41st and 43rd, father and son, presidents. The Bushes of History, both the US’s and the World’s. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the other father and son presidents of the United States make interesting parallels and contrasts. Their presidencies came at the nation’s and the world’s most interesting chapters of history. The older generations may very well remember the times when the senior Bush was in his most heroic at World War II. The young generation will never forget when the son Bush was in his most presidential when he handled 9/11.
George HW was a son of a Connecticut senator, Prescott Bush, and that must have started the former’s interest in politics and public service. He was a two-term representative of Texas. In 1988 he was on his way to the White House when he won the Republican nomination for president. George W was elected governor of Texas in 1994 and served for an unprecedented 4 terms. He ran for president and in 2001, began his first of two terms as president. Politics is indeed in the genes of the Bushes. In politics, George W is the more successful one going by election wins
Both father and son were Yale University educated. The father excelled in both the academics and in sports. He was the captain of the baseball team. The son would later on move to Harvard for his Masters in Business Administration. And in 1989 George W, together with some friends bought the Texas Rangers Baseball Franchise. Both were engaged in the oil and energy business in Texas before entering politics. The Bushes had both been experienced pilots in the service. George HW was the youngest navy pilot with 58 combat missions in WWII. He received the Distinguish Flying Cross for Bravery in Action when his aircraft was shot down by the Japanese. He was rescued by a US submarine. George W served as an F-102 fighter pilot with the Texas National Guard. George HW was the better pilot, it will be hard to argue with the Medal for Bravery.
The most distinguishing mark of the Bush presidency, whether it be that of the father’s or that of the son’s is their Foreign policy, or the Saddam Factor. The elder Bush’s incumbency was characterized by the ushering of a new era in world history, the end of the Cold War and the fall of Communism in Russia and Berlin. General Manuel Noriega was thrown out of power ending his corrupt regime when George HW sent troops to Panama to protect Americans and American interests in the region. Noriega was tried in the US for drug trafficking. Iraq invaded Kuwait. George HW sent troops to free Kuwait and stop Saddam Hussein from advancing to Saudi Arabia. Operation Dessert Storm was quick and successful but George HW had no excuse for the domestic woes of a faltering economy, racial violence, and high deficit spending. In George W’s watch came the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. America bled, the world wept, Saddam applauded. George W vowed to go after the terrorists and Saddam. Thus began the Iraq War or the second Gulf War. The way the war on terrorists has gone, public opinion has not been kind to the younger Bush.
This has been a most interesting study of comparison and contrast between a father and son, between two presidents, between two strong personalities who shared not just a name but the most powerful position in the most powerful nation in this world. They were pilots, they walked the campus of Yale, they were businessmen from oil-rich Texas, they love baseball, and they have political pedigree. Very few were privileged to serve as presidents, very few have wielded the awesome powers to steer a nation in its most trying moments and still very few were destined to move nations and made history by it. George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States of America, and his son, George Walker Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America were all of the above.
- The White House. (n.d.) Retrieved 14 November 2006. http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/