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双语 | 美国大选历史上的“十月拍案惊奇”

2016-11-01 纽约时报中文网 NYT教育频道 NYT教育频道
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亨利·基辛格(Henry Kissinger)1972年10月在越南说和平“即将到来”。(Associated Press)

过去一个月里发生的爆炸性政治事件简直相当于十年里发生的那么多,真是惊心动魄。“十月惊奇”(October surprise)这个词成了新闻报道中的常客。

In a breathless month with a decade’s worth of political bombshells, the phrase “October surprise” has become a regular part of the news lexicon.

根据严格的定义,“十月惊奇”就是那种参选一方特意(而且是利己地)安排好时间爆出的新闻,提供能改变投票者想法、影响民意调查的证据,以此影响选举结果。如果按照稍微不那么严格的定义,这个词可以适用于任何竞选末期的事态重大进展,不管它是不是故意被爆出的,或许连那些没有显示出改变选举结果的事情也可以算进来。

By the strictest definition, an October surprise is news specifically (and cynically) timed by one side or another to sway an election, with evidence that it changed voters’ minds and moved the polls. More loosely, the term is applied to any big, late development, deliberate or not, perhaps even ones that show no sign of altering the outcome.

若干参考资料表明,这个术语最早出现在1972年的总统选举上,还有一些资料认为它来自1980年竞选(《纽约时报》在这一年第一次使用这个词)。当然,这种做法的产生要早于这个术语。

Some reference sources say the phrase was first used in the 1972 presidential election, while others trace it to the 1980 campaign (the first time it was used by The New York Times). The concept, of course, predates the wording.

下面是一些可以被视为“十月惊奇”的例子。

Here are some examples of what could be considered October surprises.

1968年10月31日:林顿·贝恩斯·约翰逊(Lyndon Baines Johnson)宣布停止轰炸北越,理由是他声称和平谈判已经“进入一个全新的,更为大有希望的阶段,”他还邀请南越政府与越共(Viet Cong)加入到谈判中来。这一声明增加了战争可能很快结束的希望,似乎在民意调查中为民主党总统提名人,副总统休伯特·H·汉弗莱(Hubert H. Humphrey)增加了支持率,但是汉弗莱依然在选举中败给了前副总统,共和党提名人理查德·M·尼克松(Richard M. Nixon)。

Oct. 31, 1968: President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced a halt to bombing of North Vietnam, based on his claim that peace talks had “entered a new and a very much more hopeful phase,” and he invited the government of South Vietnam and the Viet Cong to take part in negotiations. Raising hopes that the war might end soon, the announcement appeared to bolster the standing in the polls of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, the Democratic presidential nominee, but Humphrey still fell short in the election against former Vice President Richard M. Nixon, the Republican.

1972年10月26日:尼克松总统的国家安全顾问亨利·基辛格(Henry Kissinger)宣布:“我们相信和平即将来临”,并公布了草拟的越南战争停战协议。这件事通常被视为最早的“十月惊奇”,尽管之后几年里这个词并没有普及。这个消息对选举影响甚微,因为面对对手,参议员乔治·麦戈文(George McGovern),尼克松已经稳操胜券。基辛格的声明来得稍微早了一点——草案没有征求南越政府的意见,12月,协议谈判破裂,美国政府恢复了对北越的轰炸——不过和平协议最终还是在1973年1月得到签署。

Oct. 26, 1972: Declaring “we believe that peace is at hand,” Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s national security adviser, announced the draft of an agreement to end the Vietnam War. This is often cited as the original October surprise, though the term did not enter common usage for several years. The news had little effect on the polls because Nixon was already cruising to a crushing defeat of Senator George McGovern. Mr. Kissinger’s announcement was a bit premature — the South Vietnamese government had not been consulted, treaty talks broke down in December and the United States resumed bombing North Vietnam — but a peace accord was signed in January 1973.

1980年10月:共和党提名人罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)和他的助手们不住警告,民主党人,吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter)可能会抛出一个“十月惊奇”,可能是有关帮助一年多以前被伊朗扣押的多名美国人质获释的消息。里根在竞选活动里经常用这个词,从而普及了它。此后,有些人指责里根一方通过非正规渠道和伊朗接触,力图阻止人质在大选前被释放,这一指责受到了大量批驳。人质于1981年1月得到释放——就在里根宣誓就职的当天。

October 1980: The Republican nominee, Ronald Reagan, and his aides repeatedly warned that President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, would try an October surprise, probably in the form of winning the release of American hostages held for more than a year in Iran. The Reagan campaign’s frequent use of the term helped popularize it. Some people have since charged that Reagan aides actually tried to prevent a hostage release before the election, through back-channel communications with Iran, a claim that has been widely refuted. The hostages were freed in January 1981 — on the day Reagan was inaugurated.


