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离开白宫后,米歇尔·奥巴马将如何发声

更新时间:2017-1-11 11:33:07 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Which Michelle Obama Will We Get When She Leaves the White House?
离开白宫后,米歇尔·奥巴马将如何发声

On Jan. 20, Michelle Obama will hand her home over to a man who rose to power in part by spreading lies about her husband and intends to pulverize much of his work. If presidential tradition and her own recent conduct are any guide, she will carry herself through inauguration morning with quiet calm and few hints of what she is really thinking. After Donald J. Trump recites the oath of office, a helicopter — no longer called Marine One, because the president will not be on board — will lift the Obamas into new lives.

1月20日,米歇尔·奥巴马(Michelle Obama)将把自己的家移交给一个一定程度上是靠散播关于她丈夫的谣言上台、还有意毁掉她丈夫的很多工作成果的男人。如果根据白宫的传统和她近日的言行来判断,那她应该会安静平和地度过举行就职典礼的那个上午,外人很难看出她心里在想什么。唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)宣誓就职后,一架直升机——它将不再叫做海军陆战队一号(Marine One),由于飞机上没有总统——将载着奥巴马夫妇奔赴新生活。

Soon after, Michelle Obama will have a choice to make: Should she start — or rather, resume — speaking in public with her fuller voice?

不久之后,米歇尔·奥巴马将做出一个选择:她是否应该开始——或者说继续——在公开场合发出更响亮的声音。

When her husband became the 2008 Democratic nominee for president, Mrs. Obama edited herself. She had to, in the face of unceasing Republican attacks and then the challenge of being the first African-American first lady. Her statements were authentic but limited. She called herself the “mom in chief” and charmed late-night TV hosts in clips that exploded the next day on social media. Sometimes she spoke as much with her body as her voice, hula-hooping and hopscotching with children, turning appearances into marathon hugging sessions. She became a specialist in light jokes, as she demonstrated in September, when she went on a shopping expedition with Ellen DeGeneres to CVS. “Wine in a box! How does this work?” she asked in mock wonder.

当她的丈夫在2008年获得民主党总统候选人提名的时候,奥巴马夫人修正了自己的言行。面对共和党人持续不断的攻击以及后来的当好美国第一位非裔第一夫人的挑战,她必须如此。她的言辞恳切但却颇为克制。她管自己叫“老妈总司令”,并在深夜电视节目中让主持人为她倾倒,相关视频片段第二天总能引爆社交网络。有时候她通过身体的表达和她的话语一样重要,她跟孩子们一起转呼啦圈、玩跳房子游戏,而且不管出席任何活动,都会不停地和人拥抱。她成了一个擅长讲清淡笑话的人,去年9月份和艾伦·德杰尼勒斯(Ellen DeGeneres)一起踏上CVS购物之旅时,她就展示了这一特长。“盒子里的葡萄酒!这怎么喝啊?”她问,装作很好奇的样子。

She took on issues that were vital but hard to disagree with: She was pro-veteran, anti-childhood obesity. The approach worked brilliantly, protecting and elevating her, putting her as far above reproach as anyone in the mosh pit of American politics can hope to be. The less explicitly political she sounded, the more political influence she wielded, in convention speeches and other key moments.

她着手的是一些至关重要却又不会产生争议的问题:她支持退伍军人,反对儿童肥胖。这种路线行之有效,不但保护了她,还提升了她的形象,让她处在一种无可指摘的位置上,令所有在美国政坛打拼的人都难以企及。她言谈间的政治意味越不明确,她在大会演讲及其他关键时刻就越是能发挥自己的政治影响力。

This approach carried a price: It did not capture the true depth, originality and directness of Michelle Obama.

走这种路线是有代价的:它不能呈现米歇尔·奥巴马内心真正的深度,也不能呈现她的独特和直接。

In a 2008 interview with The Times, she recalled her years of leading young people through sometimes-painful conversations about race, and made the case for being forthright. “I hate diversity workshops,” she said. “Real change comes from having enough comfort to be really honest and say something very uncomfortable,” she said.

