stupid dog leads clever sheep flock, such a world
作者：laiyinhate_xie 提交日期：2008-2-20 10:10:00 | 分类:E文 | 访问量：638
But could he deliver?
Feb 14th 2008
From The Economist print edition
It is time for America to evaluate Obama the potential president, not Obama the phenomenon
THIS has been an extraordinary week for the man who could become America's first black president.
Barack Obama has now won all eight of the primaries and caucuses held since Super Tuesday on
February 5th, which ended, more or less, in a dead heat with Hillary Clinton. He has won by much larger
margins than most people expected, trouncing his rival not just in heavily black states, such as
Louisiana, but in ones that are almost completely white, such as Maine. On February 12th he took all
three prizes in the “Potomac primary”—Washington, DC, Maryland and, by a socking 29-point margin,
对于这位先生，这是一个不同寻常的周。他可能成为美国第一任黑人总统。从2月5日的超级星期二以来，Barack Obama已经赢得了所有8个初选以及预备会议（primaries and caucuses）。这个结果几乎可以终结之前希拉里与他势均力敌的态势。他已经取得了比大多数人所预计的更大优势，痛击他的对手不止在黑人聚居的州（例如路易斯安那），而且在差不多都是白人的州---缅因州。在2月12日，他在“Potomac primary”连续获得3个州的胜利---华盛顿特区，马里兰州和超过29个点优势获得的弗吉尼亚州。
Mr Obama now has more pledged delegates than his rival—and he is likely to remain the front-runner for
at least another three weeks (see article). Revealingly, Mrs Clinton made her Virginian concession speech
from Texas—a state which votes alongside Ohio on March 4th and is already being billed as her last
stand. Mr Obama is raising money at the rate of $1m a day, twice as fast as she is; indeed, she has been
forced to lend her campaign $5m of her own cash and fire the two people who run her campaign
(although her husband has a big say).
Whatever happens, Mr Obama is already that rare thing—a political phenomenon. It is not just that he
has managed to survive the Clintons' crude onslaught with grace. He has persuaded huge numbers of
people around the world to reconsider politics in an optimistic way. To many Americans, a black man who
eschews both racial politics and the conservative-liberal divide is a chance to heal the country's two
deepest divisions. To many foreigners, he represents an idealistic version of America—the hope of a more
benevolent superpower. Although Mr Obama's slogan “Yes We Can” has been turned into a pop video,
the theme of his campaign echoes the Clintons' old tune—“Don't stop thinking about tomorrow”.
Optimism is a powerful emotion, but as that song warned, “tomorrow will soon be here.” That is why the
real questioning of Mr Obama should begin now. With the brief exception of those four heady days after
the Iowa caucuses, he has never been a front-runner; now he will be more fully scrutinised. The
immediate focus will be on the horse race: can he win? But the bigger issue, which has so far occupied
too little attention, is this: what would a President Obama, as opposed to Phenomenon Obama, really
mean for America and the world?
不管怎样，奥巴马已经是很少见的人物了--一个政治事件。不仅仅在于他能够优雅地从克林顿家族粗鲁的进攻下幸存。他已经劝说全世界大量的人以积极的方式重新考虑政治。对于许多美国人，一个黑人，他避开了种族政治以及保守和自由主义的划分，现在是时候去治愈这两个最深的分歧了。对于许多外国人，他代表着美国梦---一个更具亲和力的超级力量。虽然奥巴马的口号“是的，我们能“已经变成了流行视频，但他竞选的主题附和着克林顿家族的老调---“不要停止思考未来“。乐观主义是一种强有力的感情，但正如歌里所警告的，“明天将很快来到。“ 这是现在奥巴马应该接受考验的原因。Iowa caucuses完4天短暂的例外后，他从来没成为过领跑者。现在他将接受更全面的细查。最直接的关注将在这个“赛马场“上：他能赢么？但更大的问题是，人们很少注意到：一个奥巴马总统，而不是奥巴马现象，对于美国和全世界来说意味着什么？
Yes, you can; but not immediately
Begin with the horse race. Mrs Clinton is in a bad way—and deservedly so. The Clintons have fought a
leaden and nasty campaign; at present, the prospect of a “Billary presidency” (even before you take into
account the dynastic Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton aspect) is hardly enthralling. But Mrs Clinton is tough
and smart, and now her rival will be under the media microscope. In debates she trumps Mr Obama on
mastery of detail—and the race could well be a long, grinding one, perhaps decided in the end by the 796
“super delegates” from the Democratic Party's establishment. These people have tended to be loyal to
the Clintons—though many might defect if polls still showed Mr Obama doing better against John McCain.
