Can TSA change make Obama a shoe-in?

With unemployment high, consumer confidence battered and the general outlook as grim as a Cormac McCarthy novel, Barack Obama may have virtually no chance of victory in 2012. Or so I thought until his Homeland Security chief, Janet Napolitano, offered a glimpse of his re-election strategy: Letting us keep our shoes on when we go through airport security.

Is there any change in our ordinary lives since 9/11 that has seemed more ridiculous, annoying and unnecessary? Putting our bags on conveyor belts and submitting to body-imaging scanners manned by TSA agents are a tolerable hassle compared to this one. A nation that can invent the iPhone ought to be able to find a better way of preventing planes from being blown up. 

And apparently the administration has. I can see Obama making his pitch at the Democratic convention: "The Republican way of fighting terrorism was making you take off your shoes at the airport and stand around in your socks. My way? Killing Osama bin Laden -- and letting you keep your shoes on!" (Followed by a thunderous, 15-minute standing ovation.)

It may seem like a small gift. But that's more than we get from a lot of politicians. 

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