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A political game-changer?

If you follow American politics, you know it can change in a blink of an eye.

In the last few weeks, as gasoline prices have continued to climb in the United States, President Obama has seen his poll numbers decline, suggesting a potential vulnerability in 2012.

But the news that Osama bin Laden has been killed -- on Obama's watch -- is most definitely a political game-changer and appears destined to impact the contours of the 2012 presidential race, as well as the emerging Republican field. Of course, the size of the impact is yet unknown and will be played out in the months ahead, especially with U.S. unemployment near 9%. The 2012 general election, after all, is more than 550 days away.

As NBC's Chuck Todd also mentioned, it could have an impact on the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan-Pakistan. Does it make the U.S. re-evaluate the mission there? Does it affect the troop draw-down that's scheduled to begin this summer?