Tony Blair comes down with a case of Hopenchange fever

He was moved deeply by Mr Obama’s speech on race. “That was when I understood that he had real political depth and imagination because it was not an ordinary speech. It showed a complete understanding of why people might feel as they feel but that actually it is time to move on,” he said.

“The thing he does brilliantly is to explain why certain sentiments are inconsistent with the future and can be put to one side,” he said. “Prejudice certainly, but also that he understands that very partisan politics doesn’t really work any more and doesn’t meet either the needs of the time or the mood of the time.”