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我眼中的美国总统——托尼•布莱尔谈克林顿、布什和奥巴马 On Clinton, Bush and Obama(2)

of the world’s most powerful country, he was tasked with making sense of that change and dealing with it. I asked him if he was nervous. “No, not really,” he replied. “I have a speech here, and the message is clear.” I marveled at it.
  George had great intuition. But his intuition was less about politics and more about what he thought was right or wrong. This wasn’t expressed analytically or intellectually. It was just stated. At times I would find this puzzling, even alarming. I would be at a press conference with the President, in the epicenter10) of those world-changing events, and I would think, George, explain it; don’t just say it.
George Bush  However, over time, and more even in retrospect as events have continued to unfold after I left office, I have come to admire the simplicity, the directness, almost the boldness of George, finding in it strength and integrity. Sometimes, in the very process of reasoning, we lose sight of the need for a destination, for finding the way out of the labyrinth11) to solid ground that stands the test not of a few weeks, months or even a year or two, but of the vastness of the judgment of history.



  On Barack Obama    巴拉克·奥巴马
  Then there is Barack Obama, who stepped into the aftermath12) of the financial crisis and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And as if that weren’t enough, he faces the challenges of avoiding a double-dip recession13) and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear-weapons capability. As ever, with a new leader, the political character cannot be fully formed or comprehended immediately but happens over time. The personal character, however, is clear: this is a man with steel in every part of him. The expectation of his presidency was beyond exaggeration. The criticism is now exaggerated. He has remained the same throughout. And believe me, that is hard to do.
Barack Obama   I think I understand what the new President is trying to do. He is less opposed to some of the aims of the previous President than is supposed. He is under no illusions as to14) the scale of the economic or security challenge and, in his own way, every bit as tough as George. He is trying to shape a different policy to meet these aims, avoiding market excesses in economics and the alienation of America from its allies, potential or actual, in meeting the security challenge.

  继布什之后执掌乾坤的是巴拉克·奥巴马,他入主白宫之时,正值金融危机以及伊拉克和阿富汗战争余波未平之际。而仿佛这些考验不够焦头烂额似的,他还面临着避免经济二次衰退和遏制伊朗获取核武器制造能力的挑战。同往常一样,当一个新的领导人上台时,他的政治品质不可能立即得以充分塑造或获得广泛理解,这需要时间的积淀。然而,他的个人品质却彰显无遗:这是个充满着钢铁意志的男人。人们对于他上台执政寄予很高的期待,这样的期待并非是 无道理的夸大。而时下对他的批评则的确是被夸大了。其实一直以来,他始终如一。相信我,这一点很难做到。
  1. vantage [5vB:ntIdV] n. 优势,有利情况
  2. rapport [rA5pC:] n. 和谐,亲善
  3. shoot the breeze: 闲谈,吹牛
  4. a sprinkling of:少量,一点儿
  5. resilience [rI5zIlIEns] n. 复原力,(活力、精神等的)恢复力;适应力
  6. 这里是指1998年克林顿因与白宫的女秘书莱温斯基有不正当关系而遭到的弹劾。impeachment [Im5pi:tFmEnt] n. 弹劾
  7. caliber [5kAlIbE(r)] n. 才干
  8. ludicrous [5lju:dIkrEs] adj. 滑稽的,可笑的,荒谬的
  9. stumble into:无意中卷入,偶尔走入
  10. epicenter [5epIsentE(r)] n. 震中,中心
  11. labyrinth [5lAbErInW] n. 迷宫,错综复杂
  12. aftermath [5B:ftEmAW] n. 结果,后果
  13. double-dip recession:双下沉衰退,也称为“W型衰退”。它是经济衰退的形态之一,指的是经济出现衰退后,出现一个短暂的回升,而后很快又出现衰退的情况。
  14. be under no illusion as to:对……不存幻想

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