Brown's message to the United States
"We should seize the moment." That is Gordon Brown's message to the United States of America, delivered in his speech to both houses of Congress today.
He is telling Americans that "never before have the benefits of co-operation been so far-reaching," and telling them that they can now work with the most popular American leadership in Europe in living memory.
He urges the United States to "protect and preserve planet Earth". In other words to tackle climate change, to end the dependence on oil and to create millions of jobs.
He also urges them to resist protectionism that, he says, history has told us that in the end protects no-one.
Gordon Brown adopts the tone of Franklin D Roosevelt in the depression of the 1930s, not repeating his pledge that "we have nothing to fear but fear itself", but saying that we can conquer our fear of the future through our faith in the future.
As for the economy, not surprisingly the prime minister does not come to Congress and tell them that the global recession is all their fault. Neither of course does he come and say that it is partly his fault - despite the argument that is going on behind the scenes between him, his advisors and members of the cabinet about how much responsibility he needs to accept if the public are to listen to his proposals for the future.
This was a speech which began with flattery and gratitude but ended with a challenge. It was delivered with passion and received with warmth. There were no fewer than 19 standing ovations.
What the prime minister will have noticed is the contrast between the reception for his tribute to America and for her sacrifices both sides leapt to their feet and that for his calls for action on climate change and for the government to act as people's last line of defence - it was the Democrats who led the applause then, with the Republicans rising to their feet openly reluctantly. As for his subtle warnings against protectionism, no-one rose to applaud.
Gordon Brown's hope is that what he calls an America renewed, under a new president will at last see the benefits of global co-operation. His fear, is that in troubled times, this nation may turn inward, not out, may demand that America comes first and may see saving the planet as an uncomfortable luxury to be postponed until better times.
Gordon Brown's first trip to the United States as prime minister was memorable for his awkward attempts to distance himself from George Bush and for the contrast he struck from Tony Blair, who remains hugely popular here and was, coincidentally, also in Washington this week.
However, on this trip, the prime minister looked much more comfortable, confident that in Barack Obama he's found an ally and that in these times his politics will get a hearing here. He must wait, however, to see if this country responds as he hopes or whether it was merely being polite to the leader of a nation regarded with respect and affection.