Bin Laden's killing to boost Obama's bid for second term: report

08:40, May 03, 2011      

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The killing of al-Qaida's leader Osama bin Laden is a singular moment for U.S. President Barack Obama and could help his bid for a second term, a newspaper report said on Monday.

"A foreign policy novice when he came to office, President Obama can now claim a national security victory that eluded his predecessor for almost eight years," the Los Angeles Times said.

The caliber of Obama's leadership, often the target of withering attacks by the Republican opposition, has now been bolstered in a very tangible way, as the image of celebrating crowds gathering spontaneously at the White House and the former World Trade Center in New York late Sunday night demonstrated, the paper said.

Obama announced Sunday night that bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan, noting that he had approved the operation at its key moments.

The immediate result will almost certainly help Obama's sagging popularity, which had returned to its lowest levels in the midst of high gas prices and even questions about the legitimacy of his presidency, the paper said.

The development is "a great boost for him, as it would be for any president," said pollster Andrew Kohut, who directs the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

"This is the most symbolic victory he could have," Kohut said in remarks published by the paper. "It's not the end of the war on terror, but it is likely to be seen as a great achievement for the country."

In combination with the military surge that Obama ordered in Afghanistan and the recent attacks on Libya, the successful operation to kill Bin Laden will make it much more difficult for a Republican to employ in next year's campaign the familiar charge that Democrats are weak on defense, the paper said.

But the paper noted more details are likely to emerge in coming days that could alter public attitude.

"The unexpected news that 'justice had been done' after almost a decade-long hunt may not be the turning point many Obama supporters would like it to be," said the paper, adding that similar developments over the years, such as the successful Persian Gulf war of the early 1990s or the apprehension of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003, did not prove to have lasting impact.

In purely political terms, the impact is unlikely to be as long- lasting as Democrats might hope, with the 2012 election still more than a year and a half away, said the paper.

Besides, it is not directly linked to the public's top priority, which remains the domestic economy and the dearth of jobs nationwide, the paper said.

But it may well remind Americans, and the world, of the unparalleled might of the U.S. military establishment, and of Obama 's own resolve, the paper noted.

Source: Xinhua
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