At age 40, George Walker Bush (1946-) had a drinking problem and ran for Congress and lost. Many said he was washed up. He knew he wasn't.
As innovator Henry Ford said, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
The tenacious George W. reassessed his life, stopped drinking, and turned to his faith. His investment in baseball's Rangers turned to gold and Texans elected him governor... twice, the second time by a 69% margin.
Then came the Presidency in 2001 with the National agenda of "compassionate conservatism." Bush won the electoral college voting with a five-vote margin, becoming the first President since Benjamin Harrison in 1888 to not win by popular vote.
Upon his 2004 victory over John Kerry for a second White House term, Bush said, "A new term is a new opportunity to reach out to a nation. The voters turned out in record numbers and delivered a historic victory."
The second Republican Bush elected to the White House, the younger President Bush called his father, "the most decent man I have ever known." Of his beloved mother, Barbara, he admitted, "Growing up, she gave me love and lots of advice. I gave her white hair."
Many say his wife Laura, a former teacher who is an advocate for education, was the anchor that helped George W.'s remarkable midlife transformation. He married her in 1977, just three months after they met and wisely credited her for his success: "No matter what else I do in life, asking Laura to marry me was the best decision I ever made."
More PRESIDENTIAL Quotations
Be ready for whatever comes your way.