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Profile: US President George W. Bush

US President George W. Bush won reelection as his opponent Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry conceded defeat Wednesday, Nov.3, 2004.

On July 6, 1946, Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but his family soon moved to Texas which he now considers his home.

After receiving a bachelor's degree at Yale University in 1968, Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard for five years while tens of thousands of other people of his age including Democratic presidential contender John Kerry, fought in Vietnam.

His service in the National Guard came to the forefront during the 2000 campaign and back again during the 2004 campaign. Critics accused him of favoritism, saying his father, former US President George H.W. Bush, had pulled strings to help him shun the military duty in Vietnam.

After the guard service, Bush received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975. After graduating, he returned to Texas and began a career in energy business. With a group of other investors, he purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989 and served as a general managing partner.

Bush started his first bid for office in 1978 but lost to the incumbent in a congressional race. In 1994, he returned to politics and was elected governor of Texas, a position he held for the following six years.

After a bitter battle of vote recounting in Florida which lasted more than one month, Bush won the US presidential race in the 2000 election by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision.

In his first months of office, Bush stunned the world by carrying out a series of unilateral policies. Washington refused to ratify or even withdrew from international treaties on issues such as nuclear test ban, biological weapons control, missile defense, global warming and the International Criminal Court.

The terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001 boosted Bush's approval rating and offered him a golden opportunity to cast himself as a strong leader and a firm commander-in-chief. Bush launched a military strike in Afghanistan in 2001. In March 2003, he ordered a US-led invasion of Iraq despite the lack of international and UN support.

Realizing that he does not have advantage on domestic issues such as social security, health care and economy, Bush has successfully made Iraq and terrorism the center issues of the campaign.

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