in the first College World Series. As a senior he was, like his
son George W. Bush (1968) and his father Prescott S. Bush (1917), inducted
into the Skull and Bones secret society in 1948, helping him to build
friendships and political support. Skull and Bones members provided
support during his presidential campaign rallying huge sums of money
George Bush married
Barbara Pierce on January 6, 1945. Their marriage produced six children:
George W., Pauline Robinson ("Robin") (1949–1953, died
of leukemia), John (Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy Walker.
Bush ventured into
the highly speculative Texas oil exploration business after World War
II with considerable success. He secured a position with Dresser Industries,
where his father served on the board for 22 years. His son, Neil Mallon
Bush, is named after his employer at Dresser, Neil Mallon, who was a
close family friend dating back to Skull & Bones at Yale in 1918
along with Prescott. Zapata Corporation was created by Bush and the
Liedtke brothers in 1953 as Zapata Oil. (Authors Kevin Phillips, Daniel
Yergin, and others suggest that Bush had undercover ties to the Central
Intelligence Agency at this time.) Dresser Industries, decades later,
merged with Halliburton, whose former CEOs include Dick Cheney, 's Secretary
of Defense and later Vice President of the United States under George
Bush in a meeting with President Ronald Reagan in 1984.In 1964, Bush
ran for the U.S. Senate. In the Republican primary, Bush ran first with
62,985 votes, but his total was 44.1 percent, not the required majority.
He was thus forced into a runoff primary with Jack Cox, also of Houston,
the 1962 Republican gubernatorial nominee, who had 45,561 votes (31.9
percent) in the primary. A third candidate, Robert Morris of Dallas,
who had been a member of the Senate Internal Security Committee and
an ardent constitutionalist and "cold warrior," polled 28,279
ballots (19.8 percent).
Bush easily prevailed
in the GOP runoff, with 49,751 (62.1 percent) to Cox's 30,333 (37.9
percent). As the Republican nominee, Bush then aimed his campaign at
the incumbent Democratic Senator Ralph Yarborough, making an issue of
Yarborough's support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the time many
Southern politicians (including the Republican Senator John Tower of
Texas) opposed the legislation on constitutional or libertarian grounds.
Bush called Yarborough
an "extremist" and a "left wing demagogue" while
Yarborough said Bush was a "carpetbagger" trying to buy a
Senate seat "just as they would buy a seat on the New York Stock
Exchange." Bush lost in a Democratic landslide but ran considerably
ahead of the GOP presidential nominee, Senator Barry M. Goldwater of
Although Bush later
became a leader of the Republican party's moderate wing, at the time
he was an ultraconservative Goldwater Republican. He campaigned enthusiastically
for Barry Goldwater and against Nelson Rockefeller in the race for the
Republican presidential nomination in 1964. He also supported prayer
in public schools and opposed civil rights (source Chaitkin,Anton, and
Tarpley, Webster G. George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography Chapter
IX).He and his father Prescott were both close friends of Goldwater
and supported him very enthusiastically. He and his father both disliked
Rockefeller. He wrote in a letter "Under no circumstances will
Texas take Nelson Rockefeller"(Source Bush, George H.W. All the
Bush did not give
up on elective politics and was elected in 1966 and 1968 to the House
of Representatives from the 7th District of Texas.
In 1970, Bush relinquished
his House seat to seek the Republican senatorial nomination. He easily
defeated conservative Robert Morris, a defeated 1964 candidate, by a
margin of 87.6 percent to 12.4 percent. Bush expected that he would
again face Democratic Senator Yarborough. But former Congressman Lloyd
Bentsen, a native of Mission, Texas, defeated Yarborough in the Democratic
primary, 816,641 votes (53 percent) to 724,122 (47 percent). Yarborough
then endorsed Bentsen.
Because there was
no presidential election in 1970, turnout in Texas was unusually low
in the general election. Bentsen defeated Bush by a margin similar to
that in his primary victory over Yarborough. Bentsen later became the
Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in the 1988 presidential
election and, teamed with Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, lost
to Bush. In 1993, Bentsen became Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton
During his career
in the U.S. House of Representatives, Bush was very supportive of contraceptives
and family planning. So much so that he was known as "Rubbers".
He was a supporter of Planned Parenthood, of which his father Prescott
had been the financial chairman. He criticized Pope Paul VI for his
encyclical Humanae Vitae which reiterated the Roman Catholic Church's
opposition to contraceptives.
After the 1970
election loss, President Richard Nixon appointed Bush to United States
Ambassador to the United Nations, at which he served from 1971 to 1973.
