You can tell the American political community is genuinely shaken by the sight of officials in both parties, from the Bush administration and the Democratic Congress, standing side by side and promising to work together--fast.
It happened after 9/11, and again last night when Washington decided that only government intervention could halt the spreading crisis within the us financial system.
That crisis has already tilted the landscape of the 2008 presidential race in Barack Obama's favor. The question now is whether initial signs of recovery on Wall Street will ease pressure on John McCain.
Throughout the week Obama has moved to capitalize on mounting economic anxiety, sharpening his arguments for change after eight years of Republican control of the white house.
A range of polls have shown him moving slightly ahead of John McCain, after trailing slightly last week.