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Barack Obama: the Next American President?|巴拉克·奥巴马

Senator Barack Obama has made history by becoming the first African-American to secure the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. To win the Democratic nomination, Obama has endured a grueling1 battle with Senator Hillary Clinton. But in a recent announcement, the Clinton campaign says Hillary will“thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity.”
Obama’s victory is a true milestone. Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said Obama’s historic an achievement the United States can be proud of. “I think it speaks to the fact that, in America you really do get an opportunity to do anything, if you have the talent and ability and you work hard enough,” he added.“So, it’s bound to improve the American image abroad. I think it improves the American image internally. I think Americans feel better about their country knowing, whether they are for Obama or not, that someone with his background can be in a position to become president.”
At a time of economic uncertainty, an unpopular war in Iraq, and soaring2 gasoline prices, many Americans will be looking for change. Considering the ages of the candidates, with Obama, 47, and Republican John McCain, 71, the vote will also be about whether the country wants to usher3 in a new generation of leadership.

Early Years
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya. Barack’s mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas and then moved west to Hawaii.
It was there, at the University of Hawaii, where Barack’s parents met. His mother was a student there, and his father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams in America.
Barack’s father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.

The College Years
Remembering the values of empathy4 and service that his mother taught him, Barack put law school and corporate life on hold5 after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods.
The group had some success, but Barack had come to realize that in order to truly improve the lives of people in that community and other communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in laws and in politics.
He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law.

A Rising Political Star
Barack Obama, a Democratic newcomer, was sent to one of the Illinois’s two seats in the U.S. Senate in 2004. Obama’s landslide victory in Illinois was significant on several fronts. Firstly, he became the Senate’s only African American lawmaker when he was sworn into office in January 2005, and just the third black U.S. senator to serve there since the 1880s. Moreover, Obama’s political supporters came from a diverse range of racial and economic backgrounds, which is still relatively rare in American electoral politics.
It has been the rich and varied experiences of Barack Obama’s life—growing up in different places with people who had differing ideas—that have animated6 his political journey.
In the Illinois State Senate, this meant working with both Democrats and Republicans to help working families get ahead by creating programs like the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which in three years provided over $100 million in tax cuts to families across the state. He also pushed through an expansion of early childhood education.
In the U.S. Senate, he has focused on tackling the challenges of a globalized, 21st century world with fresh thinking and a politics. His first law was passed with Republican Tom Coburn, a measure to rebuild trust in government by allowing every American to go online and see how and where every dime of their tax dollars is spent. He has also been the lead voice in championing ethics reform.

Now Barack Obama has been transformed from a promising Democratic party candidate into a phenomenon.
So what is the secret to his appeal? Part of it is undoubtedly his ethnicity. Americans are waking up to the historic possibility that they may see a black president—not just within their lifetime, but within the year.
Obama’s main theme has been change—healing the polarized political culture in the US that has evolved over the last eight years.
In a country fighting an unpopular war and facing an economic downturn, 71 percent believe it is on the wrong track. Obama’s message of hope and change is clearly popular.
Obama would represent a break with the Bush years. He has been at pains to emphasize that he was against the Iraq war from the beginning and wants to bring the troops home. He would also change America’s policies on global warming and social security.
His stance8 on foreign policy is based around the idea of coalition9-building. In a recent speech, he talked about “sending a message to the rest of the world that you matter to us—we want to work with you”.
      Now the American media are likening Obama to John F. Kennedy, an optimist10 who lifted America’s spirits in 1960s. Like Kennedy, Obama would be a youthful president and come into the White House with young children.

参议员巴拉克·奥巴马创造了历史——他成为第一位获得美国主要政党之一——民主党总统候选人提名的非洲裔美国人。为了赢得民主党提名,奥巴马与参议员希拉里·克林顿经历了一场激战。但在最近,希拉里阵营宣布:希拉里 “感谢粉丝的支持,(她自己)将支持参议员奥巴马(竞选总统)、希望看到民主党团结。”
在这个经济存在不确定性的时代,在这个伊拉克战争不受欢迎的时代,在这个油价飙升的时代,许多美国人都在盼望变革。看看两位候选人的年龄吧——奥巴马(民主党) 47岁;麦凯恩(共和党) 71岁——就可以看出美国公民的投票将决定美国是否欢迎新一代领导。




在一个卷入一场不得人心战争、经济面临下滑的国度,71 %的美国人认为美国正运行在一条错误的轨道上。奥巴马传达的希望与变革自然大受欢迎。



1. grueling  adj. 严厉的,残酷的
2. soar  v. 狂涨
3. usher   v.(常与in连用)预报…的到来,宣告
4. empathy  n. 移情,同感
5. put sth. on hold 把…搁在一边
6. animate   v. 使有生气
7. mania   n. 狂热
8. stance  n. 立场
9. coalition  n. (政党等的)联合,联盟
10. optimist  n. 乐观主义者