President Obama has just announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead.  I am sure there will be a lot of discussions on the matter, of how it will affect relationship with the Muslim world, of how this will affect military operation in Pakistan and many others.

One question I want to explore is its potential effect on the 2012 Presidential election.

This is a huge achievement for the Obama administration for one reason: by choice or by accident, the Republicans made Bin Laden the center of their administration and they failed to close the issue it satisfactorily. President Bush was positioned as a war president and I remember during the 2004 election when I was in Ann Arbor, the Republicans relentlessly attacked the Democrats for being soft on War on Terror. The Republicans put themselves as the only party that could lead the US in time of war.

In the end, Bin Laden was the political object of the war, regardless of his strategic value. Yet, four years later, eight years later, he was nowhere in sight, still roaming the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hence, the Republican administration under Bush failed politically.

Now that Bin Laden has been killed by the US military, the objective has been achieved. And was achieved by a Democrat administration.

For a party that is traditionally seen as the one with the experience and the backbone in terms of foreign policy, this cannot be good for the Republicans of 2012. Surely, among the pro-war groups that centered its motive around the need to avenge, the Democrats are the heroes, not the Republicans.

As security concerns slowly retreat into the background and merge with various political noise, so too the likelihood of us seeing a Republican President in 2012.

3 Responses to “[2356] A dead Osama means dead Republicans”

  1. on 02 May 2011 at 13:52 Bobby

    Regardless, he’ll win re-election hands down.

  2. on 18 May 2011 at 15:03 Sang Kancil Guru

    Seriously, this is one of your more disappointing posts this year, because it speaks of a lack of research on your part. Since you had spent your undergrad years in the US, I thought you would know better. Clearly, your intuition about US politics has suffered some degree of disconnect.

    @Bobby: First off, Bobby, there’s no guarantee Obama’s going to win hands down. The bump from Osama’s death is now gone in Obama’s approval rate. It’s nearly back to where it was pre-Osama’s death. And probably Obama had played his hand too much in this in which it became less of a military achievement by the US SEALs than about political posturing by Obama about me, me & me.

    @Hafiz: While you might be right about how it was all about national security issues during 2003-2008, this is no longer the overriding issue for US voters. It has primarily become an Economic-issue voting market now. National security has receded into background, and if the US economy continues to be anemic as it is now, Obama is sailing into troubled waters. Ultimately, Osama’s death may mean very little to a US voter who has a hole in his/her wallet. Osama hasnt mattered much to US voters consciousness for quite a while.

    And I had read that Obama was actually dithering on the operation to kill Osama, it took Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and the CIA to see it through. Hence you saw the pic of Obama only sitting in the background whereas everyone had a major seat at the table, because Obama was only informed of the undergoing operation after being interrupted from his Friday golf game! You can see that he is in his white golf shirt in the pic!

    White House Insider: Obama Hesitated – Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama Bin Laden a-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/#ixzz1MgX5Oy33

    “The operation was at this time effectively unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it had already been initiated. President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission. Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military. When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking “very confused and uncertain.” The president was then placed in the situation room where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold.”

  3. on 27 May 2011 at 12:49 Hafiz Noor Shams

    @kancil, the economy will be a major concern, but that doesn’t mean it will be the only concern. More importantly, Republican potential candidates aren’t handling the economic issues very well. Romney has no credibility in the eyes of tea-party republican. Palin’s unlikely to attract swing voters if she survived the primaries. So, I doubt the economic issues by itself will be enough prevent Obama from getting his second term.

    That means that the Republicans will need more issues to bolster its position. Among those issues, security is unlikely to be an issue, which I stated in the very last paragraph of the blog entry of mine. For a party that traditionally sees itself as the better half in foreign policy and security, that is bad.

    So, it’s not lack of research or disconnect on my part. You missed the implicit message.

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