Mentions of Obama ratcheted up quicker than the unemployment statistics - soon reaching double figures - and the new leader of the free world was soon pressed unwittingly into the service of British domestic politics.
Criticising the Conservatives' economic policies, Gordon Brown said one line that was not in the new president's speech was "my fellow Americans - let's do nothing".
The Conservative leader countered with an assessment of performance in an existing post - claiming that Gordon Brown was the only person in the country that thought he was doing a good job as prime minister.
But there was also time to mention a new job closer to home. Gordon Brown teased his Conservative counterpart over the return of europhile Ken Clarke to the Tory front bench - dubbing him the "shadow shadow chancellor".
The Conservative leader quickly turned his focus from new jobs to former roles - pointing out the difference between Ken Clarke's "golden legacy" when he departed as chancellor and Gordon Brown's less lustrous bequest to his successor - "a wrecked economy".
But there was also controversy over what some people spend to do their current job - that is MPs themselves.
A vote was due to take place tomorrow which would have given the politicians an opportunity to exempt themselves from Freedom Of Information legislation so they would not have to make public the detailed receipts underpinning their expenses claims.
But in an unexpected volte face, the PM announced this vote would be scrapped pending consultation with the opposition parties which had called for detailed expense claims to be revealed.
Amid all this, David Cameron was anxious for a job change - calling once again for an early election in the hope he would become prime minister.
But it seems that early election hope is about as likely as a sharp reduction in next month's unemployment figures.
Right, that's it for this week's PMQs coverage. Please join us again next week.
1257 Sir Menzies says there is a need for "wholesale reform" not just take the numbers down and strengthen select committees. Mrs Beckett says the system in the UK is very different from the US, where they have fewer politicians in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
1257 Sir Menzies says there is a need for "wholesale reform" not just take the numbers down and strengthen select committees. Mrs Beckett says the system in the UK is very different from the US, where they have fewer politicians in the Senate and the House of Representatives. She says the Tories have "bad track record of thinking these things through".
1257 Sir Menzies says there is a need for "wholesale reform" not just take the numbers down, give MPs more resources and strengthen select committees. Mrs Beckett says the system in the UK is very different from the US, where they have fewer politicians in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
1255 There is a discussion of Conservative plans to cut the number of MPs by 10%, should they win power. BBC political research editor David Cowling says Labour MPs were more likely to lose out as inner city seats tended to be the ones reduced. Tory MP Ed Vaisey says constituency sizes are "way out of kilter". Asked if it would benefit the Tories, he replies: "Well, it would benefit the public."
1252 BBC correspondent Jo Coburn says the statutory instrument which would have exempted MPs' expenses has been withdrawn by the government. Asked if she knows what is going on, Mrs Beckett replies simply: "No."
1249 Meanwhile it is reported by the Press Association that the Parliamentary motion that would have exempted MPs from disclosing details of their expenses has been shelved.
1248 Presenter Andrew Neil asks if there will be a free vote on MPs' expenses - after earlier briefings it would be whipped. Margaret Beckett says if the PM said there would be a free vote, there will be a free vote. "It looked to me like a prime ministerial decision," she adds.
1245 Mrs Beckett says more information about every MP will be published than ever before. She says there are security reasons, not for MPs but for people who work with them. She says if every receipt has been gone through to remove names of workmen with keys to MPs' homes, she says the Department of Finance would have to be "trebled in size".
1243 On MPs' expenses, Margaret Beckett says people have got the wrong idea. She says audit procedures would be "massively strengthened" but the "sheer bureaucratic burden of trying to produce every receipt" would not happen. Sir Menzies says the fact is they would be distinguishing MPs from everyone else. "What are the public going to think?" he asks. He says it shows MPs are "not sensitive" to the issue.
1242 Mrs Beckett says Britain is less indebted than most of the other members of the G8. She says it is a truly global problem. Sir Menzies says in terms of personal debt, Britain is the highest in the world. Mrs Beckett says the media only wants to look at bad news and it was no surprise confidence was being shaken.
1237 Housing minister Mrs Beckett says we are now suffering the "downside" of the huge power of the financial sector and city, which had grown up over the decades.
1236 Margaret Beckett sticks with her leader's line of attack telling Daily Politics the Conservatives were happy to let the recession "take its course" and there was a big difference between the main parties.
1236 Back in the Daily Politics studio, Spectator journalist Fraser Nelson says discussions on the banking crisis tends to "generate more heat than light".
1232 Labour MP Linda Gilroy says some bankers appear to have got off "scot free" and asks how people can have confidence taxpayers' money spent on bailout is "well spent". Mr Brown says there are moves to agree common standards of disclosure, risk management and others at the G20 summit.
1231 Labour MP Ronnie Campbell calls for all banks to be nationalised and has a go at the Conservatives for "doing nothing". Mr Brown says the new US president and the British government would be using public investment to boost the economy.
Labour MP Stephen Ladyman asks about the situation in Gaza and asks what can be done to neutralise the "toxic influence of Iran" in the region. Mr Brown says the international community must be united in isolating Iran over both its attitude to Israel and on the issue of nuclear weapons. He says it is important Israeli troops leave Gaza as soon as possible and crossing are opened. He says there is an opportunity to get countries "to talk together" about peace. Humanitarian aid into Gaza is the most important issue, he adds, saying it has been a "terrible catastrophe" but says rocket attacks into Israel must also be stopped.
1227 Former Tory MP, now UKIP member, Bob Spink appears to praise action by the government to help small businesses but asks for more help for pensioners. "Doing something constructive is better than doing nothing" he adds, in a dig at the Tories. Mr Brown says £60 extra will go to pensioners this year and pensions are going up.
Labour backbencher Dennis Skinner criticises "Tory fat cats" - to jeers from the Tory benches - at the banks who have "run their banks into the ground" and says they cannot blame the unions this time. He asks what action will be taken. Mr Brown says it is a global banking crisis that has to be dealt with by global cooperation.
1226 Tory MP Edward Garnier again raises the issue of expenses. Mr Brown says "transparency" is being provided. He said the opposition party had given the impression they would support it and it was right to seek "all party agreement" on it, and "that is what we will do".
1225 Labour MP Diane Abbott mentions the election of President Obama - she says it means everyone can turn to their children and say "yes you can" - a reference to Mr Obama's campaign slogan. Mr Brown says the White House was built by slaves but now occupied by the first black American president.
1225 Mr Brown repeats that whatever the status of the banks, the issue of lending still had to be resolved.
1222 Mr Clegg says there is an "extreme danger" in any remaining ambiguity in the government's response. He says the weakest banks should be fully nationalised. Mr Brown says the issue is extending lending.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg pays tribute to the servicemen killed in Afghanistan and welcomes the news that President Obama has halted trials at Guantanamo Bay. He says confidence in the pound is being pushed to "an all time low" and says the government's policies have created "confusion and uncertainty". Mr Brown says the head of the CBI backs his measures and outlines what the government has done to help people through the downturn.
1218 Backbencher Andrew MacKinlay asks about a bank's handling of money from Iran and asks why they have not been prosecuted for "laundering" money. Mr Brown says the sanctions policy against Iran was "one of the toughest in the world" and says he will look at the allegations made
1217 Mr Brown says the Tory leader has "no idea" what he would do instead. "The only things he says is to do nothing," he claims. "We will act, they will not act. He's out of step with the rest of the world and he is out of his depth."
Asked what his alternative is, Mr Cameron says if Mr Brown wants to ask questions he should call a general election. Mr Cameron says "the whole country is asking if the government knows what it is doing". He criticises a comment by employment minister Tony McNulty that there was a "light at the end of the tunnel".
