In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, self-elected political experts are rushing to proclaim, “President Obama is now guaranteed to win again in 2012!”
Not so fast.
In 1945, less than six months after he led Great Britain out of the darkest days in her history to defeat Nazi Germany, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was himself defeated at the polls.
More recently, in 1991, President George H.W. Bush defeated Saddam Hussein’s forces in Kuwait and drove them back into Iraq. By May of 1991 President Bush had a record-high 91 percent approval rating. Yet 18 months later, he received a mere 37 percent of the vote and lost to Bill Clinton (and Ross Perot).
So anyone who thinks this wonderful, long-awaited killing of Osama bin Laden guarantees President Obama’s re-election 18 months from now is just plain mistaken.
However, here is a simple, two-point plan that would almost guarantee Obama’s re-election.
First, use this long-awaited killing of Osama bin Laden as the point of demarcation for the United States to end its occupation of Afghanistan. The president could announce, in effect, “We have succeeded in our first mission — to capture or kill Osama bin Laden — and we will leave behind a skeleton force to guarantee our second mission; Afghanistan will not become the launching pad for more attacks on the United States.”
The president could then order a drawdown of 90,000 troops and leave 5,000-10,000 either in Afghanistan or in the theater to monitor future terrorist activities in Afghanistan.
Then, Obama’s could deal with the Republicans and tea party representatives to cut the national dbt and deficits by changing Pentagon, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid spending in a fundamental way.
If he did this, the financial markets would rejoice and foreign investors would flock to the United States. We would have finally addressed the long-term budget problems.
Declaring victory in Afghanistan and withdrawing most of our forces and seriously implementing a debt reduction program would leave the GOP almost nowhere to run in 2012. The key voting bloc — independents — would go for Obama in a big, big way.
Only one caveat: If the economy goes back in the tank, then Obama would still have trouble in 2012. Barring that, he’d be heavily favored.
Let’s hope he doesn’t read this column.
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