Osama's Dead; Obama Re-elected?

Does the killing of Osama bin Laden by an American Special Forces unit translate into a re-election boost to President Obama? 

In the coming days, expect President Obama's poll numbers to bump up.  Also expect a spate of articles and opinion pieces in the mainstream media to celebrate the President for keeping his pledge to kill the diabolical bin Laden.  

But expect the President's political advantages from the bin Laden killing to be short.  As presidential candidate Bill Clinton's 1992 political team famously said, "It's the economy, stupid." 

With the nation's economy still ailing, and, in fact, hanging precariously at the edge of a fiscal cliff, the nation's attention will return quickly to jobs - or the lack thereof - job security, and higher prices at the gas pump and in grocery stores.  Pay checks and family budgets will trump bin Laden's death and any advantages President Obama gains from the news. 

Even Nicholas Kristof at the reflexively liberal New York Times assesses the Bin Laden killing as no great long term gain to Mr. Obama's re-election chances:

Finally, what does this mean for President Obama's political prospects? I don't think very much. November 2012 is a long way away, and the main political issue is likely to be the economy. After all, George H.W. Bush was a hero after the Gulf War victory in early 1991, and by Nov. 1992 was defeated by Bill Clinton because of the economic slowdown.      

Barring some great calamity - a major war, or threat of a major war, or a terrorist attack near the scale of 9/11 - the condition of the nation's economy will be the driver that determines President Obama's political fate in 2012. 
Does the killing of Osama bin Laden by an American Special Forces unit translate into a re-election boost to President Obama? 

In the coming days, expect President Obama's poll numbers to bump up.  Also expect a spate of articles and opinion pieces in the mainstream media to celebrate the President for keeping his pledge to kill the diabolical bin Laden.  

But expect the President's political advantages from the bin Laden killing to be short.  As presidential candidate Bill Clinton's 1992 political team famously said, "It's the economy, stupid." 

With the nation's economy still ailing, and, in fact, hanging precariously at the edge of a fiscal cliff, the nation's attention will return quickly to jobs - or the lack thereof - job security, and higher prices at the gas pump and in grocery stores.  Pay checks and family budgets will trump bin Laden's death and any advantages President Obama gains from the news. 

Even Nicholas Kristof at the reflexively liberal New York Times assesses the Bin Laden killing as no great long term gain to Mr. Obama's re-election chances:

Finally, what does this mean for President Obama's political prospects? I don't think very much. November 2012 is a long way away, and the main political issue is likely to be the economy. After all, George H.W. Bush was a hero after the Gulf War victory in early 1991, and by Nov. 1992 was defeated by Bill Clinton because of the economic slowdown.      

Barring some great calamity - a major war, or threat of a major war, or a terrorist attack near the scale of 9/11 - the condition of the nation's economy will be the driver that determines President Obama's political fate in 2012. 

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