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拜登团队无视退选呼声与质疑,坚持继续参选

SHANE GOLDMACHER

2024年7月2日

拜登总统在上周四辩论中的表现,引发了新一轮关于他是否应该继续竞选的质疑。 Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

For years, President Biden has had a ready retort for the naysayers who have questioned his facility and fitness to run for president again at age 81 and to serve until he is 86. “Watch me,” he has said.

多年来,拜登总统对那些质疑他是否有能力、是否适合以81岁高龄再次竞选总统并任职到86岁的反对者,一直有一个挂在嘴边的反驳。“看我的,”他说。

But in the days since tens of millions of Americans watched him fumble Thursday’s debate in real time, Mr. Biden has essentially adopted a new line: Trust me.

但自从数千万美国人观看了他在周四辩论直播中的笨拙表现后,拜登就完全采用了一个新说法:相信我。

“Folks,” he said at a New York fund-raiser the next night, “I would not be running again if I did not believe with all of my heart and soul that I can do this job.”

“各位,”第二天晚上他在纽约的一个筹款活动上说,“如果我不是充分相信自己能够胜任这份工作,我是不会再次参选的。”

It’s a cliché of political strategy that smart campaigns meet voters where they are. That typically means fashioning a strategy that taps into the public’s pre-existing feelings, rather than seeking to change how the electorate perceives matters.

政治策略的老生常谈是,聪明的竞选活动要迎合选民的需要。这通常意味着制定一种利用公众既有感受的策略,而不是寻求改变选民对事物的看法。

Yet the trouble for the president is that even on the eve of his faltering debate, a New York Times/Siena College poll showed that 69 percent of voters — and 55 percent of Biden voters — saw Mr. Biden as too old to be an effective president. It is not a new concern: Nearly two years ago, a strong majority of Democratic voters said they wanted a new standard-bearer.

然而,拜登总统的麻烦之处在于,在辩论失败的前夕,《纽约时报》和西恩纳学院所做的一项民调显示,69%的选民——以及55%的拜登支持者——认为拜登年纪太大,无法胜任总统的职位。这并非一个新问题:将近两年前,多数民主党选民表示,他们希望有一个新的旗手。

Now those persistent concerns from everyday Americans are being echoed publicly by many in the Democratic Party’s pundit class and privately by lawmakers, donors and strategists. They are worried about losing a 2024 campaign against former President Donald J. Trump, whom many view as an existential threat to the nation.

现在,这些来自普通美国人的持续担忧得到了许多民主党专家阶层的公开响应,也得到了立法者、捐助者和战略家的私下响应。他们担心前总统特朗普会将2024年大选收入囊中,而许多人都认为,他对这个国家构成了生存威胁。

“Biden’s debate performance was a catastrophe from which there may be no recovery,” one House Democratic lawmaker texted a Democratic donor, Whitney Tilson. Mr. Tilson, a former hedge fund manager, shared the message on the condition the lawmaker not be named.

一位众议院民主党议员给民主党捐款者惠特尼·蒂尔森发来一条短信:“拜登在这次辩论会上的表现是一场灾难,也许无法挽回。”曾任对冲基金经理的蒂尔森在分享这条短信时,要求不要透露该议员的身份。

Around Mr. Biden, a siege mentality has set in for a team that remembers — and is fond of repeating — how it outlasted the doubters four years ago to win the nomination in the first place.

围绕着拜登,他的团队已经形成了一种受困者心态,他们没有忘记——而且也乐于重复——四年前是如何战胜质疑者,赢得提名的。

“He’s really at his best when the pundits are overreacting and counting him out,” Ted Kaufman, one of Mr. Biden’s closest advisers and his former chief of staff in the Senate, said in an interview. “He has a hell of record. I think he should stay. He is the best president in modern history.”

“专家们反应过度,把他排除在外,其实他处于最佳状态,”拜登最亲密的顾问之一、他担任参议员时期的办公室主任泰德·考夫曼在接受采访时说。“他的表现非常出色。我认为他应该留下来。他是现代史上最出色的总统。”

Instead, the debate flop has ignited a fresh round of questions about whether Mr. Biden should stay atop the ticket. At the least, it has prolonged the very conversation his team had hoped to extinguish.

然而,这次辩论的惨淡表现,引发了对拜登是否应该继续参选的新一轮质疑。至少,这让他的团队原本希望平息的话题得以延续下去。

01pol biden memo 2 wlkv master1050辩论两天后,纽约州东汉普顿的示威者。拜登的竞选团队曾希望这场辩论能迫使选民尽快接受特朗普与拜登再次交手的现实。

“The gift Joe Biden gave us was agreeing to a debate before the convention,” said Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama and the co-host of the popular progressive podcast Pod Save America who has called for the party to consider replacing him. “If the debate was in October, I would be holding my tongue.”

“乔·拜登送给我们的礼物是同意在民主党大会之前举行一场辩论,”曾为奥巴马总统撰写演讲稿、大受欢迎的进步派播客《拯救美国》的共同主持人乔恩·法夫罗说道。他呼吁民主党考虑换人。“如果辩论是在10月进行,我就什么都不会说了。”

Mr. Favreau said the Biden camp’s attempts to silence the second-guessers were insulting to voters.

法夫罗表示,拜登阵营企图让那些质疑者保持沉默的做法,是对选民的侮辱。

“Guess what — millions of Americans saw that,” Mr. Favreau said of the debate, “and you can’t just tell people who are criticizing that they’re bed-wetters and crazy.”

法夫罗在谈到辩论时说:“你猜怎么着——数以百万计的美国人看到了这一点,你不能对批评你的人说他们是尿床的疯子。”

On the Democratic National Committee’s call for members over the weekend, the party chairman, Jaime Harrison, spoke while everyone else was on mute. It felt to some like a too-on-the-nose metaphor for party leadership’s lack of desire for genuine grass-roots feedback.

在民主党全国委员会周末召集成员开会时,主席杰米·哈里森在其他人都静音的状态下做了发言。在一些人看来,这似乎是一个过于浅白的隐喻,表明党内领导层并不想真正听到来自基层的反馈。

The Biden campaign sees the $26 million in grass-roots donations and volunteer sign-ups that tripled the usual rate as evidence of voter support post-debate.

拜登的竞选团队认为,2600万美元的基层捐款和志愿者报名人数是平时的三倍,都是辩论后选民支持的证据。

In recent days, Mr. Biden has more frontally acknowledged his flaws — and not just on the debate stage, saying that he didn’t “walk as easy as I used to” or “speak as smoothly as I used to.”

最近几天,拜登更加坦率地承认了自己的问题所在——不仅仅是在辩论台上,他说自己“走路没有以前那么轻松了”,“说话也没有以前那么流畅了”。

Some attention has centered on the role of the first lady, Jill Biden. Her assistance to her husband as he tried to descend a step after the debate went viral, as did her post-debate praise at a rally (“Joe, you did such a great job!”). On Monday, Vogue unveiled its newest cover, featuring Dr. Biden wearing a $5,000 white Ralph Lauren tuxedo dress alongside the words: “We will decide our future.”

一些注意力集中在第一夫人吉尔·拜登的角色上。拜登在辩论结束后试图走下台阶时,她帮忙搀扶的画面在网上疯传,同样疯传的还有她在辩论后的集会上所做的赞美(“乔,你做得很好!)。周一,《Vogue》杂志公布了最新一期的封面,是吉尔·拜登身穿一件价值5000美元的白色拉尔夫·劳伦礼服,配文写着:“我们将决定我们的未来。”

Michael LaRosa, a former adviser to Dr. Biden, said those expecting her to urge her husband to step aside fundamentally misunderstood their political relationship. He said it was a partnership forged in part by Mr. Biden’s early exit in the 1988 presidential race after a plagiarism scandal.

吉尔·拜登的前顾问迈克尔·拉罗莎说,那些期待她敦促丈夫退选的人根本不理解他们之间的政治关系。他说,拜登在1988年的总统竞选中因剽窃丑闻提前退出,在一定程度上塑造了这种伙伴关系。

“In 1987, she saw him be forced out by the press, pundits and polls, and it was really a scarring experience for both of them,” said Mr. LaRosa, who said he had discussed the 1988 episode multiple times with the first lady when he worked for her. “I think they learned from that experience and they weren’t going to have their hands forced like they were in 1987.”

“1987年,她亲眼目睹他被媒体、专家和民调逼着退出,这对他们俩来说真的是一次痛苦的经历,”拉罗萨说道。他还表示,之前为第一夫人工作时,两人曾多次讨论过1988年的事情。“我认为他们从那次经历中吸取了教训,不会再像1987年那样受到强迫。”

The Bidens, Mr. LaRosa explained, view Mr. Biden’s life and career as a tale of overcoming adversity. “This is another chapter of resilience in what is the story of Joe Biden,” he said, summarizing how he believed they would see it.

拉罗莎解释说,拜登夫妇将拜登的生活和职业生涯视为一个不断战胜逆境的故事。他说,“目前是乔·拜登的故事中又一个关于坚韧不拔的篇章”,并总结道,他相信他们会这样看待这件事。

Indeed, the Biden campaign’s first post-debate ad closed with Mr. Biden declaring, “When you get knocked down you get back up.”

事实上,在拜登竞选团队于辩论后发布的第一支竞选广告的结尾,拜登宣称:“当你被击倒时,你会重新站起来。”

Any serious reckoning inside the party about Mr. Biden’s age was put on ice after the 2022 midterm elections, when Democrats outperformed expectations. The White House took it as validation of its political strategy — and of the limitations of studying the president’s sagging approval ratings for clues to the outcome of elections.

在2022年中期选举后,关于拜登年龄的任何严肃考量都被搁置了。当时民主党的表现超出了预期。白宫认为这是对其政治策略的肯定,同时也证明了从总统不断下滑的支持率去判断选举的成败是有局限的。

01pol biden memo jill gfzp master1050辩论后第二天,拜登和第一夫人吉尔·拜登在北卡罗来纳州罗利市参加竞选造势活动。拜登竞选团队在辩论后发布的第一支广告中,拜登宣称:“当你被击倒时,你会重新站起来。”

“My intention is that I run again,” Mr. Biden said the next day.

“我打算再次参选,”拜登第二天表示。

And that was that.

没有什么可说的了。

In the wake of the debate, senior Biden officials are making the case privately that switching candidates would be unrealistic, risky and chaotic. And in a fund-raising message, Rob Flaherty, a deputy campaign manager, explicitly argued that any alternative would “be less likely to win than Joe Biden.”

辩论结束后,拜登竞选团队的高级官员们私下表示,更换候选人是不现实的,这么做存在很大冒险,而且容易导致混乱。副竞选经理罗布·弗莱赫蒂在一条筹款信息中明确表示,任何替代人选都“比乔·拜登更不可能获胜”。

Some of the Democratic Party’s future leaders urged voters to stand by Mr. Biden.

一些民主党未来的领导人也敦促选民支持拜登。

“We’ve got to have the back of this president,” Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said on MSNBC in the spin room after the debate. The next morning, Gov. Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania went on MSNBC and said, “Stop worrying and start working.”

“我们必须支持这位总统,”辩论结束后,加州州长加文·纽森在采访室接受MSNBC采访时说。第二天早上,宾夕法尼亚州州长约什·夏皮罗在MSNBC上说,“放下忧虑,专心做事。”


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