Obama’s decision to send a Navy SEAL team deep inside Pakistan to kill bin Laden, the inspiration and ideologue behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, presents enormous political opportunity for a president, especially a Democratic one with no military experience.
But political analysts and Republican critics say Obama is taking a risk in claiming credit for something that as recently as his January State of the Union address he described as “a testament to the courage, selflessness and teamwork of America’s armed forces.”
In a series of videos and speeches leading up to the Wednesday anniversary of the raid, the Obama campaign, through high-profile proxies such as Vice President Biden and former president Bill Clinton, has made the president the star of the story. Biden and others have also suggested that Obama’s presumptive Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, would not have pursued bin Laden with the same determination.
“He deserves the right to crow about it a little, but he has to be careful, given how many other issues are out there, even on the counterterrorism front,” said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution.