I woke at 5 this morning, UK time, hardly daring to turn on the radio, still fearful of disappointment. When I finally plucked up courage, I heard Barack Obama, speaking to a crowd, his voice sounding tired and sombre. What was this - a concession speech? a victory celebration? It wasn't clear. Then I switched on the laptop and the words gradually swam into focus...McCain concedes...record turnout...overwhelming victory...and, almost unbelievably, President-elect Obama.
So, finally, after two years of campaigning, it was all over. Farewell then, and good riddance, to 3 a.m. phone calls, bittergate, hockey moms and Joe the Plumber. It's time to turn the page. A new chapter in American history starts here.