1216 Mr Cameron, batting back the "isolated" attack, says Gordon Brown is the only one in the country who "thinks he is doing a good job". He says shares bought by the government were worth £37bn and are now worth £17bn. Mr Brown says the Conservatives do not understand economics and "should really grow up and face up to the big issues". He says the point of the banks' rescue was to stop them collapsing.
1215 Mr Brown says the Tories had supported it at the time and had no other alternatives. He says Mr Cameron was "completely isolated from every major party in every country in the world". The government had a "duty to act", he says.
1214 Mr Cameron says the previous bank bail out has already cost the taxpayer £20bn as bank shares have fallen.
1213 Mr Brown says Mr Cameron and the Tory London mayor share "totally different views". Mr Cameron says he, Mr Clarke and mayor Boris Johnson all agree the PM was making a "mess" of the economy. He says the government has "run out of money".
1212 The PM hits back with quotes Mr Clarke had used in the past to criticise the Tory policy on Europe. He also says Conservative mayor of London Boris Johnson agreed there was a need to get credit flowing and the government was "doing what it can".
1212 Mr Cameron said the PM talked about action but the recession was getting worse. He accuses Mr Brown of attacking Tory policies, only to introduce them later and says he is "behind the curve on every single issue". He says his former chancellor Ken Clarke "left a golden legacy" while former chancellor Mr Brown had "wrecked it".
1211 Mr Brown defends his "asset purchase scheme" and says the government will talk to the banks, look at their assets and liabilities and would report back to MPs on the nature of the scheme - which he said banks would share the risk for. He said it was the "right thing to do".
1210 The PM hits back with a jibe about the "new shadow chancellor" - a reference to Ken Clarke who has returned to the Tory front bench as shadow business secretary.
1210 Mr Cameron accuses the PM of "laughing" at economic figures and says he has announced an insurance scheme for "toxic assets" with a "staggering lack of detail"
1209 Mr Brown says he may not be able to save every job but he can help people get into new jobs. He says President Obama's plans on fiscal stimulus and bank rescues shows the world can work together. He says President Obama did not say in his speech "Fellow Americans, let's do nothing" - a reference to Labour criticism of the Conservatives.
David Cameron also pays tribute to the servicemen killed in Afghanistan. He also says the whole house is united in sending good wishes to new US President Obama. He says the rise in unemployment suggests the "British economy faces dark days indeed". He says market reactions suggest there was no real confidence in government policies.
1203 Tory MP Douglas Carswell asks why the PM is whipping MPs to vote to exempt themselves from Freedom of Information laws. Mr Brown says the proposals offer "more transparency" than any other Parliament in the world. He says he had believed there had been agreement with opposition parties on the proposed FOI changes.
Mr Brown opens by paying tribute to three British troops killed in Afghanistan saying "we will remember them with pride". He also sends his best wishes to new US President Barack Obama and says his pledges on the economy, environment will have a "resonance in every part of the world".
1159 Spectator journalist Fraser Nelson tells the programme he expects David Cameron to concentrate on the economy - unemployment and debt - and try to get the upper hand. Sir Menzies says Mr Cameron might well raise the issue of MPs trying to exempt themselves from Freedom of Information laws.
1157 Margaret Beckett defends comments made at the weekend on the state of the housing market. She says mortgage approvals are "on the floor" but estate agents were seeing an increase in people looking for homes. She says she did not make any predictions of recovery in the housing market. She says until they can get mortgages, it did not constitute a recovery.
1156: Sir Menzies tells the Daily Politics the current unemployment is among highly skilled people who may find it difficult to transfer into other jobs
1155 Shadow work secretary Theresa May says the government is "in denial" on economic problems - referring to a comment made earlier by minister Tony McNulty.
1154 Sir Menzies tells Daily Politics the constitution was a "thoroughly inoffensive" document but did not really provide for "accountability" and said there were still problems enforcing rights as NHS Trusts only had to "have regard" for the constitution.
