The killing of Usama bin Laden is justifiably a tremendous accomplishment for the United States and certainly for President Obama. However, it doesn’t change the underlying fact that the economy is in bad shape, unemployment is at 8.8%, and inflation is starting to creep up.
The American people have a sense that the country is headed in the wrong direction. They are pessimistic about the economy and are looking for leadership to solve our problems with the debt, the deficit and with our overall economic condition.
So while there is a clear sense that President Obama provided strong leadership to America, and his standing and stature have improved because of Bin Laden’s capture, there is no sense that the underlying conditions in the United States have improved.
Likewise, Obama’s approval ratings have not changed. Polling that I have done for Newsweek/The Daily Beast shows there has been no net change in the president’s job approval since the capture, which stayed at 48 percent.
The Republicans must take deference to the president and his accomplishment. Meanwhile, they must develop an economic plan, something they have not yet done, which addresses how to stimulate and stabilize an economy that is veering dangerously towards a double dip recession.
The president has rhetorically made reference to the fact that the two political parties need to cooperate, but he too has yet to offer a plan and a process to achieve fiscal stability and resolve our vexatious economic issues relating to the debt ceiling, the deficit and creating jobs.
The Republicans would do well to keep their eye on the ball and develop a plan that emphasizes fiscal discipline, fiscal prudence, holding the line on taxes, and most of all, creating jobs and stabilizing the economy.
This will appeal to a broad mass of the American people who are becoming more frustrated with a government in Washington that doesn’t work and with an economy that is leaving them increasingly high and dry.
Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist and Fox News contributor. His most recent book is "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System" published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins.