Overheard on CNN.com: No political capital for killing bin Laden?
May 4th, 2011
05:44 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: No political capital for killing bin Laden?

Comment of the day:

I'm voting for Obama in 2012. PERIOD! -Clint4CNN

‘Obama got Osama’ won’t win in 2012

LZ Granderson, a weekly CNN.com columnist and a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine, weighed in on how killing Osama bin Laden won’t seal the deal for U.S. President Barack Obama at the polls next year. He says that, among other things, Americans are more concerned about unemployment and gas prices, and he and points to a CNN poll after bin Laden's death that shows Obama's ratings have improved by only 1 percentage point.

So what do CNN.com readers think about Obama's chances now that bin Laden is dead?

dualaction said, " 'I swear if Obama turned water into wine his critics would accuse him of being an alcoholic.’ So sad and true.” BrainHertz said, “For sure 'Obama got Osama' is certainly not going to sway committed Republicans to change their vote in 2012. But something important did just happen: Republicans no longer have a 'soft on terrorism' stick to beat Obama with in 2012 which they would otherwise be using to try to swing independents." misterbig said, "Obama only took a couple of years to do what Bush couldn't do for seven years. The GOP can try to minimize his accomplishment, but it just makes them look like even bigger losers."

Granderson may not have addressed the subject directly in his column, but many CNN.com readers wondered about a viable Republican alternative. TGD783 said, "Obama didn't need to catch Osama to win 2012... the GOP doesn't have a serious candidate, Obama will win by default." BrodiMAN said, "In order for the Republicans to win in 2012, they first need a horse in the race. But, so far, all they've shown us is a bunch of mules and donkeys." Pearlene said, "If not Obama then who? Sarah Palin? Michelle Beckman? (sic) Donald Trump? Do you think they can do better?" But dnel responded, "Are you deaf, blind and stupid? Ron Paul that's who. Ron Paul will pull the troops spend less money on military while keeping the defense of the US strong. The dollar will recover the economy will recover. Anyone else is a joke."

ffmills said, "We have an honest and decent President with very good ideas who is supported on all sides by the brightest minds. I wish America would just appreciate what we have. There is NO short-term cure for America's economic problems and anyone who believes otherwise is being cheated by the vacuous promises of politicians who simply will find it impossible to deliver. If we would just relax for a while and give our President our support he will steer our nation back onto a road to prosperity."

Bush declines Ground Zero offer

On Thursday, President Obama will visit "ground zero" in New York City to mark the death of Osama bin Laden and visit with families who lost loved ones during the attacks on 9/11 – and he extended an invitation to President George W. Bush to join him. The former president declined, citing a desire to remain out of the spotlight since leaving office. Most CNN.com readers said they thought Bush had other reasons for skipping the event, while others applauded him for stepping aside.

R.L. said, “As much as I dislike GW, I think he should go to the World Trade Center on Thursday. He was President when this started and as much as I dislike the way he handled things, he was there for the victims' families and the first responders when they needed someone to lean on." Rudy NYC said, “President Bush seems to be getting wiser with age. Staying out of the political spotlight immediately after leaving office has been a long standing tradition for ex-Presidents." Pazke said, "There were so many people involved at every level that all deserve credit for bringing down bin Laden." Rsprings said, "Bush is a classy guy. He does deserve credit for setting up the apparatus that finally led the US to Bin Laden. The US will be relentless in its efforts to stop terrorists." Don said, "I can't believe I'm going to say this but Bush is right. We should keep this low profile."

But Tam said, "Bush has nothing to be proud of. Being there would remind everyone of his terms." Johnson said, "Did you expect anything different? If Obama was Republican he would be there." Ron said, "What a loser. Since he can't take credit for killing Been Lousy, he won't go to ground zero with the President who did. Bush will show up later....probably trying to promote his book again." Dominican mama 4 Obama said, "Imagine how stupid he would look standing at Ground Zero accepting part of the glory when his statements dismissing the importance of Osama have been played and replayed in the news since Sunday?" Steve (the real one) in Arizona said, "I am not surprised. Going back to Ground Zero would remind the world that it was during HIS presidency that 9/11 happened. It will remind the world of the useless and senseless war he started in Iraq that accomplished nothing. But most of all, he would be sharing the stage with the man who finally killed bin Laden." Jilli said, "Perhaps Mr. Bush finally found his sense of shame."

White House not releasing photos of bin Laden

The White House announced Wednesday afternoon that it will not release photos of Osama bin Laden's body. Most readers said they deserved to view the photos, while others claimed they wouldn't believe it until they saw the pictures. And some readers applauded the president's decision.

Copperbug said, "Thank you, President Obama, for showing your grace, maturity and respect. There is no reason to feed the morbid curiosity of others at the expense of basic decency." kevinlo said, "If the photo is unrecognizable what good would it do? Then we'd be having the discussion about the photo being a fake. Good decision."

But Inst7 said, "We can view footage of a journalist getting beheaded, Sadaam Hussein being hung, U.S. troops getting blown up, innocent people plummeting to their death on 9/11...but we can't see Bin Laden dead?" jman33 said, "We had no problem releasing the death pictures of Saddam and his sons but now all of a sudden there's a problem? It really shouldn't be any surprise that this president loves keeping things away from the public. It took him 4 years just to release his long form birth certificate, and he's still keeping his college records sealed." Countrycook said, "We the people want proof. When do we want it? Now." skytag mockingly said, "People need to see those pictures; people deserve to see those pictures; people have a right to see those pictures — all wrong. Some people want to see those pictures. Be honest. Just say you want to see them if you want to see them."

SgtUSArmy said, "And ... let the conspiracies begin!" briant7189 complied: "Maybe it's because Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations, Nixon, Ford and Carter is now claiming that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001 from Marfan Syndrome and is willing to testify under perjury before a court?" JohnQPublik said, "I bet the picture(s) make it to the internet in less than week, regardless of this lame attempt to contain them." PacificRain said, "Obama will release the photos right before elections. The photo has to be of some use, at least this time to get votes from the gullible."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Squincher

    And so it begins. The Nutters, Birthers, Reich Wingers now start with the conspiracy theories. All the Haters & Losers still will come after Obama. For these people, there is no satisfaction.

    Hey Jerks: Lay off. Seriously

    May 5, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      Why is it you "Warmers" and "Communists" and "Tree huggers" always get offended when people call you names?!

      May 5, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Aufbruch

      @climate change denier guy,er...."kyle" I guess. To Kyle, with love:
      Because our names have some thought and wit put into them....you could at least play the game right.....

      On a more serious note....it's for the same reasons one gets irked by holocaust deniers, intelligent design idiots, and flat earth proponents. If you need explanation beyond _that_, well.....further discourse isn't likely to be worthwhile. We cut our losses and hope in vain that you refrain from procreating. : )

      May 5, 2011 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. skarphace

    All you 'birthers' are to blame for Obama not releasing the pictures of Osama's death. Why? Because Obama came to the realization of the phrase that Reagan made famous: fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    He knew very well that you 'deathers' would not have accepted the photos as real. Just like with the release of his 'long-form BC', you anti-Obama freaks would have been shouting 'photoshop' as soon as they came out.

    Tell me that is wrong. I bet you can't with a straight face.

    May 5, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Clare

      Well said. Thumbs up or Facebook Like 🙂

      May 5, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • JP0

      Agreed. Nothing will keep the idiots from being stupid.

      May 5, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Rita

      That doesn't make a lick of sense. Do you teach your kids to not tell the truth if they think nobody will beleive it?

      May 5, 2011 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brett

    It is beneath the dignity of the United States to parade about such a barbaric photograph. President Obama again shows his grace, maturity, and sagacity in his responsible decision not to release the pictures. It's regrettable that a nation had to take such action against an individual such as Bin Ladin. It's regrettable that so many people have died because of him. This whole decade since 9/11 has been full of pain and regret. Bin Ladin deserved his fate, but let's be sober about it, because the tremendous losses we have incurred give us little to rejoice over.

    May 5, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • skarphace

      @Brett: I agree with you (although, I have to admit I had to look up the word 'sagacity'). The only thing I would add is that we also should not be rejoicing because although this is a significant symbolic victory for America, it is a much smaller victory for the international war on terror. Even if Al Qaeda is damaged in the short run, they will not go away. And Al Qaeda is actually a small faction of radical Islamists. Until Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc, are hurting for supporters, this war will continue.

      May 5, 2011 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    Well, if there are people still so unsatisfied with the results, please speak up if you think he should not have not executed this action.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
    • skarphace

      @Scott: it isn't the results they are dissatisfied with. It is that Obama was the one who made this call. They just cannot imagine saying anything that could be interpreted as a compliment to the current administration.

      May 5, 2011 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. kyle

    The Pres. made the right call. Good for him, it was his first one.... I hope there are more during his final 2 years in the White House. If this operation had happened, exactly the same way, when Bush was in office; all of you – and your beloved current Pres.- would have criticized that 'cowboy' for his 'unilateral, knee-jerk reaction' and his 'Islamophobic' violent nature. And you know it...

    May 5, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. Wahine

    Thank you Mr. President.............and God Bless America

    May 5, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Techrat3D

    Barbaric/horrific photo of a dead Osama or not. The world wants proof. Period!
    By not releasing this proof, many people will not believe that he is really dead, and the conspiracies will grow bigger.

    Our government has lied to us before, and it needs to regain our trust. It needs to stop "thinking" what is best for us, and let us decide for ourselves.

    This just screams for another Wikileak!

    May 5, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. mglock

    I think this whole Osama thing is getting way out of hand. Everyone is so happy about it and they are thanking President Obama for it. What did he really do? Tell the CIA to look for him? Great President Bush did the exact same thing. What does that say for our intelligence agency? It took you 10 years to find one person? As a former Marine I am glad he is dead, but the fighting and terrorism isn't going to all of a sudden end and everyone comes home. It's a part of the human race. It's the way the world operates, deal with it.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa loo 22

      I am a sailor and was in the 1st Perisan Gulf war, I too served my country proudly. First it did not take 10 years to find Osama. George W. gave up looking for him in 2004. It took Obama 884 days to get him. I don't understand what you mean that is the way of the worl deal with it?

      May 5, 2011 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
    • mglock

      And Lisa what I mean deal with it, the world has ALWAYS had conflict. It will always have conflict. People think they can change or the world can have peace but it is just an illusion.

      May 5, 2011 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |


    May 5, 2011 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa loo 22

      everyone else is awake. I think it is you that might be a little delusional. The fact the gas prices are so high is because 1. they are inflating the gas prices to make Obama look bad 2. big oil has republicans in their pockets and 3.they are greedy b***tds and want to bleed us dry. Obama has nothing to do with big oil but Cheney and Bush does. Actually he is investigating them and the attorney general is finding out there is something fishy going on.

      May 5, 2011 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
    • mglock

      So you think it is a conspiracy? How does Obama have nothing to do with big oil? Did he not make a statement a few months back stateing "Gas prices will NOT raise that much"? Pretty sure they have. He could have tapped into the US oil, but let me guess, there is a conspiracy in that one too? It is all just a game. Promises will always be made and not far behind it is a pathetic excuse. Someone commented earlier that Osama has been dead since 2001(hard to believe) but what better time to bring a huge event to take everyones focus off of the crap we are dealing with at home. Isnt that just a little weird that everytime something is going terribly wrong, we get destracted with something else? Conspiracy that!!

      May 5, 2011 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
    • expat78

      selena, you must have forgotten to disengage your 'caps lock' button.

