New DNC chief: Obama deserves credit for successful operation

The incoming chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said President Obama deserves credit for the killing on Sunday of Osama bin Laden.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) praised Obama and specifically credited Obama for "refocusing" U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which Wasserman Schultz asserted led to bin Laden's death.

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"President Obama's leadership in making the targeting of Osama Bin Laden our highest military and intelligence priority, warrants our gratitude," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "He deserves credit for refocusing U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to root out terrorism which no doubt helped lead to this historic announcement."

In her role as DNC chairwoman, an office which Wasserman Schultz is set to formally assume this week, the Florida lawmaker is charged with building political support for Obama.

Most lawmakers and political figures in both parties have so far avoided overt politicking after bin Laden's death was announced. Republican presidential candidates eschewed politics and instead offered their congratulations to Obama and to members of the military and intelligence agencies, though a few candidates did not mention Obama specifically. 

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus, the GOP counterpart to Wasserman Schultz, struck a note of unity in his statement.

“This achievement is a reminder that the United States will continue in its pursuit of freedom and defense of liberty despite any adversity," he said. "Our nation was forever changed on that day. It is important to note that despite some of our differences, Americans are and forever will be on the side of freedom.”

However, credit for Obama isn't unique to Wasserman Schultz, or even just Democrats. Though most Republicans have stuck to simply congratulating Obama, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee whose district was hit hard by the 9/11 attacks, said on CNN that the president deserves "full credit" for bin Laden's killing.

And while it's too early to assess who will benefit politically by bin Laden's death — and by how much — both Democrats and Republicans are sure to maneuver for any political windfall from the news. 

Beyond the Wasserman Schultz statement, the DNC is looking to add bin Laden's death to Obama's mantle.

The group wrote on Twitter: "#ThankYouPresidentObama" before adding an updated iteration: "Thank you to our men and women in uniform and #ThankYouPresidentObama."