I do think kicking pirate butt has probably earned Barack Obama some real goodwill. But I wonder if the WashPost is pushing the analysis a bit far:
But the result -- a dramatic and successful rescue operation by U.S. Special Operations forces -- left Obama with an early victory that could help build confidence in his ability to direct military actions abroad.
As I said yesterday, it's all rather silly and nonsensical. But it's also preferable to the alternative, I suppose.