This is IN THE NEWS in
VOA Special English.
Elections in the United
States are now less than two months away.
The political conventions are over,
and campaigning will intensify, especially in "battleground states."
These are states where the close race between Republican John McCain and
Democrat Barack Obama is too close to predict.
convention closed Thursday in Saint Paul, Minnesota, after John McCain accepted
his party's nomination. He sought the
nomination once before, in two thousand, but lost to George W. Bush.
JOHN McCAIN: "Let
me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first,
country-second Washington crowd: change is coming."
In his acceptance
speech, the Arizona senator said he works for no party or special interest but
for the country.
JOHN McCAIN: "I
will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I
have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not."
John McCain said he
would keep taxes low, open new export markets, cut government spending and
increase American energy production. He noted that he fought for more troops in
Iraq when it was not politically popular. And the former Navy pilot talked
about his five and a half years as a prisoner during the war in Vietnam.
JOHN McCAIN: "I
fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's."
Senator McCain, at
seventy-two, would be America's oldest first-term president.
He said he will fight
for the Republican Party to regain the trust of the American people. "We
were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us," he
said. He also had a message for Obama supporters: "Despite our
differences, more unites us than divides us."
Nielsen Media Research
estimated that almost thirty-nine million people in the United States watched
John McCain's acceptance speech on TV. That broke the convention record set by
Barack Obama last week by a half-million viewers. Nielsen says more than
thirty-seven million watched John McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah
Palin, accept her nomination.
In fact, much of the
attention this week went to the surprise choice for vice president. She is only
the second woman to be on the presidential ballot of a major party, and the
first for the Republicans.
But on Monday she also
set off a media storm in reaction to claims made by liberal bloggers. She
released a statement that her seventeen-year-old daughter is pregnant and will
marry her boyfriend.
Sarah Palin has been
Alaska's governor for less than two years. Earlier, she was mayor of the town
of Wasilla for six years.
SARAH PALIN: "I
guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you
have actual responsibilities."
Another speaker, Rudy
Giuliani, also joked about community organizers. Barack Obama was an organizer
in poor communities in Chicago after college. The Obama campaign said the
comments insulted an idea found throughout American history.
In the coming weeks, the
two presidential candidates will hold three debates. And Governor Palin will
debate Barack Obama's running mate, Senator Joe Biden, on October second. The
election is November fourth.
And that's IN THE NEWS
in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. For more campaign stories, go
to voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.