Politics of Bin Laden: Obama Makes 2011 Raid Focus of Debate


Still, Team Obama has shown no signs of backing down, insisting -- in spite of Obama's pledge not to "spike the football" -- that the decision to authorize the top secret 2011 raid merits praise in the public space.

"I hardly think that you've seen any excessive celebration taking place here," Obama said Monday.

"The American people rightly remember what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice somebody who killed over 3,000 of our citizens, and it's a mark of the excellence of our intelligence teams and our military teams, a political process that worked," he said. "And I think for us to use that time for some reflection, to give thanks to those who participated, is entirely appropriate, and that's what's been taking place."

Still, while debate bin Laden political will continue to swirl, polls show most Americans remain fixated on the economy as the key issue for November.

A majority -- 51 percent -- of Americans in a January 2012 ABC News/Washington Post poll said that the economy was the single most important issue in their choice for President. A paltry 2 percent picked the issue of terrorism/national security.

Eight years ago, in the first presidential campaign after the 9/11 attacks, 22 percent of Americans said terrorism was their top concern. And, while the economy was important to their vote, just 26 percent said it was their top issue in the 2004 campaign.

"This is going to be an election that's not decided or even influenced on international relations or national security. It's all about the economy," Hess said. "Unless there's some unanticipated consequence which brings it back to that very clearly -- such as another terrorist attack."

"In that case, the president can act and the opposition just stands there. It could be a good thing for Obama," he said.

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