Presidential Elections

Vocabulary in Conversation

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   abandoning      ballot      campaign      cast      connections      debates      elect      to back      to run for President      vote   
Sharine: Tony, I have been hearing so much in the news about different presidential candidates. Can you tell me a little about how Americans their President?

Tony: Well, it's a long process. We start off by deciding who the official candidate for each political party will be. Usually, a person first announces that he or she wants . If you want to be your party's official candidate, you need to raise money and gather support from party members. Candidates usually to let people know what they represent. They give speeches, meet with community leaders, and participate in . This process lasts for several months, and then the party members to decide who they want in the election.

Sharine: Do you have to be rich to become President?

Tony: You don't really have to be rich to become President, but it helps. Usually rich people have more and can raise money more effectively. Most of our Presidents in the past have been relatively rich men, but not all of them.

Sharine: So, how do you make the final decision?

Tony: After several months of television ads, interviews, speeches, and kissing babies, we have the presidential election. Citizens go to a voting center and their for the candidate of their choice.

Sharine: You sounded a little cynical when you said "kissing babies." What did you mean by that?

Tony: Well, it's quite common for politicians to have themselves photographed kissing babies. It's their way of trying to appear in touch with the average American, but it looks really phony. These days, becoming President is all about acting. The candidates try to appeal to so many different people that they end up their own opinions. Sometimes, it feels like the parties are all the same.

Sharine: How many parties are there?

Tony: We have many political parties in the United States, but most of them are quite small. There are really only two with significant power, the Democrats and the Republicans.
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