After bin Laden Obama focuses on economy

Obama pivots from bin Laden's death to US economy.

By REUTERS
May 8, 2011 10:49
1 minute read.
Obama pivots from bin Laden's death to economy.

obama on economy_311 reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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US President Barack Obama turns from national elation over the killing of America's most wanted foe Osama bin Laden to face the threat that high gasoline prices and unemployment pose to his own 2012 re-election hopes.

Six days after announcing US special forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in his weekly radio and internet address Obama offered a sober message on the economy.

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"Although our economy hasn't been the focus of the news this week, not a day goes by that I'm not focused on your jobs, your hopes and your dreams," he said.

Average gasoline prices are up to almost $4 a gallon across the country, up by more than a dollar compared with a year ago, and a potential serious risk to Obama's political future.

At the same time, while more jobs were added to the economy last month, the unemployment rose to 9.0.

"A lot of folks are still looking for work. And many folks who do have jobs are finding that their paychecks aren't keeping up with the rising costs for everything from tuition to groceries to gas," he said.

While Obama's approval rating jumped sharply after the news of the deadly raid against bin Laden's compound, Obama's latest remarks underline White House concern that the public remains anxious about the economy, and that any bounce in public opinion over bin Laden's death could be fleeting.

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