      May 5, 2011 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Malena Magallanez

    Umm.....in all honesty, Bush had nothing to do with capturing Osama. If this had happened less than a year into Obama's term, I would give him credit, but no, it was OBAMA who told the head of the FBI to focus on Bin Laden. And why the heck do people need to see Obama's college records? Seriously, that has absoltuly no relevence to him being president. What are you going to find? That he flunked bio? Have we ever demanded that another president show their birth certificate, or college records. Leave the man alone and let him do his damn job!

    May 5, 2011 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa loo 22

      You are so right. Well said!

      May 5, 2011 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
    • mglock

      I don't think that he just "gave up" looking for him, I think it's more of the fact that we were distracted with other events. Why were we in Afghanistan before Iraq? And yet no news about that right? You can praise OBAMA all you want. He wasn't on the ground, he wasn't getting shot at. Instead he was watching, and preparing for Oprah?! Praise him all you want. And as for the unemployment, you are a joke for even bringing that up. There ARE jobs out there. It is the simple fact that people are to lazy to do the job, or complain, or think that they are "too good" for that job. Here is an idea join the military, its a for sure pay check, right? And how come the government was trying to take the military money anyway? Were their checks getting cut? Were the UNEMPLOYED getting their checks cut. Politians are pathetic. Just trying to make their mark in history.

      May 5, 2011 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Robert

    hi Lisa

    May 5, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Winnifred Green

    The View's ABC Elisabeth Hasselbeck Writes Osama Bin Laden Poem For Her Children
    In joking way, Hasselbeck says:

    Osama Bin Laden was a very bad guy
    He hurt many people, don't ask me why
    We shot him in the head and now he is dead
    Now close your eyes and go to bed

    In a sick way I smiled for the first time since Sunday night.
    Can't be any worse then "Now I lay myself down to sleep" ........ yad yad yad........ "And If I die before I wake"

    May 5, 2011 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Rita

    I read Granderson's story and was severely disapointed. In the middle of the strory, he brings in an analogy from a news story going on in Oklahoma where a school wants to do away with equal opportunity; clearly off topic and an obvious attempt to turn Obama's choice of killing bin Laden into ANOTHER race card play! Does CNN not think they have enough minorities turning every current event into a race issue? ! !

    May 5, 2011 at 5:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Winnifred G

    You asked "Why were we in Afghanistan before Iraq?"
    Osama bin Laden was the mastermind of 9/11 and Inside the Taliban nation were the Taliban ruled Afghanistan.
    We were in Iraq because because Bush took us there.leaving other nations forces to fight the Taliban For what we all know it and if you don't by how your heads are in the sand, not you mglock only ones who's Still Bush Blind!
    The Taliban nation / Afghanistan now has the USA Canada British might, Im sorry to say alot could have been done by now even troops home if we stayed out of Iraq!!
    The troops work well together and watch each others backs, pray for them and God Bless them

    May 5, 2011 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Riff*Raff

    Just a few corrections to the revisionist history: The courier that was located and led us to Osama was a current courier not the one in Guantanamo Bay being tortured for information for 8+ yrs. Torture had no benefits to this investigation-or to this War on Terror. Its been proven repeatedly to not be effective. (hence the illegality!) And BTW-Rumsfeld's speech is not recent. This was not finishing a plan already in place by Bush. Bush gave up pursuit of Bin Laden & the Talban for Iraq. Obama gave the directive to the CIA to hunt bin Laden. It was his mission. We stopped sharing intel w/Pakistan a year ago, and 8 mo later we got him. Give him some credit. Just FYI-the debt was created by putting both wars on the books, Bush kept them separate to not cause an uproar. Again, not Obama. The unemployment rate is expected to contnue downward. 8.4% by end of year and all other sectors are growing. I think we're on the right track. Good choices & time is what its going to take. Not bad for 27 mo in office, IMO.

    May 5, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
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