GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT - George W. Bush was sworn in as our 43rd President on January 20, 2001 after a contested election against the Democratic candidate, Vice President Al Gore. Ultimately, the election was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court which stopped a recount of the votes in Florida. In his first year in office, Bush was confronted with the tragedy of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center towers in New York and against the Pentagon in the Washington, D.C. area. In response to these terrorist attacks, President Bush declared a war on terror and ordered the invasion of Afghanistan and later of Iraq. With popular support as a war-time President and a conservative shift in the mood of the country, Bush was re-elected to a second term of office four years later. In his second term, however, Bush faced increasingly low rankings in the public opinion polls as support for the war in Iraq diminished and the economy worsened. At the end of his two terms as President, Bush had one of the lowest public opinion poll rankings of any President since such polls have been conducted as the financial and banking system in the country went into a melt-down as a result of a collapse of the housing market, and as mortgage-backed securities increasingly became illiquid. President Bush was the second President to be elected that was the son of a previous President, with his father George H.W. Bush having been the 41st President of the United States. The only other President that was the son of a previous President was John Quincy Adams. As an outgoing President, Bush made a commitment to make the transition of his successor, Barack Obama, the easiest of any President-Elect.