A gift and a smile and the handover of power began early this morning Washington time.The outgoing White House family welcomed the new. We were witnessing here a true American milestone. An African-American and his wife taking the keys to the White House; a concept once unthinkable in a nation which has struggled with racial issues since its founding. Arguably historians will be writing about these moments for generations to come. Hard to think now racial segregation was practiced in many American southern states just decades ago. The outgoing Bush family and the incoming Obamas then went inside the White House for coffee together in the Blue Room. Time to enjoy minutes of friendly chit-chat before the President-elect headed off for his inauguration ceremony. President Obama’s day began with a visit to St John’s Church in Washington, a city gripped by anticipation of events later in the day. He looked happy and confident even then. As well he might. No American President has started his first term in office with as much public confidence.