Washington (CNN) – President Obama may be fighting an uphill battle in trying to turn the nation's ailing economy around, but when it comes to national security his accomplishments are stacking up.
From killing Osama bin Laden and American al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, to the NATO-led effort that ended in the death of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, critics who have argued over the administration's foreign policy strategy are offering up muted praise.
The president is quick to point out that his latest move to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, ending the nearly nine-year war, fulfills a campaign promise.
It's a not so subtle reminder to a skeptical public as he battles low approval ratings and works to shore up his base ahead of the 2012 elections.
"This is a significant moment in our history," the president wrote in a letter to supporters circulated by email. "Today the United States moves forward from a position of strength."
The letter mirrors remarks the president made Friday at the White House. It was a victory lap of sorts that touched an emotional chord as he wrote that "our servicemen and women will be with their families for the holidays."
Are we seeing the makings of a new campaign strategy that will focus more heavily on what is working while still pushing to fix what is not?
It certainly appears that way.
But a senior campaign official tells CNN that, "We still anticipate the most significant issue in the campaign will be that the president is fighting everyday to restore economic security for the middle class."
At the same time the official makes the case for the president's national security strategy that has "degraded al Qaeda" and "strengthened American leadership around the world."
"That record speaks to the strength and effectiveness of his leadership," the official said.
Polls show Americans are more concerned about jobs and the economy than terrorism and war. Some might argue that Obama's statement Friday that began with a promise he made "as a candidate for president," had political overtones.
But the campaign official said the president's accomplishments "provide a vindication of his [foreign policy] strategy."