Politics Today: Bin Laden Death Aftermath, Trump Praises Obama, And More
Time Magazine's Mark Halperin predicts that President Obama's reelection in 2012 is more likely than before now that bin Laden is dead. According to Halperin: "A triumph for Obama, it will have an impact in November 2012, regardless of what happens over the next 18 months. It will resonate on the upcoming ten-year anniversary of September 11, and again in September 2012. This is a great day for America, but make no mistake: this is a great day for Obama's re-election effort. Republicans running for president are going to have to face that fact, even as they celebrate this historic occasion with the rest of the country."
White House Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan on Monday gave more information about the U.S. operation to kill bin Laden, including details of bin Laden's final moments. The Huffington Post reported: "Brennan painted a dark scene of bin Laden's final moments. He said the al Qaeda leader used one of his wives as a human shield while he was being shot at. 'From a visual perspective, here is bin Laden ... living in this million dollar-plus compound ... hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield. I think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years,' Brennan said. 'Looking at what bin Laden was doing hiding there while he’s putting other people out there to carry out attacks again just speaks to, I think, the nature of the individual he was.'"
(UPDATE: CNN is reporting tonight: "A senior U.S. official says that the woman who has killed during the raid on the compound where Osama bin Laden was found was not a wife of bin Laden, and that she may not have been used as a human shield as previously reported. A wife was there, according to an official, but not killed.")
The FBI updated its Most Wanted Terrorists list early Monday morning by adding the label "deceased" over bin Laden's photo. ABC News reports that Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's second-in-command, is expected to take over the top spot on the FBI's list.
Time is printing a special issue dedicated to the death of Osama bin Laden. This will mark the first time that Time has printed three issues in one week (it's regular publication date is Friday, and a special Royal Wedding edition went on sale today). The issue's cover will depict a large red "x" over bin Laden's picture, marking the fourth time in the magazine's history that it will use the iconic "x" cover. Others who got the "x" treatment: Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The bin Laden issue will hit newsstands on Thursday.
Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of President Obama's, going so far as to call him the "worst president ever". However, in the aftermath of the bin Laden news, he said in a statement to ABC News, "I want to personally congratulate President Obama and the men and women of the Armed Forces for a job well done." Trump added in the statement: "We should spend the next several days not debating party politics, but in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those currently fighting for our freedom. God Bless America!"
Who knew Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson had friends in such high places? Johnson seemed to know bin Laden had been killed before the rest of the world did. Forty-five minutes before the news broke, he tweeted: "Just got word that will shock the world - Land of the free...home of the brave DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!"
The GOP is holding its first presidential debate on Thursday in South Carolina. Among those who won't be in attendence: Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann.