If I had to place odds, I would say Barack Obama has a 70% chance of being re-elected, given the current environment — and provided nothing “significant” occurs before then (another financial crisis, natural or manmade disasters, etc).
President Obama certainly used the recent killing of Bin Laden to his political advantage; even his opponents have to begrudgingly admit that he delivered big-time on a major campaign promise.
His response to Bin Laden’s death was rather, well, Republican in the sense that he fully capitalised on it, but this may have turned off some voters who would have preferred to see a more reserved response.
Personally, I think it would have been classier for Obama’s administration to adopt a succinct and understated David Cameron sort of style: “Yes, we’ve eliminated Osama Bin Laden, and he’s merely one of many enemies of the state we are aggressively pursuing right now. Thank you and good night.”
That kind of approach, in my opinion, would have been more befitting for the most powerful nation on the planet, rather than a brand of sad overcompensation we saw immediately after Bin Laden’s death: people partying in the streets with banners and vulgar chants — not terribly unlike what our enemies do when they have a “victory” to celebrate. Not particularly civilized, in my opinion.
Also slightly obnoxious: all of the mainstream media stories about how the Navy SEALs’ families were “heroes”… wait, what? I honestly don’t get that one. The SEALs and special ops teams that made Bin Laden’s death possible are no doubt extraordinary professionals, and should be praised as such, but they were simply doing the job they trained for. Praise their commander-in-chief.
All told, one can’t blame Obama too much for wanting to show off his big “check” — he essentially won the political equivalent of the Powerball with the carefully planned elimination of Osama Bin Laden — between that and his “unveiling” of the long-form birth certificate, many of his political opponents are at a loss for words at the moment.
Of course, some on the lunatic fringe are already debating whether Osama Bin Laden was really killed, injecting cynical doubt where none should exist. Did America really win World War II? Did we really land on the Moon? Are we really out of the recession? Stupid questions don’t require answers — and the “deathers” are not likely to gain much media traction, given how tenuous and absurd their arguments have been thus far.