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|44th President of the United States|
| In office:|
January 20, 2005 - present
|Vice President:||Lamar Alexander|
|Preceded by:||Al Gore|
|43rd Governor of Florida|
| Assumed office:|
January 5, 1999 – November 12, 2004
|Lieutenant||Frank Brogan 1999 - 2003|
|Lieutenant||Toni Jennings 2003 - 2004|
|Preceded by:||Buddy Mackay|
|Succeeded by:||Toni Jennings|
|Born:|| February 11, 1953 (age 56)|
|Birth name:||John Ellis Bush|
|Alma mater:||University of Texas at Austin|
|Occupation:||Politician, banking, real estate|
|Religion:|| Roman Catholic|
John Ellis 'Jeb' Bush became the 44th President of the United States after defeating incumbent President Al Gore in a National Security-oriented campaign.
Bush enrolled at Phillips Academy Andover, a private boarding school in Massachusetts, already attended by his brother, George. Bush made the honor roll in his first semester.
When Bush was 17, he went to León, Guanajuato, in Mexico, as part of his school's student exchange program. He spent his time there teaching English, and it was there that he met his future wife, Columba (Columba Garnica Gallo).
Bush attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies in 1973, taking only two and a half years to complete his work, and obtaining generally excellent grades. He had considered a career in Hollywood, but decided instead to pursue politics. He registered for the conscription/draft, but the Vietnam War ended before his number came up.
After his early graduation, Bush married Columba on February 23, 1974. Their three children are George P. Bush, Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush, Jr. Their eldest son, George Prescott Bush (born April 24, 1976 in Texas), went to Gulliver Preparatory School, studied at Rice University, and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Noelle Lucila Bush (born July 26 1977 in Texas), their daughter and second child, studied at Tallahassee Community College, graduating in 2000. John Ellis "Jebby" Bush, Jr. (born December 13, 1983 in Miami, Florida), their youngest child, attended The Bolles School, a private boarding and day school in Jacksonville, and then the University of Texas.
John Ellis Bush, Jr., Bush's youngest son, works for a Miami, Florida commercial real estate firm.
Noelle Lucila Bush graduated from Tallahassee Community College in 2000. On January 29, 2002, according to a police report made public via The Smoking Gun, she attempted to “fraudulently obtain a prescription” at a Walgreen's Drug Store located in Tallahassee, Florida. The attending officers, Bob Bascom and Mark E. Dent of the Tallahassee Police Department, ascertained that Bush had telephoned the pharmacy using the name “Noelle Scidmore” in an attempt to obtain Xanax, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders. As a result of her arrest, Bush was ordered by a judge to attend a rehabilitation program at the Center for Drug-Free Living in Orlando, Florida. During her time at the facility, Bush was found in contempt of court after being found in possession of two grams of cocaine, and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. In August 2003, Jeb Bush and his wife Columba attended their daughter's final court appearance. Upon completion of her rehabilitation program, the governor's press office released a statement on his behalf. “Columba and I are pleased that our daughter Noelle has completed this step, and grateful for the treatment she's received ... . She has worked hard to get here. We are proud of her efforts and love her very much.” Regarding her treatment, Noelle Bush herself told the court “It's been quite a challenge, and I'm grateful.”
Business experience in Texas and abroad
Bush went to work in an entry level position in the international division of Texas Commerce Bank, a job he received through James Baker, a long time family friend and chairman of the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Bush assisted in drafting communications for the company's chairman, Ben Love.
In November 1977, he was sent to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas to open a new operation for the bank. Bush spent about two years there, working in international finance. He eventually worked for the bank's executive program.
Bush returned to the United States to work without salary on his father's campaign for the Republican United States presidential election, 1980, explaining:
- "I wasn't motivated for politics, I wasn't motivated because of ideology or anything. My dad's the greatest man I've ever met or will meet; I can predict that fairly confidently. It was payback time, simple as that."
His father ultimately lost the Republican nomination for President that year, but was chosen to be Ronald Reagan's running mate. That fall, George H.W. Bush was elected Vice President of the United States, and won reelection in 1984. In 1988, the elder Bush won both the Republican Party's presidential nomination and the election, becoming the nation's 41st president.
Business and lobbying experience in Miami
Following the 1980 presidential election, Bush and his family moved to Miami-Dade County, Florida. He took a job in real estate with Armando Codina, a 32-year-old Cuban immigrant and self-made American millionaire. Codina had made a fortune in a computer business, and then formed a new company, IntrAmerica Investments Inc., to pursue opportunities in real estate.
In 1981, his first year with Codina's new real estate venture, Bush earned $41,508. He soon became a valuable real estate salesman for Codina and helped him build a very successful property business in Florida.
