Monday, May 2, 2011

Obama's Re-Election Prospects

With regard to the political implications of Osama bin Laden's killing, Jim Antle writes, "I don't think it guarantees President Obama a second term as it would have done for George W. Bush from 2001-04, but it has certainly strengthened his hand."

Jim is right to say this doesn't guarantee Obama's re-election. After all, the election is still 18 months away and anything could happen. But barring a catastrophe it becomes increasingly difficult to see how Obama can lose. And by catastrophe I am talking about an even bigger financial meltdown than the one experienced in 2008. If there was another terrorist attack in this country on the scale of 9/11 or greater in retaliation for bin Laden's killing I believe the nation would rally around Obama (unless he were to handle it abysmally.) The electorate is more likely to turn on Obama over our pocketbooks rather than over our security.

The magnitude of bin Laden's killing is such that it makes Donald Trump's efforts to question Obama's legitimacy look petty and stupid. The emotional outpouring that has come about as a result simply cannot be ignored. The spontaneous celebrations will, of course, soon pass. Nevertheless, people will invariably associate bin Laden's demise with President Obama. As long as that is the case the electorate will be strongly inclined to give Obama another four years in office.

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