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经济学人: 拜登--平平无奇的总统小天才(1)

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Books & arts

文艺板块

Johnson

约翰逊专栏

Average Joe

普通人乔·拜登

The president-elect lacks a silver tongue and makes for poor TV. That may be an asset

这位当选总统没有流利的口才,电视表现也不佳。但这可能恰恰是他的可贵之处。

During the Obama years, the Onion, a satirical online newspaper, carried a series of articles about a man it referred to as “Diamond Joe” and “The President of Vice”. It featured headlines like “Shirtless Biden Washes Trans Am in White House Driveway” and “Biden Huddling With Closest Advisers on Whether to Spend 200 Bucks on Scorpions Tickets”.

在奥巴马执政期间,讽刺性的网络报纸《洋葱报》刊登了一系列关于乔·拜登的文章,并在文中称他为“钻石乔”和“邪恶的副总统”。它曾发表了多个相关头条新闻,比如“赤裸上身的拜登在白宫车道清洗Trans Am跑车”、“拜登和最亲密的顾问秘密讨论是否要花200美元去看蝎子乐队”。

The real Joe Biden, then vice-president, was a teetotaling and avuncular elder statesman, not a hair-metal-loving party animal. But the caricature of him as a regular guy drew on an element of truth. The now-president-elect, the son of a second-hand-car salesman, will be the first president since Ronald Reagan to lack an Ivy League degree, having finished near the bottom of his class at both the University of Delaware and Syracuse University’s law school.

而真正的乔·拜登,也就是当时的副总统,是一位滴酒不沾的慈祥政界元老,决不是一个喜欢微金属摇滚的派对达人。但讽刺漫画中将他描绘成一个普通人确实有理有据。当前的这位总统当选人是二手车销售员的儿子,他将是继罗纳德·里根以来第一位没有常春藤大学学位的总统,而且他在特拉华大学和雪城大学法学院的成绩都接近全班倒数。

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And this is reflected in his use of language. In his speech, he is such an everyman as to defy parody. “Saturday Night Live”, which has featured impersonators for every president since Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford, has yet to settle on a memorable Joe Biden. Forced to name Bidenisms, you might single out “malarkey”, his favoured disparagement for humbug, or “Here’s the deal”, to signal that he’s about to cut the malarkey. His favourite vocative is the folksy “Folks...”. In his first debate with Donald Trump, perhaps the most arresting thing he said was (to his constantly interrupting opponent) “Keep yappin’, man.”

他的平凡反映在他的语言运用上。他在演讲时完全就是一个平平无奇的普通人,根本无法进行模仿。自雪佛兰·蔡斯模仿杰拉尔德·福特之后,《周六夜现场》一直在节目中模仿美国历任总统,但他们至今还未成功地模仿大名鼎鼎的乔·拜登。如果一定要说出拜登的经典语录,你可能会挑出“一派胡言”,这是他在贬抑骗子时最喜欢说的词。或者你会挑出“你看这样行不行”,这句话标志着拜登打算打断骗子的胡言乱语了。他最喜欢用的称呼语是“伙计们……”,这个称呼听起来比较随和。在他与唐纳德·特朗普的第一次辩论中,也许他说的最引人注意的的话是(对不断打断自己的对手说)“继续叫,伙计。”

He is, it is true, known for gaffes, though these are often overstated. Competing with Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2007-08, Mr Biden praised his future boss as “the first mainstream African-American” to run for the presidency, “who is articulate and bright and clean”. (A gap before “who” made clear that he did not mean previous African- American candidates lacked cleanliness, just that they had been less “mainstream”.) While vice-president, he stood just a bit too close to a microphone as he said “This is a big fucking deal” into Mr Obama’s ear at the signing ceremony for their health-care reform. He once asked a wheelchair-bound state senator to stand and be recognised.

尽管这些说法常常言过其实,但拜登的确以失态闻名。拜登在2007-08年与巴拉克·奥巴马争夺民主党提名时称赞他未来的老板是“首位竞选美国总统的主流非裔美国人”,“他口齿清晰、聪明伶俐、正派公平”。(“他”之前的停顿明确表示,自己并不是说以前的非洲裔美国候选人不够正派,只是说他们不太“主流”。)担任副总统时,他在医改方案的签字仪式上对奥巴马耳语,“这真是一件该死的大事”,但他站的地方离麦克风太近,以至于所有人都听到了。他还曾经要求一位坐在轮椅上的州参议员站起来发言。

These bloopers give the impression of a mouth running faster than a brain. Mr Obama was famous for long, thoughtful pauses; not so Mr Biden. His campaign speeches, like his questions as a longtime Senate committee chairman, tended to ramble. He once mystifyingly called a young student who asked a tough question a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier”. Accused of corruption by a voter in Iowa, a bit of hotheaded “Diamond Joe” came out: he called the man a “damn liar” and challenged him to a press-up contest. And he mused that, were they in high school, he would “beat the hell” out of Mr Trump.

这些洋相给人的印象就是拜登动脑之前先动嘴。奥巴马以讲话时长时间的深思熟虑的停顿而闻名,而拜登则不然。他的竞选演说,就像任参议院常任委员会主席时提出的问题一样,漫无目的。曾经有一位年轻的学生问了一个棘手的问题,拜登竟阴阳怪气地称呼她是“撒谎的狗脸小马士兵”。爱荷华州的一位选民指控其子贪污腐败时,性急的“钻石乔”出现了:他称这名男子是“死骗子”,并向他发起俯卧撑挑战。他还曾沉思自语,如果他们是在高中,他会把特朗普“打得屁滚尿流”。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
constantly ['kɔnstəntli]

想一想再看

adv. 不断地,经常地

 
ramble ['ræmbl]

想一想再看

v. 漫步,漫谈,漫游 n. 漫步,闲谈,蔓延

联想记忆
senator ['senətə]

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n. 参议员

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corruption [kə'rʌpʃən]

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n. 腐败,堕落,贪污

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opponent [ə'pəunənt]

想一想再看

n. 对手,敌手,反对者
adj. 敌对的,反

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memorable ['memərəbl]

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adj. 值得纪念的,难忘的

 
beat [bi:t]

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v. 打败,战胜,打,敲打,跳动
n. 敲打,

 
impression [im'preʃən]

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n. 印象,效果

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reform [ri'fɔ:m]

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v. 改革,改造,革新
n. 改革,改良

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arresting [ə'restiŋ]

想一想再看

adj. 引人注意的;醒目的,有趣的 v. 逮捕(arr

 


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