After Nixon was
re-elected President in 1972, he asked Bush to become Chairman of the
Republican National Committee. Bush held this position during the Watergate
scandal, when the popularity of both Nixon and the Republican Party
plummeted. Bush defended Nixon steadfastly, but later as Nixon's complicity
became clear he focused more on defending the Republican Party while
still maintaining loyalty to Nixon.
After Nixon's resignation
in 1974, Bush was considered for appointment as the replacement Vice
President, but President Gerald Ford chose Nelson Rockefeller instead.
Ford appointed Bush to be Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People's
Republic of China. (Since the United States at the time maintained official
relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan and not the People's
Republic of China, the Liaison Office did not have the official status
of an embassy and Bush did not formally hold the position of "ambassador"
even though he unofficially acted as one.)
In 1976, Ford brought
Bush back to Washington to become Director of Central Intelligence.
Bush served in this role for 355 days, from January 30, 1976 to January
20, 1977. The CIA had been rocked by a series of revelations, including
revelations based on investigations by the Senate's Church Committee,
about the CIA's illegal and unauthorized activities, and Bush was credited
with helping to restore the agency's morale.
Bush has since commented
that he did not particularly enjoy this string of jobs, saying he never
wanted to be a "career bureaucrat." However, he based his
subsequent rise to national prominence in politics and campaigns for
national office in part on the experience he gained from this succession
of appointments after his Senate defeat in 1970.
After a Democratic
administration took power in 1977, Bush became Chairman of the First
International Bank in Houston. He also became an adjunct professor of
Administrative Science at Rice University in the Jones School of Business
in 1978, the year it opened. The course, Organization Theory, involved
lectures from Bush regarding the organizations he headed—the Central
Intelligence Agency, the National Republican Party, a U.S. congressional
office, the USA Representative Office to China, and an oil exploration
company. Just months before Bush hit the presidential campaign trail,
he was also candid about his internal debate to enter the primaries.
He also became a
board member of the Committee on the Present Danger.
In the 1980 presidential
election, Bush ran for the office, stressing his wide range of government
experience. In the contest for the Republican Party nomination, despite
Bush's establishment backing, the front-runner was Ronald Reagan, former
Governor of California who was now running for the third time for President.
In the contest Bush
represented the Republican party's eastern establishment liberal-moderate
wing, whereas Reagan represented the conservative portion of the Republican
Party. Bush attacked Reagan as being 'too' conservative, labeling the
latter's supply side-influenced plans for massive tax cuts as "voodoo
Bush won the Iowa
caucus to start the primary season, then told the press that he had
"Big Mo" (or momentum). However, Reagan came back to decisively
win the first primary in New Hampshire, and Bush's "mo" was
gone. With a growing popularity among the Republican voting base,
Reagan won most of the remaining primaries and the nomination.
During his campaign
for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1980 Bush criticized
Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter for breaking off diplomatic relations
with the anti-communist and fascist Republic of China (Taiwan) and supporting
the communist People's Republic of China. Some people accused him of
hypocrisy for this because he was very supportive of appeasing the People's
Republic of China when he was the USA Ambassador in Beijing. And because
he would later support the government of the People's Republic of China
during the Tinamen Square Riots. (Source: Chaitkin, Anton, and Tarpley,
Webster G. George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography Chapter XVI Campaign
After some preliminary
discussion of choosing former President Gerald Ford as his running mate,
Reagan selected Bush as his Vice President, placing him on the winning
Republican presidential ticket of 1980. Bush had declared he would never
be Reagan's Vice President. Bush was many things Reagan had not been
— a life-long Republican, a combat veteran, and an internationalist
with UN, CIA, and China experience. Bush was also more moderate in his
economic positions and political philosophy than Reagan.
As Vice President,
Bush was loyal to Reagan and kept any policy differences hidden. Bush
did not wield strong power within the Reagan Administration, but he
did have some influence on Reagan's staffing and was given some line
responsibilities. Reagan kept Bush busy on overseas diplomatic trips;
Bush attended so many state funerals that he famously quipped, "I'm
George Bush. You die, I fly."
ticket won again by a huge landslide in 1984 against the Democrats'
Walter Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro ticket.
During his second
term as Vice President, Bush became the first Vice President to become
Acting President when, on July 13, 1985, President Reagan underwent
surgery to remove polyps from his colon. Bush served as Acting President
for approximately eight hours, most of which he passed playing tennis.
When the Iran-Contra
Affair broke in 1986, Bush stated that he had been "out of the
loop" and unaware of the Iran initiatives related to arms trading.
