George W. Bush – 1946–
Son of President George H. W. Bush, George W. served as governor of Texas then eked out an electoral college victory (the contested outcome was decided by the Supreme Court) over Democrat Al Gore for the presidency in 2000. Bush’s presidency was defined by the “War on Terror,” which began with the horrific September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Bush quickly went to war against the Afghanistan-based terrorist organization called al-Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban government that supported it there. Far more controversially, he went to war in 2003) against Iraq for the purpose of toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein. The Iraq War, together with the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina,
which devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005, led many Americans, including some members of his own party, to question Bush’s leadership and effectiveness.