1153 On the issue of a new 10-year NHS constitution, Mrs Beckett said the basic idea was to bring together what people's rights were, what they are entitled to and what redress they have if rights have been infringed, which must be simpler than now.
1149 Mrs Beckett tells Daily Politics she hopes Iran will not "play games" with the new US administration. Sir Menzies said Iran should not "provoke Israel".
1149 Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell says the UK cannot assume British soldiers can be pulled from Iraq to go to Afghanistan as the Army has been "running hot" for some time.
1147 On Daily Politics housing minister Margaret Beckett was asked if the new US Obama administration would mean changes for UK policy in Afghanistan. She says there is "more to do" in Afghanistan and says she would like to see other members of NATO doing more.
1135 As well as watching live to see if any of these topics come up you'll also get the instant verdict of BBC political correspondent Iain Watson on our scrolling text service - plus the views of the guests on BBC programmes including Daily Politics, the News Channel and the World at One during and after the half hour sessions. And you can join in by sending us your views on the session using the form on the top right of the page.
1132 Good morning and welcome to the second prime minister's questions of the year. Since last week there has been another bank bail-out, continuing economic turmoil and the decision to give the go ahead for a third runway at Heathrow. The exchanges between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg also come as the battlelines have been drawn over the issue of MPs' expenses. Labour MPs are being whipped to vote tomorrow for details to be exempt from Freedom of Information laws. Tory and Lib Dem MPs are being told by their party leaders to oppose the move. Oh, and there was also the presidential handover in Washington yesterday.
"If Beckett thinks the Conservatives are happy to let the recession take it's course, why has her party adopted 2 key policies from them this week? Does she really think anyone buys the Labour line anymore..." Jon, Bournemouth
"A lot of people saying 'all Brown does is ask what Cameron would do'. Isn't that a perfectly valid question? Why is Cameron in any position to criticise when he hasn't offered any alternatives?" Nic Hickman, London
"The reason why Brown is looking for answers from the Conservatives is so he can steal their policies and claim them as his own." Paul Robson, Wellingborough
"When will the Prime Minister stop referring to the Conservatives a 'do-nothing party', it's a ridiculous statement and I've been listening to him say it for months." David, Bristol
"I am just gobsmacked when I listen to Gordon Brown, was he not responsible for doing nothing to regulate the banks when he was chancellor. He has allowed a decade of irresponsibilty, and greed to fuel the economy, then blames it all on the credit crunch." Gordon, Colchester
"Totally agree with Emma, Politicians should get on with the job they are paid for and work together if need be to sort the issues out. They manage to pull together when they are voting for their pay award, topping up their pension fund or hiding their expense claims from the voting public." Paul Melsom, Wolverhamoton
"What PMQs is Colin listening to? There has been no substance from Brown only questions about what Cameron would do." John F Davis, Motherwell Scotland
"Couldn't agree more with wendy from Northampton - Gordon Brown seems to think he's going to be the hero of the hour with respect to saving Britain's economy, but sadly it just seems to be getting worse as result of his poor decision making. Also, fantastic response by Cameron to Brown's jibes at Ken Clarke." Sophie Freestone, Warwickshire
"The way some of the Labour ministers are holding their heads in their hands and frowning with embarrassment, it would appear they agree with David Cameron as well."Catherine, Oxford
"Once again some substance from Mr Brown and a bunch of disappointing reactionary comments from David Cameron. The PM couldn't have put it better when he told the Conservatives to grow up. They are looking weaker and weaker, and I don't believe for a second that this country wouldn't be in a worse position if they had been running the economy." Colin Lindsay, Glasgow
"It never ceases to amaze me how much both sides evade talking answering the pertinent questions we need answers to and instead score points off each other like children." Shelley, London
"I totally agree with David Cameron, Gordon Brown is the only person who thinks that Gordon Brown is doing a good job." Wendy, Northampton