Terrorism success may not help Obama keep his job

October 1, 2011 - 7:55 AM
Obama Cleric Killed

President Barack Obama speaks on the killing of US-born Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, during a 'Change of Office' ceremonies at Ft. Myer in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama may have a string of counterterrorism successes and earned high marks from the public on foreign policy, but that's probably not going to help him hold the White House.

When he won the presidency, questions lingered about his readiness to handle national security matters. Yet Obama has received wide praise for operations that have killed terrorist leaders, most notably Osama bin Laden in May, and Anwar al-Awlaki on Friday.

But the nation's high unemployment rate and financial turmoil mean people are far more likely to vote next November with the economy foremost in their minds, not his record on foreign policy and terrorism.

That's bad news for the administration because people give Obama far higher approval ratings on terrorism than on his handling of the economy.