Torture and CIA "ghost" prisons will be no more. Guantanamo Bay will be closed. Lo and behold, the leader of communist Cuba has called the 44th President of the United States "an honest man". The latter will, after all, have a BlackBerry, while the White House boasts a slick new website where news releases are repackaged as the Blog. Truly, in the first 100 hours of Barack Obama, change has come to America.
In fact, change arrived in his first 100 minutes – before even the olive-green presidential helicopter carrying George W Bush into retirement had lifted off from the east plaza of the US Capitol, to the relief and joy of the two-thirds of Americans long sick of the sight of him. In these first four days in office Obama has made many decisions, some symbolic, some of substance. But nothing signalled a new era more powerfully than the inaugural address itself, his first official act after taking (incorrectly, as it transpired) the Oath of Office.