AHC: Make George W. Bush a Contender For Greatest U.S. President

Most historians rank Bush in the middle 20s to low 30s. Bush, while a likeable guy, was a terrible president. He started another war with Iraq and the worst economy since The Great Depression happened under his watch.
So here's the challenge. How can we make Dubya ranked up there with Lincoln and FDR?
Capturing Osama at Tora Bora would be a good start!
 
would be very difficult before 1900, that said discovering 9/11 before it actually happened and preventing the plot, killing Osama bin Laden in a special force strike nobody knows or cares off. Followed by a ambitious space program developing both a succesor for the space shuttle and a permant base (perhaps unmanned) on the moon.
Bush is probably not going to be doing anything anti corruption or green energy or social security.
Also why not starts painting when he is in office.
This should increase his ranking
(the economy was more a congresst thing that blamed it all on Bush, bush being more competent would have solved it but then we change the person)
 
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would be very difficult before 1900
Think its posted in THIS forum because the "greats" listed (Lincoln, Roosevelt) are both pre-1900 births. But more than that I have no idea how to answer the OP short of making Dubya another person (although perhaps Bush Sr NOT having been in office would've meant that fewer people are comparing Dubya's regime to his dad's?).

And a successful faring into Afghanistan/Iraq after Osama and Saddam is not really going to help IMO. Its just going to make America be seen as someone "repeating" a mistake Bush Sr made in the 90s in the "hopes" of second time being the charm.
 
would be very difficult before 1900, that said discovering 9/11 before it actually happened and preventing the plot, killing Osama bin Laden in a special force strike nobody knows or cares off. Followed by a ambitious space program developing both a succesor for the space shuttle and a permant base (perhaps unmanned) on the moon.
Bush is probably not going to be doing anything anti corruption or green energy or social security.
Also why not starts painting when he is in office.
This should increase his ranking
(the economy was more a congresst thing that blamed it all on Bush, bush being more competent would have solved it but then we change the person)
The economy was an economy thing. Only one of the few people in the world who understood what was happening could have prevented much of the damage. The president gets briefed on the economy and none of the 'experts' saw it coming. Bush's perceived incompetence had nothing to do with it or fixing it, literally unless he was such an economic guru that he saw everything like the people from The Big Short no president would have or could have fixed the economy.

That said, if you avoid the Iraq War, have a decisive, lasting victory in Afghanistan and keep the economy afloat through 2010, Bush is seen as a top 10, maybe top 5 president but that would be stretching it.

Greatness is derived from tragic and difficult circumstances. It's hard to be seen as great in a time of peace. Especially if you're only in office a maximum of 8 (potentially 10) years.
It would take even more terror attacks or something horrible for Bush to overcome for him to be considered with Lincoln and Washington.
 
His Father, if inserted at the right time of opportunity, has a shot (opportunity is everything - Lincoln is likely just a middle of the road guy without his chance to shine). Given what he had to work with, he did rather well. He wasn't as good a politician as he was a leader.

W, though, screams mediocrity. He didn't fumble the ball, but he also didn't do much with it.
Presidents are often a product of the team assembled around him, and I think that about sums it up for W

Asking for clear, decisive, achievement of goals in the middle east, and/or shining economy after Clinton's economy bubble burst and the most massive attack on domestic soil since the war of 1812 (and note that this attack cannot be blamed on W) is approaching ASB territory. It's hard to say what would have happened had a different approach been taken post 9/11. When it comes to the middle east, there is no right path, only ones that are less bad. A different approach likely is just another muddled one, but it also might have been one of the more bad ones.

Like most presidents, his ranking will rise and fall with time, but it's hard to see him emerging from the pack or dropping to the rear.
 
Could he become President earlier or later? The earliest election he's eligible for is 1984. What if Nixon chooses Bush as his VP in '73 then resigns? George W. Bush gets his act together and gets into politics earlier becasue of this (his dad doesn't want more embarrassments after having just become VP - and then President - during the scandal-ridden Watergate years.

Reagan beats Bush in '76 for the primary election but loses to Carter - Carter then wins narrow re-election in 1980 over someone like Bob Dole who is kind of blah as a campaigner, while the economic malaise during the Carter years propels the younger Bush into Congress.

The Soviet Union is still teetering ont he brink of collapse when the '84 election cmes around, and Bush Sr. is still old enough he considers giving it another run - he didn't in 1980 for some reason. (some scandal on his part?) Also, there's still some desire for a conservative.

Enter the younger Bush - a confused primary season sees him squeak by with a victory, and the economy is just picking up int he last year after another downturn in '82, and the GOP has both houses.

So, we get Bush as President while the Cold War is winding down. His V.P., Howard Baker, is a moderate who is known for working with Congress and also known for doing well in foreign affairs, and is old enough to give the younger Bush the clout needed to beat MOndale, who is seen as too liberal. Baker also is the man behind the scenes working to get Bush the meetings with Gorbachev to start mending fences and "winning the Colde War" while Bush uses people like Samantha Smith, who wrote a letter to the previous Soviet leader, as an example of how the people can be empowered to lead, calling her "one of a thousand points of light to light the darkness of this crazy world." (He also borrows some phrases from his dad, whom he appoints as an ambassador.)

The economy starts booming under him, and as the Berlin Wall crumbles in his 2nd term, he gets credit for "winning the Cold War," and also bringing confidence back to America. His 2nd term is where he'll really establish a legacy as not just a pretty good President but a great one, but I don't know how to do that one. Anyone want to take it from here? He at least has a fighting chance if things break right. If the planned attack on the world Trade Center is plotted a year or two early and he manages to stop it, that would help. Maybe he uncovers a bigger threat that comes about becasue of the terro threat? (I did a paper on terrorism in high school in the mid-'80s and it was a worry then, so it's possible there could be attempts on our shores that he prevents.)
 
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