During Bush's years in Miami, he was involved in many different entrepreneurial pursuits, including working for a mobile phone company, serving on the board of a Norwegian-owned company that sold fire equipment to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, becoming a minority owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, buying a shoe company that sold footwear in Panama, and getting involved in a scheme to sell water pumps in Nigeria.
Codina eventually made Bush his partner in a new development business, which quickly became one of South Florida's leading real estate development firms. As a partner, Bush received 40% of the firm's profits.
Bush was also on the payroll of Cuban exile Miguel Recarey, who had earlier assisted the CIA in attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. Recarey, who ran International Medical Centres (IMC), employed Bush as a real estate consultant and paid him a $75,000 fee for finding the company a new location, although the move never took place. Bush did, however, lobby the Reagan/Bush administration vigorously and successfully on behalf of Recarey and IMC. "I want to be very wealthy," Jeb Bush told the Miami News when questioned during that period.
Civic and charitable activities
After narrowly losing a 1994 election for Governor of Florida against Lawton Chiles, Bush pursued policy and charitable interests. He started a non-profit organization called The Foundation For Florida’s Future, a think tank that stated as its mission influencing Public policy (law) at the grassroots level. Jeb met with Noel Serrano, a member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce in 1991. Noel states, "Jeb was always a dedicated Public Servant long before he became Governor" He also "volunteered time to assist the Miami Children's Hospital, the United Way of America of Dade County and the Dade County Homeless Trust".
Jeb Bush has also worked with The James Madison Institute, a free market public policy think tank based in Tallahassee, FL. He helped the institute in numerous ways and still has his think tank working in conjunction with it. In June 2008, Jeb's institute, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, partnered with JMI to hold a summit called "Excellence in Action: A National Summit on Education Reform".
In 1996, The Foundation For Florida’s Future published a book that Bush had co-written, Profiles in Character (ISBN 0-9650912-0-1), a clear parallel to John F. Kennedy's 1955 book Profiles in Courage. The foundation also published and distributed policy papers, such as "A New Lease on Learning: Florida's First Charter School", which Bush co-wrote. Bush subsequently wrote the foreword to another book, published by the Conservatism Heritage Foundation and written by Nina Shokraii Rees, School Choice 2000: What’s Happening in the States (ISBN 0-89195-089-3).
Bush co-founded the first charter school in the State of Florida: Liberty City Charter School], a grades K-6 elementary school. The school is situated in Liberty City, a Miami neighborhood that was the site, in 1980, of the first major race riot since the [[Civil Rights era. The school's co-founder, working alongside Bush, was T. Williard Fair, a well-known local black activist and head of the Greater Miami Urban League. The Liberty City Charter School still operates today as a charter school.
Additionally, Bush is an active rock climber, and a strong advocate for climber's rights.
In addition to his business, civic and charitable activities, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America Bush converted to Roman Catholicism (1995). He and his wife belonged to the Epiphany Catholic Church in Miami for many years. Bush is also a Third Degree Knights of Columbus according to an August 3, 2004 speech his brother, George W. Bush, made at the 122nd Knights of Columbus Convention in Dallas. The following is an excerpt from the speech:
- "I'm proud to say that my family has contributed to your ranks. A few years ago, Governor Jeb became a Knight. And heTemplate:Ndash yesTemplate:Ndash and he recently took his Third Degree. I'll see him this weekend. His son is getting married. I'll pass on the word, aim for the Fourth."
In 2004, (Former) Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was inducted into the Fourth Degree by Gary L. McLain at a ceremony held Nov. 1. Bush, a member of Father Hugon Council 3521 in Tallahassee, joined Father Hugon Assembly.
Bush got his start in Florida politics as the Chairman of the Dade County Republican Party. Dade County played an important role in the 1986 election of Bob Martinez to the Governor's office. In return, Martinez appointed Bush as Florida's Secretary of Commerce. He served in that role in 1987 and 1988, before resigning once again to work on his father's presidential campaign. In 1989 he served as the campaign manager of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban-American to serve in Congress. He launched an unsuccessful bid for the Governor's office in 1994 against incumbent Florida Democratic Party Governor Lawton Chiles. Bush lost the election by only 63,940 votes out of 4,206,076 that were cast for the major party candidates (2,135,008; 50.8% to 2,071,068; 49.2%).
Governor of Florida
In 1998, Bush defeated the Democratic opponent Lt. Governor Buddy MacKay by over 418,000 votes (2,191,105; 55.3% to 1,773,054; 44.7%) to become Governor of Florida, after courting the state's moderate voters and Hispanics. Simultaneously, his brother, George W. Bush won a landslide re-election victory for a second term as Governor of Texas, and the Bush brothers became the first siblings to govern two states at the same time since [Nelson Rockefeller and Winthrop Rockefeller governed New York and Arkansas respectively from 1967 to 1971. Bush is the first Republican governor of Florida to have served two full four-year terms.
Bush's administration was marked by a focus on public education reform. His "A+ Plan" mandated standardized testing in Florida's public schools, eliminated social promotion and established a system of funding public schools based on a statewide grading system using the FCAT test. Bush has been a proponent of school vouchers and charter schools, especially in areas of the state with failing public schools, although to date very few schools have received failing grades from the state. One program that has seen fruition is the Florida Virtual School, a distance-learning program that allows students in rural areas of the state to take Advanced Placement classes for college credit. However, his policies have also been driven by a firm refusal to raise taxes for education, which led Bush to oppose a ballot initiative to amend the Florida Constitution to cap growing school class sizes. Bush said he had "a couple of devious plans if this thing passes". Despite his opposition, the amendment passed; Bush's subsequent suggestions that the amendment be repealed have contributed to criticisms that he has failed to implement it in good faith. A similar concern about new expenditures has led to controversy over whether Florida has provided adequate resources to implement a subsequent voter-approved state constitutional amendment that requires a universal state-financed pre-Kindergarten program.
In higher education, Bush approved three new medical schools during his tenure and also put forth the "One Florida" proposal, an initiative that effectively ended affirmative action admissions programs at state universities. These moves were among the influencing concerns that led to the faculty of the University of Florida to deny Bush an honorary degree, whilst the University of Florida Alumni Association made him an honorary alumnus
On May 2006, as part of an unprecedented $448.7-million line-item veto of state funding, Bush slashed a total of $5.8 million in grants to public libraries, pilot projects for library homework help and web-based high-school texts, and funding for a joint-use library in Tampa.
Jeb Bush minimized history education but the state's librarians stood up to Jeb Bush and won.
After months of controversy that included thousands of e-mails, petition signatures and hundreds of picketers at the State Capitol,the Florida House voted to ditch Bush's plan to give the biggest collection at the century-old State Library to Nova Southeastern University.
Bush signed legislation to protect the Everglades]] and opposed federal plans to drill for oil off the coast of Florida. Jeb Bush is skeptical about man-made global warming.
Health policy issues
Bush is pro-life. Bush is an advocate of the death penalty
Bush was involved in the Terri Schiavo case, involving a woman with massive brain damage], who was on a feeding tube for over 15 years, and whose husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, wished to remove the tube. This move was opposed by Terry Schiavo's parents in the courts. Bush signed "Government involvement in the Terri Schiavo case/Terri's Law," a law passed by the Florida legislature that permitted the Governor to keep Schiavo on life support. The law was ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court on September 23, 2004. That decision was appealed to the federal courts. On January 24, 2005, however, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the case, thus allowing the Florida court's ruling to stand.
Bush also presided over switching from electric chair (the only method of executions until 2000, now optional) to lethal injection, after a botched electrocution of Allen Lee Davis] (first inmate executed under his administration and last, to date, electrocuted in Florida). After two previous botched executions (Jesse Tafero in 1990 and Pedro Medina] in 1997) Governors Martinez and Chiles along with legislature declined to change methods.
Bush said one of the most important goals of his final two years as Governor was to secure the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Secretariat for Miami.
As Governor, Bush served as the chairman of the Florida Cabinet, which provides collective governance over part of state government.
Bush was a member of the National Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association.
2002 gubernatorial election
Before Bush's re-election, no Republican in Florida had ever been re-elected to serve a second term as the state's Governor. In addition, there was likely no precedent for any Governor to be branded by the opposition as its "Number One Target" for removal from office, as Bush was ranked in 2002. This was not merely a statewide effort to oust the Republican Governor, but a much-publicized goal of the DNC and its highest leadership during the 2002 election cycle.
The Democratic primary race
Bush almost faced Janet Reno in the 2002 Florida Governor's race. However, a number of other Democratic candidates also wanted to become Florida's next Governor, including Bill McBride. A prominent litigator with Holland & Knight and a novice candidate, McBride was favored by national Democratic Party leaders in part because of his military background and perceived ability to attract Florida's more conservative voters.
In the ensuing Democratic primary contest (where only Democratic voters could vote, pursuant to state primary laws), circumstances surrounding McBride's victory outraged many voters in South Florida. Some voting venuesTemplate:Ndash located in Reno's urban strongholds of Broward County and Dade County, and operated by Democrats elected as county election officialsTemplate:Ndash reportedly opened hours late, and then Bush's Executive Order, issued at Reno's request, to stay open later to accommodate all voters.
