Does Osama’s Death Change the Presidential Race?

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Our opinion: a little. Anyone claiming that Osama bin Laden’s death will guarantee President Obama’s reelection fails to take into account how much time remains until people actually vote. Like George W. Bush after the capture of Saddam Hussein, Obama will probably see a short-term boost in the polls. But eighteen months still stand between now and election day, and the good feelings of bin Laden’s death will fade away long before then. As before, the state of the economy and the identity of the Republican nominee (will it be a borderline insane person?) will be the election’s most decisive factors. Not to mention that other unpredictable events can intervene and change everything. Another terrorist attack? A huge scandal? The return of Jesus on May 21? It’s impossible to know. Still, it’s definitely going to be a lot harder for the GOP field to portray Obama as an apologetic, pussyfooting commander-in-chief now, a line of attack that never really made sense (Afghanistan? Pirates? Libya? Drone attacks?) but is even less convincing now that Obama oversaw the war on terror’s biggest victory.

That’s just our take. Here’s what everyone else is saying.

Chuck Todd and friends, First Read/MSNBC:

Mark Halperin, Page/Time:

Glenn Greenwald, Salon:

Erick Erickson, Red State:

Nate Silver, Five Thirty Eight/New York Times:

Jonathan Chait, New Republic:

Robert Kuttner, TAPPED/American Prospect:

Paul West, Baltimore Sun:

Aaron Goldstein, American Spectator:

Todd Purdum, Vanity Fair:

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones:

Matt Yglesias, Think Progress:

Chris Cillizza, Fix/Washington Post:

John Nichols, Nation:

Michael Barone, Washington Examiner:

Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution:

Paul Steinhauser, CNN:


Barbara Walters, RealClearPolitics: