The Bin Laden Bump
Obama's approval ratings rise—but not on his handling of the economy.
Elsewhere in Slate, Jack Shafer makes the case for releasing the Bin Laden photo, William Saletan explains why the human-shield myth was a bad idea, Dave Weigel talks about how Osama's death proved everyone right, Dahlia Lithwick says torture is still wrong, Chris Beam explains the mood in Pakistan, Heather Murphy compiles a slide show of the elite Navy SEALs, and Maura O'Connor looks at how the war continues in Afghanistan. For the most up-to-date-coverage, visit The Slatest. Slate's complete coverage is rounded up here.
Last week, the president's campaign sent an email to supporters entitled "Big Things." The message was that the president had taken on challenges that had bedeviled his predecessors. The email predates the Bin Laden operation, but reading it now, Obama supporters may be reminded that Bill Clinton tried to kill Bin Laden, and so did George Bush. Yet Bin Laden remained hidden for 10 years after the attacks on 9/11. With constant focus and patience, Obama did what his predecessors could not. If the president can sell the country that message on the economy, perhaps his numbers will improve on that issue, too.
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Correction, May 5, 2011: Originally this article incorrectly stated that the Bush poll numbers were from December 2003. (Return to the corrected sentence.)