Chapter

Conclusion: The Legacy of George W. Bush

Jon Herbert and Andrew Wroe

in Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780748627400
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671946 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.003.0016
Conclusion: The Legacy of George W. Bush

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Before George W. Bush was elected as president of the United States, he projected a presidency of extraordinary ambition. Bush hated the ‘small ball’ and his advisers consistently labelled him a ‘transformative president’. The ambitious rhetoric was backed by aspirations to institute major policy reforms. In foreign policy, Bush attempted a spectacular redirection of America's priorities and of its methods. In economic policy, he pursued an agenda of substantial tax cuts and extensive deregulation. In social policy, he launched radical reforms under the ‘compassionate conservative’ label, trying to co-opt traditionally Democratic Party policy areas such as Medicare, education and Social Security. These reforms, Bush hoped, would change his Republican Party's direction and image, trigger a realignment of the American electorate and create a permanent Republican majority. At the completion of Bush's second term, it became legitimate to ask to what degree Bush had achieved these high goals and to identify the inheritance he passed on to his successor.

Keywords: George W. Bush; United States; Republican Party; reforms; economic policy; foreign policy; social policy; Medicare; Social Security; education

Chapter.  6804 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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