Friday, December 26, 2008

GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, 41ST PRESIDENT - George H.W. Bush was sworn in as our nation's 41st President on January 20, 1989. Previously, he had served as Vice President under President Reagan. Before that he had served as a Congressman, as the U.S. representative to China, and as Director of te Central Intellgence Agency. As such, he was one of the most experienced individuals in foreign policy to ever be elected President. This experience was demonstrated when, after Iraq invaded Kuwait, President George H. W. Bush was able to organize a large coalition of countries to join the United States in forcing the military forces of Iraq out of Kuwait. Bush could have continued the Gulf War and directed U.S. forces to continue to Baghdad so as to oust Saddam Hussein, but chose not to do so since such a move would have both created a power vacuum in Iraq and would have cost U.S. support from its other Arab allies, such as Saudi Arabia. After the Gulf War, Bush's popularity was one of the highest of any President, but it increasingly fell afterwards as the economy worsened and the public did not feel that Bush was in touch with the economic problems of the country. As such, President Bush was defeated in his re-election attempt by his Democratic challenger, Bill Clinton. Ironically, Bush's son, George W. Bush was elected President after the two terms of Bill Clinton. During his son's presidency, the senior George W. Bush worked with former President Clinton to address a number of humanitarian relief efforts.