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