Mr McCain, whose lock on the Republican nomination looks stronger than ever following his own triple**
victory in the Potomac primary, is another part of tomorrow ///Mr Obama's euphoric** supporters might think
about. The Republicans are a mess, and the elderly Arizonan senator has plainly failed to stir up his
party's supporters in the same way as either of the main Democrats. But Mr McCain is a brave man, with
huge experience of international affairs and a much longer record of reaching out to his opponents in
politics. Why should independent voters, who have often backed Mr McCain in the past, turn to the less
从“赛马“开始，克林顿夫人就跑在一条差道上（也应该如此）。克林顿家族一直搞着一场沉闷而且令人厌恶的竞选。目前，“比尔的总统任期“前景几乎不怎么光明（甚至在你没有考虑布什-克林顿-布什-克林顿王朝更替）。但克林顿夫人是相当的强硬和聪明，现在她的对手将在媒体的密切审视之下。在辩论中，她用精通细节的优势痛击了奥巴马， 这场竞选可能是一场长期而且难忍的选举，也许得等到最后才能被796个民主党“超级代表“决定出来。这些人一直对克林顿家族很忠诚---虽然，假如投票显示奥巴马比John McCain更出色，许多人可能变节。John McCain控制共和党的提名似乎更强于他接下来在Potomac primary的三次胜利。他是大喜过望的奥巴马支持者未来应该考虑的一部分。共和党人现在一团糟，这位老资格的亚利桑那州的参议员显然已不能像民主党人那样激发起支持者的热情了。但Mr McCain是一位勇敢的人。他有着很多国际事务的经验和更多的政治上向他的对手靠拢的记载。为什么独立投票人，以前支持Mr McCain，应该转向这个还未获政绩的人？
Of magnets and magic dust
That question is partly answered by Obama the phenomenon. His immediate effect on international
relations could be dramatic: a black president, partly brought up in a Muslim country, would transform
America's image. And his youthful optimism could work at home too. After the bitterness of the Bush
years, America needs a dose of unity: Mr Obama has a rare ability to deliver it. And the power of
charisma should not be underrated, especially in the context of the American presidency which is,
constitutionally, quite a weak office. The best presidents are like magnets below a piece of paper,
invisibly aligning iron filings into a new pattern of their making. Anyone can get experts to produce policy
papers. The trick is to forge consensus to get those policies enacted.
But what policies exactly? Mr Obama's voting record in the Senate is one of the most left-wing of any
Democrat. Even if he never voted for the Iraq war, his policy for dealing with that country now seems to
amount to little more than pulling out quickly, convening a peace conference, inviting the Iranians and
the Syrians along and hoping for the best. On the economy, his plans are more thought out, but he often
tells people only that they deserve more money and more opportunities. If one lesson from the wasted
Bush years is that needless division is bad, another is that incompetence is perhaps even worse. A man
who has never run any public body of any note is a risk, even if his campaign has been a model of
And the Obama phenomenon would not always be helpful, because it would raise expectations to undue
heights. Budgets do not magically cut themselves, even if both parties are in awe of the president; the
Middle East will not heal, just because a president's second name is Hussein. Choices will have to be
made—and foes created even when there is no intention to do so. Indeed, something like that has
already happened in his campaign. The post-racial candidate has ended up relying heavily on black votes
(and in some places even highlighting the divide between Latinos and blacks).
None of this is to take away from Mr Obama's achievement—or to imply that he could not rise to the
challenges of the job in hand. But there is a sense in which he has hitherto had to jump over a lower bar
than his main rivals have. For America's sake (and the world's), that bar should now be raised—or all
kinds of brutal disappointment could follow.