在2008年接受时报采访时,她回忆了那些和年轻人讨论种族问题的岁月,有时候那些谈话会非常痛苦,她还解释了应该坦诚做人的理由。“我讨厌探讨多元化的研讨会,”她说。“真正的改变来自于可以自在地做一个真正诚实的人,说出某些让人非常不自在的事情,”她说。

Does Michelle Obama still believe that? In Donald Trump’s America, the hunger among Democrats for her to speak out will be enormous. But she knows better than anyone what that could cost her.

米歇尔·奥巴马现在还如此认为吗?在唐纳德·特朗普领导下的美国,民主党人将极为迫切地期盼她站出来大声疾呼。但她比任何人都清楚,那会让她付出怎样的代价。

The Michelle Obama whom friends, family and aides know, whom many Chicagoans remember, is an incisive social critic, a lawyer who can drive home an argument, a source of fresh observations and pointed commentary. Long before she arrived at the White House, she had formed her own worldview, based on a life full of dramatic changes and contrasts.

朋友、家人和助手所了解的那个米歇尔·奥巴马,被很多芝加哥人铭记在心的那个米歇尔·奥巴马,是一位敏锐的社会批评家,一位能够清楚地阐明论点、给出新鲜视角以及尖锐评论的律师。步入白宫很久之前,她已经在一段充满曲折与反差的人生基础上,形成了自己的世界观。

When she attended Princeton, one of her roommates moved out rather than live with a black girl; one of her aunts, as it happened, worked as a maid in town. Her father was a Chicago water worker, part of the vast municipal work force. Later she worked in the mayor’s office, seeing city government from a much different height. Though she attended Harvard Law School and worked at a top firm, the job that seemed most formative involved public-service training for young people of disparate backgrounds: University of Chicago alumni alongside veterans of housing projects and gangs. She was influenced by others, including her brainy dreamer of a husband, but she fused these experiences into her own point of view and a distinctive voice: warm, skeptical, funny, blunt.

当她进入普林斯顿大学(Princeton)的时候,一名室友搬出了寝室,因为不愿意和黑人女孩住在一起;她的一个姑姑碰巧在城里当女佣。她父亲则是芝加哥的一名自来水工人,庞大的市政劳动大军中的一员。后来她曾任职于市长办公室,得以在一个极为不同的高度观察市政府。虽然她上了哈佛大学法学院(Harvard Law School)并进入了一家顶级律所,但与其性格形成有着最密切关联的工作,是对背景各不相同的年轻人进行公益培训,其中包括芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)的校友,以及住公屋的退伍军人和帮派人物。她受到了其他人,包括她那位有头脑的梦想家丈夫的影响,但她把这些经验融合起来,形成了属于自己的观点,以及一种独特的声音:温暖、多疑、有趣、坦率。

She questioned why power was locked up in political dynasties. When she worked at the University of Chicago, she pointed out the institution’s isolation amid the black South Side. A professor, Cathy Cohen, remembers Mrs. Obama telling her, “I grew up not far from here and the university never once reached out to me.” Old colleagues there, and in other jobs, too, say Mrs. Obama’s ability to talk frankly about difficult issues, like performing medical trials on poor black Chicagoans, was one of her strengths.

她质疑过权力为什么会被政治豪门把持。在芝加哥大学工作时,她指出该校是黑人聚居的南区内的孤岛。凯西·科恩(Cathy Cohen)教授记得奥巴马跟自己说过,“我在离这里不远的地方长大,但这所大学从未向我招手过。”那里以及其地方的旧同事也表示,她的一个长处是能够直言不讳地谈论某些困难的议题,比如拿芝加哥的贫困黑人做医学实验。

She had a penchant for defying what others expected her to say or think. In interviews, she shredded the script of the dutiful helpmeet. “What I notice about men, all men, is that their order is me, my family, God is in there somewhere, but me is first,” she told The Chicago Tribune in 2004 when her husband was running for United States Senate. “And for women, me is fourth, and that’s not healthy.”

她喜欢表达出乎别人预料的言论或想法。在采访中,她撕碎了关于尽职尽责的贤内助的脚本。“我注意到,在所有男人眼里,最重要的是自己,其次是家庭,上帝排在第几不一定,但自己总归是第一位的,”她在2004年告诉《芝加哥论坛报》(The Chicago Tribune),当时她丈夫正竞选联邦参议员。“但女人一般将自己排在第四位,这是不健康的。”

In interviews, longtime aides to the Obamas said that she does not yet know exactly how she wants to sound as a former first lady, that she has been focused on tying up her eight years in the White House as smoothly as possible. Mrs. Obama will be 53 when she leaves the White House, and her goal, friends and aides say, is to look at her life afresh.

辅佐奥巴马夫妇多年的助手接受采访时说,她还不是非常清楚自己在成为前第一夫人以后想要如何发声,她的注意力一直放在如何顺顺利利地结束自己的八年白宫生活上。离开白宫时她将是53岁,朋友和助手们说,她的目标是重新审视自己的生活。

Some of those aides make a powerful case that even as Michelle Obama is likely to be spending time writing a memoir and giving speeches, she will be most effective if she sticks to the calibrated tone she has employed for her husband’s two terms. She has always admired Laura Bush’s restrained approach, they say. Mrs. Obama never longed for a particularly public life and does not relish the fray. Leaving the spotlight could be a relief, as it was for Mrs. Bush: “After nearly eight years of hypervigilance, of watching for the next danger or tragedy that might be coming, I could at last exhale; I could simply be,” she said of leaving the White House in her 2010 memoir.

其中一些助手有力地证明,虽然米歇尔·奥巴马有可能花时间写回忆录或者发表演讲,但如果能把她在丈夫两届任期内所采用的那种精心调校过的行事风格坚持下去,必定事半功倍。他们说,她一直都很钦慕劳拉·布什(Laura Bush)的克制风格。奥巴马夫人从不渴望过一种格外公开化的生活,也不喜欢其间的吵闹喧嚣。离开聚光灯可能是一种解脱,对布什夫人也是这样——“将近八年来我一直提心吊胆,时时关注或许即将到来的下一个危险或悲剧,现在终于可以长出一口气;可以简简单单地生活了,”在2010年的回忆录中,她这样谈及离开白宫时的感受。

Besides, the best way for Mrs. Obama to preserve her popularity and authority may be to hold back, to avoid jeopardizing what she has worked to build. Even when she is bathed in public admiration, she is the target of revolting attacks — a prominent Trump supporter recently insinuated she was a male ape — and speaking out more could provoke worse. As first lady, she used hints, invitations, art, sometimes even clothing to convey her viewpoint. If she mostly avoided controversial topics, her mere presence spoke volumes, and was there really any mistaking the fundamentals of what she believed?

此外,奥巴马夫人保有其名望和权威的最好方式或许是回避,以免破坏她一直以来费力塑造的东西。即便现在深受公众爱戴,她依然承受着令人作呕的攻击——特朗普的一个著名支持者最近暗讽她是一只雄性猩猩——而直言不讳有可能招致更糟糕的攻击。作为第一夫人,她曾利用暗示、邀请函、艺术,有时甚至是衣着来传递自己的观点。也许她基本回避了争议性话题,但单是她的存在就深具意义,而且,还有会人看不清她所秉持的基本原则是什么吗?

On Friday morning, Mrs. Obama’s eyes glossed as she gave her final remarks as first lady. She exhorted young people to educate themselves and “build a country worthy of your boundless promise” — an uplifting message that included a subtle critique.

周五早上,米歇尔·奥巴马最后一次以第一夫人的身份演讲,眼中散发着光彩。她劝诫年轻人接受教育,“建设一个值得你寄予无限希望的国家”——这话虽然鼓舞人心,但却包含着微妙的批评之意。

But others who know her predict that with time, Mrs. Obama will find a new voice. Both Obamas, two of the few unifying figures in a fractured Democratic Party, will face enormous pressure to help oppose and rebuild. For years, she has mostly bottled up her critiques of Republicans, but they are scorching, say those who have heard the private version. Some Democrats dream of her running for president in 2020, and though Mrs. Obama and those close to her say the idea is out of the question, the general appetite to hear from her may not be as easy for her to dismiss.

但了解奥巴马的人预言,她将找到一种新的声音。奥巴马夫妇是支离破碎的民主党阵营中少有的能把让大家团结一心的人物,他们将面临巨大压力,敦促他们帮助抗争和重建。多年来,她基本把对共和党人的批评憋在了心里,但据私下里听过的人说,那些评语非常尖刻。某些民主党人梦想着她能在2020年竞选总统,尽管奥巴马夫人和接近她的人说这件事不在考虑范围内,但有太多人希望听到她的声音,这是她很难置之不理的。

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