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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid