(see below the text for explanations of the phrasal verbs and other words in bold) Barack Obama enjoys crack John F Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and now Barack Obama are all famous for enjoying ‘crack’ – Not the cocaine based drug, but the legendary “craic” which means ‘fun, entertainment and enjoyable conversation’ (but pronounced ‘crack’  /kræk/ ) which is very closely identified with Irish culture. Barack Obama touched down in Ireland today to begin a European Tour to kick start his 2012 re-election campaign. Obama has traced his ancestry back to the Emerald Isle (the poetic name for Ireland due to its green countryside) like so many other Americans, including JFK and Reagan before him. In fact, in 2008, 36,278,332 US citizens claimed to be descended from poor Irish immigrants. That’s a whopping 11.9% of the population of the USA! So, as Obama pays a flying visit to Ireland today, he will be looking to secure the votes of this huge voting block in next year’s presidential election. He will start off his 24 hour trip by planting a tree and will be ticking off lots of other duties reserved for visiting dignitaries, like holding talks with the Taoisearch, Enda Kenny. However, probably the most important thing he will do in terms of PR for the people back home is when he will turn up in the small village of Moneygall in the centre of Ireland, where his great-great-great grandfather emigrated from in 1850 to start out on a new life in the USA. No doubt that tomorrow you will see pictures all around the world of Barack Obama taking a sip of Guinness in the local pub in Moneygall. The Queen failed to drink Guinness last week on her trip to Ireland, yet she still popped up in 11,629 articles in the global press. Surely Obama will be photographed gulping down ‘the black stuff’ and set alight Ireland’s tourist industry in one fell swoop. After the President’s plane, ‘Air Force One’ takes off from Ireland, Obama will be looking for more photo opportunities as he calls on Prime Minister, David Cameron in London, where both politicians will undoubtedly spell out the special relationship that exists between the 2 countries. But for the next 24 hours at least, the President will be known to his long-lost Irish ‘cousins’ as, O’Bama.


kick start
to start sth
touched down
to land in an aeroplane
flying visit
a short visit
start off
to start
ticking off
to complete sth that needs doing
important people, usually politicians or royalty…VIPs
the Irish political leader, like The President (USA) or The Prime Minister (UK)
Public Relations
turn up
to appear unexpectedly/to visit
start out
to begin the first steps in a life or career
taking a sip
to have a small amount of a drink
popped up
to appear
gulping down
to drink a lot (the opposite of ‘to take a sip’)
set alight
to be a huge boost/advantage for
one fell swoop
to do sth suddenly in one single action
takes off
when an aeroplane starts to fly at the beginning of its journey
looking for
calls on
to visit
spell out
to explain or describe sth clearly

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