George Walker Bush (born New Haven, Connecticut 1946) was the Governor of Texas (1995-2000) and served as the 43rd President of the United States of America from 2001 to 2009. Campaigning on the notion that the United States should not be in the business of nation-building and promising "to restore honor and dignity" to the office of the President, he won the office by a narrow margin in the decisive State of Florida in the 2000 Presidential election. Legal challenges to the certified vote count went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when liberal Democratic contender Al Gore contested the outcome for weeks until the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore.
In the 2004 Presidential election Bush won re-election, helped in part by a 300,000 vote victory (5%) in the State of Florida, where the outcome had been so close in 2000. Leftist Democratic candidate John Kerry conceded defeat the day after the election.
Bush's presidency was defined by foreign policy because of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which eventually resulted in the liberation of the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush named two conservatives to the Supreme Court. He reformed K12 education with a major new program, No Child Left Behind, and pushed a series of major tax cuts through Congress. Conservatives cheered. All this happened in his first term, aiding his easy reelection. His performance in dealing with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were widely ridiculed, though some Republicans argued that local Democrats did an even worse job.
As the Financial Crisis of 2008 smashed into the banking system and the nation plunged into the Recession of 2008, Bush responded with a massive aid program of $700 billion to banks, and loan guarantees amounting to the trillions of dollars. Conservatives were dismayed, and he left office with the economy spiraling downward. Above all, he made the most dramatic federal interventions in American history by his rescues of the financial system and the automobile industry in 2008. Bruce Bartlett, a Republican economist, says, "Bush clearly is not a Reaganite or "small 'c' conservative."
Barack Hussein Obama II (aka Barry Soetoro, said to have been born in Honolulu, Mombassa, or Cambodia August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States, and the first President who is biracial. He has been associated with numerous radical fringe groups and causes and served less than four years as a first-term Democratic Senator from Illinois (2005-2008). In a highly controversial decision, after what critics dubbed the "world apology tour," Obama was the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace prize.
Upon taking office Obama declared a failure to pass his Economic stimulus proposal would turn a "crisis into a catastrophe," and promised Unemployment would not rise above 7.8%.Well into his second year 500,000 Americans per week continued to lose their jobs. The U.S Unemployment Rate is now stagnating in the 10% range with tens of millions more affected by Underemployment, long term disaffection, and hopelessness of finding a job. Obama's signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, is cited as the major cause of uncertainty, a drag on job creation, and risk of a Double Dip Recession. Despite advice from his own economic advisers, Obama has promised a tax increase to take affect January 1, 2011, in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
While 'turning the page' on the War on Terror the rate of terrorist attacks in the United States has gone from zero under President George W. Bush's to at least four per year and the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group reports Al-Qaeda leadership has become increasingly homegrown and ‘Americanized’ under U.S-based Islamic radicals.
President Obama authorized offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and was criticized by the Gulf Oil Spill investigatory commission for his lack of competence and misuse of data to mislead the public about the "worst environmental disaster in US history." Obama declared, "oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced."