For Obama, economic challenges remain after Osama’s killing

May 3rd, 2011 - 4:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 3 (ANI): A political science professor at the American University, Professor James Thurber, has said jobs and the performance of the economy will be the primary factors influencing the 2012 presidential elections, and not Osama bin Laden’s killing as many think.

The longer-term implications of the death of bin Laden for the Obama presidency are yet to be assessed.

The questions arising out of the incident are whether it is a moment that marks a genuine and lasting turnaround for the president after ups and downs since last November’s midterm election shellacking.

Another is whether Obama and his advisers can find a way to translate the elements that contributed to Sunday’s success into a broader narrative: one that connects the elements that made the mission successful to their efforts to revitalize the economy and deal with other pressing domestic problems.

Will the killing of bin Laden improve the public’s gloomy perceptions about the direction of the country?

In the most recent round of polls, Obama’s approval rating had slid once again to some of the lowest of his presidency.

The boost now could be even more significant, given the historic importance of the death of bin Laden and the emotional strains from Sept. 11 that remain just below the surface of American life.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff said his analysis of the impact of major foreign policy successes in previous administrations points to a rise in Obama’s approval rating of about 13 percentage points that could last four to five months before beginning to reverse.

Even GOP strategists believe they will now have more trouble challenging Obama on his handling of the war on terror.

Republicans and Democrats agreed, however, that economic issues would play a far more influential role in the next election than this episode.

“I don’t think in any way, shape or form the election will be about this,” said Democratic pollster Mark Penn.

He added: “But at issue has been his leadership, his engagement in some areas. He’s shown extremely strong leadership here in doing something I think the American public wanted done. If he can build some momentum and confidence around his leadership, starting here, I think this could be a point to look back upon and say, “Ah ha, that was the point he found surer footing.’”

Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, called the killing of bin Laden a big victory for the president and the country.

He said: “But the country here is still hurting, with no jobs and gas prices and no hope when it comes to economic growth.”

He added: “So while it’s a huge, huge victory and they all should be commended for how they executed it, he still has some serious domestic issues in front of him and they can’t be understated.” (ANI)

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