News / USA

Obama Likely to Get Political Boost from bin Laden Demise

Crowds gathers outside the White House in Washington early Moday to celebrate after President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, May 2, 2011
Crowds gathers outside the White House in Washington early Moday to celebrate after President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, May 2, 2011

In the wake of the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. commandos in Pakistan, there were spontaneous outpourings of celebration and national pride in New York and Washington.

A tourist from Texas celebrated with New Yorkers in Times Square.

"I can not tell you the national pride that I feel here and visiting from Texas, being in Times Square when this was announced there is so much pride for our country," said the tourist.

New Yorker Bill Doyle lost his son Joey in the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He told ABC News that relatives of the 9-11 victims appreciated the fact that President Obama followed through on his pledge to hunt down bin Laden.

"Mr. Obama, President Obama, he made it known when he got elected that this was going to be his priority and kept his word. He got him," Doyle said.

There was praise too from congressional Republicans, some of whom have been critical of Mr. Obama’s pursuit of the war on terror.

New York Congressman Peter King spoke on NBC’s Today program.

"This whole situation began under President Bush and it was continued and now carried to a conclusion, a very successful conclusion, by President Obama and he deserves full credit," King said.

Democrats were quick to give the president credit as well, including Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.

"This though is a direct result of President Obama’s efforts to refocus on Afghanistan and Pakistan as a central battleground in our fight against terror," Reid said.

In announcing bin Laden’s death, President Obama said he hoped the news would help bring the country closer together.

"Let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed," said the president. "Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people."

A screen grab from FBI's Most Wanted website taken May 2, 2011 shows the status of Osama bin Laden as deceased
A screen grab from FBI's Most Wanted website taken May 2, 2011 shows the status of Osama bin Laden as deceased

To many Americans, Osama bin Laden was the face of evil and public enemy number one in the war on terror.

Matt Dallek teaches politics at the University of California’s Washington Center. Dallek says bin Laden’s death serves as a welcome counterpoint to years of frustration in the U.S.-led manhunt for the al-Qaida leader.

"The wounds have become less raw, so to speak," said Dallek. "I think what you are seeing in the streets of Washington and New York, at least, is this kind of emotional catharsis and I think it brings back all kinds of memories for the country. Capturing him, I think, is psychologically for the country a big deal."

Like many political analysts, Dallek sees some immediate political benefit for the president in the wake of bin Laden’s death, especially in rebutting longstanding Republican critics of the president’s handling of the war on terror.

"The attack, right, is that he is too weak and that he is leading from behind and I think this changes the dynamic and I think it changes that debate in substantive and lasting ways," said Dallek.

Some experts believe the demise of bin Laden gives President Obama a huge advantage heading into next year’s re-election campaign.

Robert Guttman is with the School for Advanced International Studies in Washington.

"It certainly gives a boost to President Obama’s re-election chances. In fact, if you ask me I would say the election is over as of today," said Guttman.

Most analysts are not prepared to go that far. Matt Dallek cautions that economic issues, not foreign policy, remain the top voter concerns looking ahead to the 2012 campaign.

"It is hard to know how much the American people going into the voting booth in November of 2012 are going to remember about Osama bin Laden when they pull the lever to vote for president,"

The expected boost comes at a good time for the president. His public approval ratings in several polls have declined recently mainly over concerns about the economy and rising gas prices.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid