Feature

It’s still the economy, stupid

Obama can be beaten—“bin Laden ‘bounces’ notwithstanding,” said Jonah Goldberg in NationalReview.com.

Jonah Goldberg
NationalReview.com

Anyone who thinks the death of Osama bin Laden makes President Obama unbeatable, said Jonah Goldberg, ought to look at what happened in 1992. President George H.W. Bush saw his approval rating soar to 89 percent after driving Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991—and then lost to Bill Clinton the following year. It’s not a perfect analogy—Obama doesn’t have a “Ross Perot–type figure nipping at his heels”—but it is “instructive.” One of the key reasons Bush lost in ’92 was because he focused so heavily on Saddam Hussein and foreign policy, while voters were mostly concerned with the economic pain of a recession.

Well, the Great Recession of recent years was far more unnerving, and the “tepid” recovery now underway has hardly erased doubts that Obama has been a “capable steward of the economy.” Bin Laden’s death, ironically, puts the spotlight right back on domestic problems. If the Republicans want to win in 2012, they’ll select a nominee similar to Bill Clinton, who focuses “like a laser” on the economy. Obama can be beaten—“bin Laden ‘bounces’ notwithstanding.”

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