Brown must, though, know that the trip has not changed the course of British politics which, from his perspective, it needed to. To use an American sporting metaphor, Brown needed to him a home run with this visit but only succeeded in getting on base.
Worryingly for Brown, there are also signs that the G20, the summit which is so integral to his recovery strategy, might turn out to be more of a damp squib than a turning point. The Obama administration has still to staff up—the only confirmed official in the Treasury Department is the Treasury Secretary himself, Tim Geithner—with the result that it has not yet come to a view on what it wants out of the summit. More on that—and the whole visit—in the magazine tomorrow.
For obvious reasons, British politics will not return to normal for another couple of weeks. But when it does, its essential trajectory will remain the same as it was before. Brown is still headed for defeat at the next election.