Osama bin Laden's death is a major national security and intelligence victory for President Obama, and one that famously eluded his Republican predecessor. It's an especially notable triumph considering Obama was a foreign policy novice when he became president, the Los Angeles Times reports, and it will make it decidedly more difficult for the GOP to criticize Obama and the Democrats as weak on defense. "This is the most symbolic victory he could have," says one pollster, and it will likely boost his sagging popularity.
Of course, similar events in the past, like Saddam Hussein's apprehension in 2003, failed to have a lasting impact. But for now, Obama has risen above a field of 2012 challengers surprisingly lacking when it comes to foreign policy. Bin Laden's death brought with it a rare moment of unity in an otherwise deeply divided America, the Washington Post notes, reminiscent of the sense of bipartisan goodwill and support for the Afghanistan war that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. But that feeling didn't last, and, as the Times reminds us, the 2012 election is still more than a year and a half away.