Monday, May 2, 2011

All victory is fleeting

A quick reaction to last night's historic announcement that U.S. forces have killed Osama bin Laden. First of all, woot. Seriously, this is pretty huge. I can't remember the last time thousands of young people gathered in front of the White House in support of the actions of its occupant. Major, major props to all those involved.

Second (not to get all political, but that's what I do), how big a bump for Obama? Bouie says his approval ratings will go over 50, Bernstein says around 60... I'll split the difference and go with 55. But I think it important to recognize that this will be a temporary bump -- a month at most. This is a big story, and the president is rightly receiving accolades from political elites on both sides of the aisle, which is what creates a bounce. But it's not the only story out there, and eventually Republicans will find reasons to criticize him again.

Third, does this assure Obama's reelection? Hardly. Keep in mind that this is occurring at roughly the same point in Obama's presidency as the Gulf War victory occurred in George H.W. Bush's. Maybe it will scare off one or two of Obama's challengers, but it really shouldn't. Economic growth over the next year or so, rather than military victories, will determine whether Obama is another Reagan or another Bush 41.

Oh, and by the way, add killing bin Laden to the list of things President Clinton attempted and Obama achieved.

1 comment:

Robert said...

I feel like saying "Megadittoes, Rush!" 'Cause I'm just here to agree with your analysis, and particularly the analogy drawn between Obama in spring 2011 and GHW Bush in spring 1991.