The legacy of George W. Bush
George W. Bush left office a very unpopular president, but some caution itâ€™s premature to write the final chapter.
"The Changing World's" Justin Webb looks back at the legacy of President Bush. He speaks with current and former world leaders, senior White House staffers, diplomats and others who worked with and sometimes against President Bush.
George Bush entered the White House under a cloud. He had lost the popular vote and when the Supreme Court stopped the recount in Florida and named him president, some felt the election had been stolen. With his legitimacy still in question and his goals still modest, the new president was eager to get to work, and domestic issues like education, immigration and health care were a priority. However, the tragedy of 9/11 turned this peace-time president into war mode. The terrorist attacks called for what President Bush described as "extraordinary measures for extraordinary times," to stop further attacks on American soil.
With two wars under his belt, President Bush had the power to provoke intense animosity as well as loyalty.
His approval rating soared to some of the highest figures ever recorded and in 2004, he won more votes than any previous presidential candidate. At the same time - issues like Guantanamo Bay and the abuse suffered by Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib drew international headlines.
The words 'George Bush' became synonymous with incompetence and bad judgement.
The situation in Iraq went from bad to worse and even mother nature turned against him when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. More than 1000 people were killed and the rescue operation was heavily criticised. Politically, Hurricane Katrina not only damaged Bush but the Republican party itself.
The Bush's new home city of Dallas, Texas had voted Republican in every election since 1964. That was until 2008, when they voted for Barack Obama.
A special collaboration between BBC World Service and PRI's "The World," "The Changing World" is a series of powerful documentaries, each of which takes a long look at a single global issue, from geo-political hegemony to world health concerns.