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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

A FLEETING BOOST?

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 Predictably, Obama's poll numbers have ticked up, but experts are skeptical how long they will stay there. 

 

The U.S. strike against Osama bin Laden will likely give President Barack Obama an immediate boost in popularity at a moment when unemployment and high gas prices are taking a toll on his approval rating and Republican opponents are criticizing his foreign policy.

>The next test of the president's leadership is whether he can use the momentum to win concrete policy achievements on pressing domestic issues, lawmakers and strategists said.

 

Amid the weak economy, Mr. Obama's job approval dropped to 41% in a Gallup survey last month, tying its record low. That has the potential to hamper him as he faces the tricky task of winning bipartisan agreement on a broad deficit-reduction plan and on legislation to raise the nation's statutory borrowing limit, or debt ceiling.

To succeed, Mr. Obama will likely have to persuade both parties to sacrifice key goals on such issues as taxes and federal spending levels.

Rep. Buck McKeon (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called the bin Laden killing "symbolically huge" but predicted any impact on the course of Congress would be short-lived.

"I remember 9/11, and I remember how we all did come together. But it only lasted a couple of weeks, and I don't expect any long-lasting changes to come from this," said Mr. McKeon. "I don't think it will have a thing to do with the debt limit vote or passing the appropriations bills. I really don't."

 

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