It is early morning at Kennebunkport on the Maine coast. George W. Bush and his father George Herbert approach the golf parterre on a white golf cart. The 43rd President of the United States is spending some days at the summer house owned by his family.
“Now, watch this drive!”
A crowd of journalists is waiting for him. He smiles at the cameras, holding the golf-club he pronounces clearly his judgment against terror, referring to a suicide attack in Israel: “For the sake of humanity, for the sake of the Palestinians who suffer, for the sake of the Israelis who are under attack, we must stop the terror. I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers.”
Then he takes leave: “now, watch this drive!”
The golf ball is fired with strength and precision far away from the eyes of reporters and photographers.
It’s through images like this that the 43rd President of the United States has been pictured in the mind of many Americans, becoming a controversial politician also overseas. He is not only remembered for his Texan accent and slang, but also for anecdotes about his private life and for an apocalyptic sense of duty in the so-called War on Terror.
Who is George Walker Bush?
Born on the Sixth of July 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut, he spent most of his life in Texas, where he grew up and where he started his political career in the oil business and in the Texas Senate.
Although most of the newspapers have painted him as a stupid and his public life has been “misunderstimated” ( a word that he invented himself mixing up “misunderstand” and “underestimate”), facts show that he was not as stupid as you might think.
Insiders at the White House remembered him as an “avid reader” who used to eat up biographies of politicians and strategists like Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, King Leopold, and Theodore Roosevelt.
His mission of life was clearly not in the aviation and, after all, providence brought him to a greater destiny
Dubya, as they apostrophised him for his Texan accent, graduated in history from the Yale University and then obtained a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard University.
He is the only President of the United State to have earned an MBA.
Bush also served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, but the career in the air force was probably not his way. Somebody criticized that his selection as a pilot was due mostly to having a father at the House of Representatives rather than to effective skills. In 1972, his pilot’s license has been tattered for having missed a psychical exam.
His mission of life was clearly not in the aviation and, after all, providence brought him to a greater destiny: becoming the President of the United States.
A BBQ party that can change a life
Not many know that George W. Bush faced alcoholism during his life. In an interview, he once admitted: “I realized that alcohol was beginning to crowd out my energies and could crowd, eventually, my affections for other people […] When you’re drinking, it can be an incredibly selfish act.”
It was 1976 when the situation became worse and he was arrested for driving under the effect of alcohol near his house in Kennebunkport.
His life needed a turning point.
A year later a blonde young teacher from Midland, Texas, appeared in a backyard BBQ party where Bush was invited. Lara Lane Welch became the wife of George W. Bush just three months after that meeting, changing the life of a young Texas oilman.
Since that moment George gave up drinking and embraced the Methodist Church, a faith that accompanied him in all his political career, especially during the Presidential mandates.
After 9/11 it was clear to Bush that history was calling him to a providential mission: the war against the “axis of evil”. The Bush’s War on Terror was not only one of the most controversial operations of the US Army but also one of the most catastrophic.
The invasion of Iraq was a strategic and a military debacle for the Bush Doctrine, but “Dubya”, with the same optimism that characterizes him on the golf course, naively defined it as a “mission accomplished” during his famous speech to the troops aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.
So, why is everybody “misunderstimating” him?