Morning Examiner: Is Gadhafi Next? 

Osama: The Navy SEAL assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan Sunday was a huge boost for a sagging President Obama. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who is always tough on the president, was effusive with praise: “I give the president full credit for this, it took a lot of guts. He’s the commander-in-chief, he was the guy who out it on the line. There was no guarantee – none – that this would work. We could have had our helicopters shot down… It was a really delicate operation.” Democrats, meanwhile, quickly moved to score partisan points. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) released a statement including: “This was a ‘mission accomplished’ moment President Bush could have only dreamed of.” Look for White House allies to squeeze every last ounce of political capital out of Osama’s death.

Afghanistan: As Slate’s David Weigel notes, Osama’s assassination will make it much easier for the White House to continue with their scheduled July drawdown of troops from Afghanistan. It will be extremely difficult for hawks to question Obama’s assessment of our troop needs now that Osama has been eliminated on his watch. Also, look for the left to ramp up pressure for an accelerated departure from the region.

Libya: NATO is denying that a Sunday airstrike targeting a Muammar Gadhafi compound was an assassination attempt. Gadhafi’s government claims the bombing killed Gadhafi’s son and three grandchildren in violation of international law. The White House had no comment. Following the attack, Gadhafi supporters in Tripoli attacked the closed American, British, and Italian embassies and ransacked United Nations buildings. The remaining 12 international staff members were evacuated. Back in DC, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ari.) both said they supported a U.S. killing of Gadhafi. With Osama dead, is Gadhafi next?

2012 round up: Newt Gingrich will announce his candidacy on May 10th or 11th … Mitch Daniels signed the bill defunding Planned Parenthood Friday … Marco Rubio told Meet the Press there is no way he runs in 2012.

Righty playbook:

  • The Corner‘s Robert Costa rounds up official GOP statements.
  • RedState‘s Erick Erickson says Osama’s death does not make Obama invulnerable to defeat.
  • The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol says justice has been done.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy‘s Ilya Somin on “The Death of Bin Laden and the Morality of Targeted Killings.”
  • The Corner‘s Bing West says we must go on offense in Pakistan.

Lefty playbook:

  • Daily Kos‘ Meteor Blades rounds up official Dem statements.
  • Media Matters posts President Bush’s Mission Accomplished picture.
  • ThinkProgress posts video from Obama’s October 2008 debate promising to kill bin Laden.
  • Talking Points Memo posts pictures from New York City and Washington, DC.
  • The Huffington Post‘s Howard Fineman writes: What Bin Laden’s Death Means For Obama, Our Country.

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Conn Carroll

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