Will it matter at home? The stunning news that Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize is bound to enhance his global reputation, but will it give him more juice domestically? I don't claim to know the answer but a few thoughts:
It Can't Hurt. By the end of the day, I'm sure Limbaugh and Hannity and the right chorus will have made fun of Obama for the win, cited it as proof of his European Socialist tendencies. But are many Americans going to feel offended that he's in the company of Teddy Roosevelt, who won for negotiating the end to the Sino-Russian conflict in 1905? Would any American feel embarrassed? Not really. By the way, doesn't this guarantee the president's third trip to Scandinavia, and a redemptive one? He went for the humiliating experience of lobbying for Chicago for the 2016 Olympics. I bet he goes back for the big climate summit in Copenhagen. Now he has to go and accept the prize. Kind of puts the Chicago episode in perspective.
It Gives Him Room on Afghanistan. I think it gives him more of a he-knows-what-he's-doing cred. At some level I think it gives him the political space to sell whatever he comes up with on Afghanistan. If he chooses to revamp the U.S. strategy there to make it more of an anti-Al Qaeda mission and to do more to reach out to elements of the Taliban, that's going to be controversial, but something like this gives him the space to say, tacitly: "The world respects what I do. I can move mountains. Trust me."