Barack Obama made headlines yesterday when he spoke about his fear of a “lone wolf attack” in America carried out by an individual with a “hateful ideology”. But far from striking a blow against his administration, such an attack would galvanize Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, as many political strategists have pointed out.

History shows us that terror attacks present unrivaled opportunities for US Presidents to recapture popular support and rally the country around a strong leader.

In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush’s approval ratings shot up from around the 50 per cent level to the 90 per cent mark, allowing him to pursue his geopolitical agenda in the middle east with a free hand.

Absent a major crisis between now and November next year that Obama can exploit in order to rack up political points, his presidency is a dead duck. Obama’s approval ratings are in free fall, sinking to a new record low of 39 per cent in recent days. Every indication shows thatObama is on his way to a landslide defeat in 2012.

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