Gary Younge says that the distance between the aspirations Barack Obama raised and his record a year on is the distinction between the electoral and the political. Now he must move beyond lofty rhetoric to make a real difference.
2. Gordon Brown's election strategy is doomed, but you have to admire the cheek of it (Daily Telegraph)
The PM's bare-faced efforts to scare Mondeo Man away from the Tories will make this a roller-coaster election, says Matthew d'Ancona, discussing Brown's speech at the Fabian New Year Conference.
3. Don't blame the Haitians for doubting US promises (Independent)
Isabel Hilton asks whether the fate of this quake-ravaged nation will once again be decided by outsiders, and looks at its history to understand the context.
4. Fear of the poor is hampering Haiti rescue (Times)
Meanwhile, at the Times, Linda Polman argues that one reason aid is taking so long to get to those in need is that American views rule amid the rubble of Port-au-Prince.
5. Flu, fear and floods: how to avoid excessive precaution (Financial Times)
Money spent on preparing for disasters that do not occur -- or have a lower impact than anticipated -- is not all wasted, say Andrew Jack and Clive Cookson.
Julian Glover looks at the British poll, saying that the possibility of error in tracking voting intentions is increased by a spiral of silence. Labour shouldn't write off the election yet.
7. Put happiness on the election agenda (Independent)
We should consider the effect of policies on people's well-being, says Geoff Mulgan of the Young Foundation, citing research showing that public policy which considers happiness is much more effective.
8. They know it's all over bar the shouting (Times)
William Rees-Mogg discusses a new, critical report by the Institute for Government. After 13 years of personal infighting, even this academic study says, No 10 is out of control.
Over at the Guardian, Jackie Ashley largely agrees. She says there are late signs of life, but years of infighting have drained Labour of the energy, ingenuity and imagination to rule.
10. A tale of two types of city (Independent)
The Independent's leading article discusses the widening economic gap between different conurbations in the UK.