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Osama bin Laden is dead

And to think that all those times I took off my shoes in the airport were what made it possible!

On a more serious note, I see some younger analysts say that this guarantees Obama's election. Not so.

Certainly, this improves Obama's 2012 chances. He will see a bump in his approval rating that he has the opportunity to prevent from dissipating. For the first time, he has a non-controversial achievement to point to. (The best one could say before this was that he could have been far worse in his response to the crisis events of 2009.) The death of bin Laden prolongs the expected life of the Saudi regime, which has the effect of reducing uncertainties around the supply and price of oil, which will reduce inflation and the trade deficit and their braking effect on the economy. But George H.W. Bush was in a much stronger position in 1991, didn't have three wars pending, and was facing a lower unemployment rate. A lot can happen in eighteen months.

Relatedly, see Ilya Somin @ Volokh anticipating the debate that will take place over the legality of the action once the hoopla dies down. One wouldn't expect politicians to complain, but law professors might.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.