But now it's no more. The rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has been met with a significant drop in Obama's terrorism rating. Here's how that looks, compared to his overall approval rating:
CBS/NYT is the second poll to show Obama's approval rating dropping sharply on terrorism. Just last week, CNN/Opinion Research also showed his approval rating on terrorism dropping to 41 percent -- from a previous low of 49 percent.
This is undoubtedly a symptom of unhappiness with Obama's overall foreign policy strategy. While people generally support -- and Congress voted Wednesday to approve -- his plan to combat the Islamic State, in their overall view his Commander-in-Chief wherewithal remains dim. And very few people think Obama has shown the required toughness and will accomplish his goal of degrading and destroying the Islamic State.
Those feelings, clearly, are now seeping into his ratings on terrorism, given the Islamic State is known as a particularly brutal terrorist group -- having beheaded two Americans and a British citizen on tape now. So while people once thought of Obama's record on terrorism in terms of bin Laden, more than three years later, it's all about what's happening in Syria and Iraq.
Which has robbed Obama of perhaps his one remaining strong suit.