John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
May 3rd, 2011
01:48 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.

Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:

– New Details and Photos: More information coming out about the historic military action, both President Obama’s leadership in making the call to raid instead of bomb the target and the heroism of the Navy SEALs on the ground. The information gained on OBL’s hard-drive will be a treasure trove that will help us dismantle Al Qaeda and determine which forces in Pakistan and elsewhere were sheltering bin Laden. Releasing the photos of a dead OBL will help de-mythologize him and put conspiracy theories to rest.

– A Flash of New Tone in Washington: There has been broad bipartisan praise for Obama’s action, and rightly so. Rudy Giuliani joined the chorus and Tim Pawlenty’s stump speech has apparently taken out the anti-Obama lines. Other conservative candidates have delayed announcements. With the bipartisan dinner last night, President Obama is attempting to harness the newfound goodwill to achieve some action on legislative and budget matters. It is a reminder that the sideshow carnival candidates who have dominated debates recently are irrelevant to solving serious problems.

– Impact on 2012: Two days after the announcement of OBL's death, it’s no longer indecent to ask what the political impact of this genuine “Mission Accomplished” moment will be. Certainly, President Obama will see a deserved bump in the polls, but history shows that is unlikely to last until the election. But Republicans will find it tougher to demonize the president and describe him as somehow un-American going forward. The ‘weak-on-leadership’ narrative – which had been shaping up as a serious Achilles heel for Obama – has been changed, likely for good. Obama now looks like a Commander in Chief, and memories of this historic action will endure. On the campaign trail he can confidently say: “I fulfilled my commitment to the American people: I killed Osama bin Laden and wound down the war in Iraq. On National Security, we are better off than we were four years ago.”

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– A Democrat operative commented to me that 2011 is fast shaping up to be the Republicans’ 1991. For the Democrats, they faced an invulnerable George H. W. Bush with a guy from Massachusetts and a guy from Arkansas, both of whom were amiable, but neither of whom were inspiring.

– Gas prices continuing to be a problem for President Obama.

– Who else will enter the GOP field. The key take away from the NRA forum and the AFP forum is that the crowds are still hoping someone else gets in. Many activists at last weekend's Heritage Resource Bank still had the name Pence on their lips, though he will probably soon announce for Governor of Indiana.

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