Obama, aides struggle with post-raid miscues

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said withholding the photos will “unnecessarily prolong” the debate over whether bin Laden is dead. But Rep. Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who chairs the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed with the president that the photos would only serve as a “trophy.”

There also was grumbling over the decision about “Geronimo,” the military code word assigned to bin Laden for the operation. Loretta Tuell, staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, called it “inappropriate” to link the Apache leader Geronimo to the world’s deadliest terrorist, the Associated Press reported.

For all the kudos Mr. Obama has received for eliminating bin Laden, it hasn’t translated to a huge bounce in the polls. A Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters conducted after Sunday’s raid and released Thursday showed the president’s approval rating at 52 percent, up 6 points from a survey conducted last week.

His disapproval rating also dropped 8 points to 40 percent. Other surveys showed his approval rating up anywhere from 9 to 11 points.

But voters are still unhappy with his performance on the economy. The same Quinnipiac poll showed 42 percent of registered voters favored his approach to the deficit, while 44 percent prefer the Republican plan. A week ago, 42 percent supported the president and 46 percent supported the GOP.

“The killing of Osama bin Laden has helped President Barack Obama’s popularity but not massively,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Voters have upped their opinion of the president’s handling of national security matters. But they have not changed their minds about his stewardship of the economy.”

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