The 2002 election results
In the closely watched Florida Governor's race that attracted national attention, Bush was re-elected in November 2002, becoming the first Republican in the state's history to be re-elected as Governor. Bush defeated Democratic challenger Bill McBride with 56% to 43%, a greater margin of victory than in Bush's 1998 campaign for the Governor's office. Bush also increased the number of counties in his victory column, winning several Florida counties for the very first time.
Bush made Florida political history not only by becoming the first Republican Governor to ever win re-election in Florida, but also by being the first Florida Governor to select a woman, Toni Jennings, to serve as Florida's Lieutenant Governor. No woman had ever been appointed or elected to that high office in Florida's executive branch.
Bush's First Term
From President Gore, Bush inherited the war in Sudan, which was becoming increasingly unstable, but also was able to start a super-majority in the House of Representatives and a majority in the Senate, which made his plans for the country easier.
The War in Sudan
The war in Sudan quickly topped the priority list for the administration, which sought to end the war as quickly and efficiently as possible, while also creating a stable ally in Africa. There were two plans to do this. One, the Lieberman plan, supposed that Sudan be divided into three states, South Sudan, Darfur, and North Sudan. This was considered unrealistic by the generals, however, since it would most likely require them to return when North Sudan rebuilt its strength. The second, the Chirac-Gore plan, involved Sudan being occupied in the North for a period of three years, while the South, which was largely stable, prepared to take over. The second was adopted, and a mandate for a force of 300,000 Coalition troops was received by South Sudan.
John McCain, the Senate Leader, advocated a surge of troops to be deployed to Northern Sudan by all nations of the coalition, in order to better suit security, and then gradually withdraw them over time as violence also decreased. This approach, however, was compromised by the other members of the coalition, who refused to send additional troops. Therefore, a new plan was drawn up, where Northern Sudan was divided into areas of occupation, with the US getting half of the zone to cover, and NATO and the AU dividing the remainder. The Khartoum-Omuradoumn area was divided into national sectors, with an average of 75,000 soldiers in the city at any given time.
The occupying NATO and African Union forces began their withdrawal in 2006, with all foreign troops out of Sudan by the end of 2007.
The War in Somalia
By 2006, the Islamic Courts Union, with the aid of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, had begun to usurp the control of Somalia after their conquest of Mogadishu. Realizing that this was his best chance at capturing Osama Bin Laden, and also wanting to prevent the rise of another fundamentalist government, Jeb put Operation Black Hawk back on the table. However, he knew that public opinion would not allow for another drawn out conflict in Africa. Jeb therefor asked for the aid from his allies in Asia, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Along with the AU, they would be offered zones of occupation until a unified Somalian government could be established, without the influence of the Islamic secs. All agreed, however India required that nuclear technology would be improved in their nation, through a secret exchange.
Jeb Bush soon after declared Operation Black Hawk operational, with Indians assaulting from the sea in the North, Pakistani and Afghans doing the same in the South, and the AU and Americans coming from all directions. The operation lasted about 82 hours before Somalia was completely occupied. To add to the success, Osama Bin Laden was captured and shipped to Guantanamo Bay. For this feat, Jeb became incredibly popular, even with the ongoing conflict in Sudan.
In the case of the occupation, the AU, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, all got their own zones. However, it was made sure that the Indian and Pakistani zones were always kept apart by either the Afghans or the African Union soldiers. The US also maintained a base in Somalia, contrary to original claims, that had about 500 personal.
Somalia's occupation ended when a civilian government was elected in late 2010, with a constitution similar to that of the United States. However, Somaliland seceded, and a border dispute still exists between the two.
2008 Reelection Campaign
As the 2008 election rolled around, President Bush was riding high in the polls following the successful wars in Sudan and Somalia, along with the capture of Osama bin Laden. Bush faced no serious competition for the Republican nomination, which he easily clinched. On the Democratic side, the leading contenders for the nomination were Senator John Edwards, Senator Joe Biden, Governor Tom Vilsack, and Governor Bill Richardson. Vilsack and Biden were the first to fall, leaving the race between Edwards and Richardson. By May, Richardson had won out, becoming the first Hispanic to be nominated by a major party for president. He selected Connecticut senator Chris Dodd to be his running mate.
All summer long, the Richardson/Dodd ticket trailed the Bush/Alexander ticket by double digit margins. Following the Democratic convention in Miami, Richardson was within five points of Bush, but he never came closer then that. When a global financial crisis erupted in mid-September, Bush gave a televised address laying out his plan for fixing the crisis and urging Americans to remain positive. On Election Day, Bush was reelected, with 352 electoral votes to Richardson's 186. Also, the Republicans were able to establish a super-majority in the Senate.