Born: July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut
George W. Bush is regarded by many as the worst president in U.S. history (though that title could be stolen by his successor, Obama). In 2000, Bush narrowly won the electoral college vote over Vice President Al Gore in one of the closest and most controversial elections in American history. He became the first person since Benjamin Harrison in 1888 to be elected president despite having lost the popular vote.
Bush’s popularity remained very low until citizens rallied behind him after the 9/11 “terrorist” attacks, even though Bush responded to the attacks by boarding Air Force One and fleeing to Nebraska. (With Vice President Dick Cheney hiding in an undisclosed location, the military was without a commander-in-chief.)
Bush later exploited 9/11 ruthlessly, invading Afghanistan and Iraq while attacking Americans’ civil liberties with the Patriot Act and other deceptively named measures. Amazingly, Bush was re-elected in 2004.
The seemingly uncountable scandals that weigh Bush down include the widespread use of torture, his mishandling of Hurricane Katrina and his role in torpedoing the economy. It’s hard to think of another president who has done so much damage to the United States — or killed more people in other countries.
Bush belongs to a powerful political dynasty. His father, George H. W. Bush, served as President, while brother Jeb Bush served two terms as Governor of Florida. (Jeb was Florida’s 43rd governor, just as George W. was the 43rd president.) Before becoming President, George W. Bush served as Governor of Texas. During the war in Vietnam, Bush enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard. In fact, it’s widely believed that he was frequently AWOL from duty, making Dubya — a nickname derived from Bush’s middle name — one of the most famous examples of a “chickenhawk.” Like Obama, Bush is widely regarded as a traitor and war criminal.