Obama Re-elected as US President

November 20, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. term (n.) 
[turm– a period of time assigned to a person in service
Example: The candidate served two terms in the senate before running as a president.

2. rival (n.) [rahy-vuhl– one who wants to defeat his enemy or opponent
Example: The contest between him and his rival was interesting.

3. interracial (adj.) [in-ter-rey-shuhl– involving different races
Example: Olympic Games promote healthy competition between interracial groups.

4. accusation (n.) [ak-yoo-zey-shuhn] – the act of saying someone did something wrong
Example: He proved that his cheating accusations in the elections were false. 

5. ideology (n.) [ahy-dee-ol-uh-jee, id-ee-] – a collection of beliefs and principles of an individual, a group, or a particular society
Example: People most often vote for politicians who have the same ideology as they.

Read the text below.

Four years ago, Barack Obama became the first African-American president of the United States. He recently made history again for being the first black president elected to a second term.

This year’s election was more difficult for Obama than the election in 2008. Unlike Obama’s opponent back then, this year’s opponent, Governor Mitt Romney, was a stronger rival.

Sociologist Shayne Lee from the University of Houston added that four years ago, the US was suffering from wars and bad economy. Americans at that time were more excited for change and about the idea of a black president.

But this year’s election was different. Americans still chose a black president even under a better economy and with Romney as a strong candidate.

According to Van Jones, a CNN contributor, Obama’s second victory was made possible by the support of populations in America who felt unfairly treated before, such as blacks and Latinos. Jones said they have stepped up and have become more confident after Obama’s first victory.

Lee believes that for his second term, Obama may make policies that strengthen interracial relationships. Obama avoided such issues in his first term to prevent accusations of favoring one race, and many African-Americans criticized him for it.

But Jeffrey Alexander, a sociologist from Yale University, said Obama’s challenge is not so much about race. Obama’s second victory proved American citizens accept his message and ideas, regardless of the color of his skin. Alexander said that with his re-election, Obama now has the chance to be remembered not for his identity but for his ideologies.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think the race of a leader or a politician is important? Why or why not?
·         What qualities or ideologies should a leader have?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people dislike those who are of another race, culture or nationality?
·         How can people learn to be more accepting of another person’s race, culture or nationality?


November 20, 2012