Osama’s dead, but econ­omy still key concern for 2012

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

ter­ror­ist at­tacks failed, earn­ing crit­i­cism from both Democrats and some fel­low Repub­li­cans for tac­ti­cal mil­i­tary fail­ures. How­ever, Mr. Bush nar­rowly won re­elec­tion in 2004, the vote com­ing a year af­ter a new war against Iraq had re­sulted in a quick and de­ci­sive mil­i­tary vic­tory but be­fore Iraq had col­lapsed into a sec­tar­ian war.

Poll­sters say that for Mr. Obama, the long-sought ter­mi­na­tion of bin Laden likely will not last and comes too far ahead of the 2012 elec­tion to do much good for his re-elec­tion bid.

“The bin Laden story has 48 hours of ac­tion and once more on 9/11, un­less there is an­other ter­ror­ist at­tack,” poll­ster David Pa­le­ol­o­gos said.

How­ever, at least one vet­eran con­ser­va­tive an­a­lyst pre­dicts a more sus­tained ad­van­tage for Mr. Obama from bin Laden’s death than the el­der Mr. Bush earned from Desert Storm.

“Un­less there is some hor­rific re­tal­i­a­tion, this helps Obama even through Novem­ber since it makes him look good and helps get for­eign pol­icy off the news,” for­mer Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial Don­ald J. Devine said, though he cau­tioned that “it will not help greatly, as the econ­omy will be the key.”

For­mer Vir­ginia Gov. James S. Gil­more III told The Times that pre­dict­ing the im­pact of the an­nounce­ment is a no-brainer.

“Any pres­i­dent who has a suc­cess in the war on ter­ror will get a po­lit­i­cal bump,” Mr. Gil­more said. “But in 2012, Pres­i­dent Obama will be judged on how he has han­dled the econ­omy.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS / WHITE HOUSE

Gain­ing grav­i­tas? In this im­age re­leased by the White House, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama lis­tens dur­ing one in a se­ries of meet­ings dis­cussing the mis­sion against Osama bin Laden

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