Morning Examiner: Why the Osama narrative matters 

Dead cat bounce: The White House had hoped the death of Osama bin Laden would be a “transformative moment” for President Obama that would strengthen Obama’s hand in all policy areas. But the early polling returns are showing only limited marginal. The best number for the White House is a Washington Post/Pew poll showing a 56% approval rating for Obama. But this can not be compared to the regular Washington Post/ABC News poll which last showed a 47% approval rating. The polls were conducted differently and the WaPo/Pew poll had a much smaller sample size.

A CNN poll showing a four-point bounce (from 48% to 52%) is probably more accurate. Gallup and Rasmussen both are only one-third through their three day sample cycle, but so far neither is showing dramatic gains. Obama gained one point in Gallup’s poll and nothing in Rasmussen. Finally, SurveyUSA happened to be in the field nationally Monday night and pegged Obama’s approval at 46%. But their last national approval number is from April 2009 so no real comparison is available.

The real winners from Osama’s death appear to be the military and the CIA. According to Gallup, those institutions are getting the real credit for Osama’s demise.

Double dribble: The chances that Obama’s bump will improve as the story develops took a huge hit yesterday as the White House was forced to admit that much of John Brennan’s first recitation of the facts was false. The problem for the White House, as RedState‘s Dan McLauglin details, is that Obama criticized virtually every policy that helped lead to Osama’s death: enhanced interrogation, Guantanamo Bay, secret CIA facilities, warrantless NSA wiretapping, and the assassination of terrorists.

The facts of the Osama raid pierce the fantasy of Obama’s international law-compliant police action against terror. If Osama was unarmed and had surrendered, were the Navy SEALs trained to read him his Miranda rights?

Afghanistan: One thing Osama’s death has jump started, is the campaign to end U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. The White House says their plan for Afghanistan has not changed. But pressure is growing from both Democrats and Republicans for him to quicken the end game.

Daniels: Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) is scheduled to speak at AEI about his victory on school vouchers today, but The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin is keeping the focus on his lack of foreign policy vision instead. The Corner‘s Ramesh Ponnuru reports from New York: “On Libya he says only that he has not seen the case for intervention made. One gets the impression of someone who is much more cautious about foreign intervention than Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, but also cautious about saying so. He was asked if he were ready to debate President Obama on foreign policy. “Probably not.” (He is candid.)”

2012 round up: Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorum will round out the field for tomorrow night’s Fox News debate in South Carolina … Rick Sanotum filed papers with the FEC becoming an official candidate yesterday … So did Jon Huntsman.

Righty playbook:

  • Hot Air‘s Patterico covers the Congressional grilling Attorney General Eric Holder got on Project Gunrunner yesterday.
  • RedState‘s Moe Lane covers House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa’s hearing on White House compliance with the Presidential Records Act.
  • The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol reports that Jim Baker is against raising the debt ceiling.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy‘s Kenneth Anderson on why powerful states dictate international law.
  • The Corner‘s Andrew Stiles reviews the Senate GOP jobs plan.

Lefty playbook:

  • The top story at The Huffington Post notes that “Harsh Interrogation Played Small Role at Most’ in Osama killing.
  • ThinkProgress has an “analysis” of “Bush’s Lackluster Hunt For Bin Laden.”
  • Talking Points Memo attacks The Atlantic for comparing the changing White House story on Osama to the Jessica Lynch story.
  • Mauimom summarizes Firedoglake‘s webinar on Bradley Manning.
  • The New Republic‘s Jon Cohn attacks Betsy McCaughey’s defense of Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity plan.

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Conn Carroll

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