This claim met with some skepticism, but Bush was never charged with
Chief Justice William
Rehnquist administering the oath of office to President during Inaugural
ceremonies at the United States Capitol. January 20, 1989.In 1988, after
nearly eight years as Vice President, Bush again ran for President.
Though considered the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination,
Bush came in third in the Iowa caucus, beaten by winner U.S. Senator
Bob Dole and runner-up televangelist Pat Robertson. However, Bush rebounded
to win the New Hampshire primary, partly because of television commercials
portraying Dole as a tax raiser. 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
Bush was criticised
by some liberals and secularists during the 1988 campaign because he
said at a press conference in response to a question from Robert I.
Sherman, a reporter for the American Atheist news journal about what
he would do to win the votes of American atheists that he thought he
had no support in the atheist community and when Sherman asked him if
he recognized the equal rights of American atheists Bush replied. "No,
I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should
they be considered patriots, this is one nation under God." (Source:
Leading up to the
1988 Republican National Convention, there was much speculation as to
Bush's choice of running mate. In a move anticipated by few and later
criticized by many, Bush chose little-known U.S. Senator Dan Quayle
of Indiana. On the eve of the convention, Bush trailed Democratic nominee
Michael Dukakis, then Massachusetts governor, by double digits in most
Bush, often criticized
for his lack of eloquence when compared to Reagan, surprised many by
giving perhaps the best speech of his public career, widely known as
the "Thousand points of light" speech for his use of that
phrase to describe his vision of American community. Bush's acceptance
speech and a generally well-managed Convention catapulted him ahead
of Dukakis in the polls, and he held the lead for the rest of the race.
Bush's acceptance speech at the convention included the famous pledge,
Read my lips: no new taxes.
electoral votes by state.The campaign was noted for its highly negative
television advertisements. One advertisement run by the Bush campaign
showed Dukakis awkwardly riding in a U.S. Army tank. Bush blamed Dukakis
for polluting the Boston Harbor as the Massachusetts governor. Bush
also pointed out that Dukakis was opposed to the law that would require
all students to say the pledge of allegiance. Another, produced and
placed by an independent group supporting Bush, referred to murderer
Willie Horton, a man who had committed a rape and assault while on a
weekend furlough from a life sentence being served in Massachusetts.
opposition to capital punishment also led to a pointed question during
the U.S. presidential debates. Moderator Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis
hypothetically if Dukakis would support the death penalty if his wife
were raped and murdered. Dukakis's response appeared to many oddly wooden
and technical, and helped characterize him as "soft on crime."
These images helped enhance Bush's stature as a possible Commander-in-Chief
compared to the Massachusetts governor.
Bush beat Michael
Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen soundly in the Electoral College, by 426 to
111 (Bentsen received one vote). In the nationwide popular vote, Bush
took 53.4% of the ballots cast while Dukakis gained 45.6%. Bush was
the first serving Vice President to be elected President since 1836.
Vice President Bush, President Ronald Reagan, and Soviet Premier Mikhail
Gorbachev at New York City in 1988
Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency from its first days. In his
January 20, 1989, Inaugural Address upon taking the Presidency, 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."
Leading up to the
first Gulf War, on September 11, 1990, President Bush addressing a joint
session of Congress stated: "Out of these troubled times, our fifth
objective — a New World Order — can emerge: a new era"
In a foreign policy
move that would later be questioned, President Bush achieved his stated
objectives of liberating Kuwait and forcing Iraqi withdrawal, then ordered
a cessation of combat operations —allowing Saddam Hussein to stay
in power. His Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney noted that invading the
country would get the United States "bogged down in the quagmire
inside Iraq." Bush later 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".
In explaining to
Gulf War veterans why he chose not to pursue the war further, President
Bush said, "Whose life would be on my hands as the commander-in-chief
because I, unilaterally, went beyond the international law, went beyond
the stated mission, and said we're going to show our macho? We're going
into Baghdad. We're going to be an occupying power — America in
an Arab land — with no allies at our side. It would have been
popularity rating in America soared during and immediately after the
apparent success of the military operations, but it later fell dramatically
because of an economic recession.
New World Order
As the Soviet Union was unraveling, President Bush and Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev declared a U.S.-Soviet strategic partnership at the
summit of July 1991, decisively marking the end of the Cold War. President
Bush declared that U.S.-Soviet cooperation during the Persian Gulf War
in 1990–1991 had laid the groundwork for a partnership in resolving
bilateral and world problems.
Ceremony, October 1992. From left to right: (standing) President Carlos
Salinas, President Bush, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney; (seated) Jaime
Serra Puche, Carla Hills, Michael Wilson.Bush's government, along with
the Progressive Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney,
spearheaded the negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), which Bill Clinton signed in 1993.
Despite his defeat,
George H.W. Bush left office in 1993 with a 56 percent job approval
Since his final
election campaign, Bush has mostly retired from public life. He and
his wife live most of the year at their home in Tanglewood in Houston,
with a presidential office nearby, and the remainder at their summer
home Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine. He holds his own fishing
tournament in Islamorada, an island in the Florida Keys.
In April 1993, the
Iraqi Intelligence Service attempted to assassinate former President
Bush via car bomb during a visit to Kuwait. However, Kuwaiti security
foiled the car bomb plot. On June 26, 1993, the U.S. launched a missile
attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for
the attempted attack against Bush.
Bush has never written
a memoir of his political life, and says he does not plan to write one.
He has, however, published a book containing a series of collected letters
(All The Best, George Bush, 1999), and co-authored a book on recent
foreign policy issues with his former National Security Advisor, Brent
Scowcroft (A World Transformed, 1998). He has given numerous speeches
and participated in business ventures with the Carlyle Group, a private
equity fund with close ties to the government of Saudi Arabia.
Robert Parry, an
American investigative journalist, and others have criticized Bush's
allegedly close relationship with Sun Myung Moon, a controversial religious
Bush, along with
his son President George W. Bush, his daughter-in-law, Laura, and former
President Bill Clinton, pay their respects to Pope John Paul II before
the pope's funeral.On June 12, 2004, he went skydiving in honor of his
80th birthday. It was his third parachute jump since World War II. He
also made a jump on June 9, 1999, before his 75th birthday, and told
reporters then he had also parachuted in Arizona two years earlier.
The day before his 80th birthday jump, he and his son both took part
in eulogizing his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, at the latter's state
On November 22,
2004, New York Republican Governor George Pataki named Bush and the
other living former Presidents (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill
Clinton) as honorary members of the board rebuilding the World Trade
On January 3, 2005,
Bush and Bill Clinton were named by the current President Bush to lead
a nationwide campaign to help the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Bush and Clinton both appeared on the Super Bowl XXXIX pre-game show
on Fox in support of their bipartisan effort to raise money for relief
of the disaster through the USA Freedom Corps, an action which Bush
described as "transcending politics." Thirteen days later,
they both traveled to the affected areas to see how the relief efforts
In August 31, 2005,
following the devastation of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, Bush
again teamed with Clinton to coordinate private relief donations. Reports
were common that Bush and Clinton had developed a friendship by now,
despite the latter having defeated the former in the 1992 election.
(Such friendships were not unknown, as Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter
had developed one despite a similar history.). Almost a year later,
on May 13, 2006, they received Honorary Diplomas from Tulane University
at the school's commencement ceremony.
Bush and his wife
Barbara could also be seen sitting in the front row behind home plate
at Minute Maid Park in Houston, supporting the Houston Astros during
the 2005 World Series.
George Bush brought
to the White House a dedication to traditional American values and a
determination to direct them toward making the United States "a
kinder and gentler nation." In his Inaugural Address he pledged
in "a moment rich with promise" to use American strength as
"a force for good."
Coming from a family
with a tradition of public service, George Herbert Walker Bush felt
the responsibility to make his contribution both in time of war and
in peace. Born in Milton, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1924, he became
a student leader at Phillips Academy in Andover. On his 18th birthday
he enlisted in the armed forces. The youngest pilot in the Navy when
he received his wings, he flew 58 combat missions during World War II.
On one mission over the Pacific as a torpedo bomber pilot he was shot
down by Japanese antiaircraft fire and was rescued from the water by
a U. S. submarine. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for
bravery in action.
Bush next turned
his energies toward completing his education and raising a family. In
January 1945 he married Barbara Pierce. They had six children-- George,
Robin (who died as a child), John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and
At Yale University
he excelled both in sports and in his studies; he was captain of the
baseball team and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation Bush
embarked on a career in the oil industry of West Texas.
Like his father,
Prescott Bush, who was elected a Senator from Connecticut in 1952, George
became interested in public service and politics. He served two terms
as a Representative to Congress from Texas. Twice he ran unsuccessfully
for the Senate. Then he was appointed to a series of high-level 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 1980 Bush campaigned
for the Republican nomination for President. He lost, but was chosen
as a running mate by Ronald Reagan. As Vice President, Bush had responsibility
in several domestic areas, including Federal deregulation and anti-drug
programs, and visited scores of foreign countries. In 1988 Bush won
the Republican nomination for President and, with Senator Dan Quayle
of Indiana as his running mate, he defeated Massachusetts Governor Michael
Dukakis in the general election.
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. policy 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.
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.
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.