比尔·克林顿、乔治·布什和罗斯·佩罗(中)1992年于密歇根的一场辩论会上。(J. David Ake/Agence France-Presse)

1992年10月1日:退出总统竞选11个星期后,独立候选人罗斯·佩罗(Ross Perot)又回来了。整个夏天,民主党人,阿肯色州州长比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)在民意调查中遥遥领先于竞争对手,共和党人乔治·布什(George Bush)总统。佩罗回归后支持率大大增长——最终在普选中获得19%的选票——而克林顿的支持率开始渐渐下降。不过这个变化并没能阻止克林顿成功当选。

Oct. 1, 1992: Eleven weeks after dropping out of the presidential contest, the independent Ross Perot dropped back in. Over the summer, Bill Clinton, the Democratic governor of Arkansas, had built a big lead in the polls over President George Bush, a Republican. Mr. Perot’s support swelled after his re-entry — he would eventually get 19 percent of the popular vote — while Mr. Clinton’s shrank steadily. But the change was not enough to keep Mr. Clinton from winning.

1996年10月:在竞选的最后两周时间里,新闻中充斥了对民主党募捐者的揭露报道,一些募捐者和克林顿政府关系密切,他们从亚洲捐赠者那里非法募集了资金。有些募捐者后来被证明违反过竞选的财务规定。当时克林顿总统在民意调查中遥遥领先竞争者共和党提名人鲍勃·多尔(Bob Dole),此事之后,他的支持率显著下滑,但是仍然以较大的优势赢得了连任选举。

October 1996: In the last weeks of the race, the news was filled with revelations about Democratic fund-raisers, some with close ties to the Clinton White House, who illegally raised money from Asian donors. Some fund-raisers were later convicted of campaign finance violations. President Clinton’s wide lead in the polls over Bob Dole, the Republican nominee, shrank markedly, but he still won re-election by a comfortable margin.

2000年11月2日:消息传出,正在竞选总统的德克萨斯州州长乔治·W·布什(George W Bush)曾在1976年因醉驾罪名遭到逮捕,共和党人布什于翌日承认了此事(好吧,这是发生在11月的事,但它仍然可以算作是“十月惊奇”)。当时,人们都知道布什一度酗酒,但在80年代已经戒酒成功了。这则新闻似乎未能影响大局。他和民主党人、副总统阿尔·戈尔(Al Gore)之间的较量仍然和之前一样,呈现不相上下的局面。

Nov. 2, 2000: News broke that George W. Bush, the Texas governor running for president, had been arrested in 1976 and charged with driving while drunk, which Mr. Bush, a Republican, acknowledged the next day. (O.K., it was November, but it still counts as an October surprise.) By then, it was common knowledge that Mr. Bush had been a heavy drinker but had quit in the 1980s. The news did not appear to affect the state of play. His race with Vice President Al Gore, a Democrat, remained where it had been: too close to call.

2016年10月1日:时报公布了唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)1995年的部分报税表,表明共和党提名人特朗普曾经申报9亿美元以上的亏损,并可能在18年的时间里避开了收入所得税的缴纳。

Oct. 1, 2016: The Times published pages from Donald J. Trump’s 1995 tax returns showing that Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, had claimed a loss of more than $900 million and might have avoided paying income taxes for 18 years.

2016年10月7日:维基解密(WikiLeaks)公开民主党提名人希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)对若干金融机构进行的部分私人付费演讲摘要。为了破坏克林顿的竞选,该组织在接下来的几周时间里,又陆续曝光一系列来自入侵他人电子邮件所得到的消息。

Oct. 7, 2016: WikiLeaks released excerpts from private, paid speeches that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had given to financial firms. It was one in a series of disclosures the group would make over the next few weeks from hacked emails, intended to damage Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

2016年10月8日:《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)公布一份2005年的录音,特朗普在其中吹嘘如何亲吻女人们,并对她们动手动脚。

Oct. 8, 2016: The Washington Post revealed a 2005 recording of Mr. Trump bragging about groping and kissing women.

2016年10月28日:联邦调查局局长詹姆斯·B·科米(James B. Comey)透露,调查局将恢复对克林顿相关电子邮件的调查。但是他没有透露那些电子邮件的内容,也没有说它们是否由克林顿本人收发。

Oct. 28, 2016: James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, revealed that the bureau was resuming its inquiry into Clinton-related emails. But he said nothing about what was in the emails, or whether Mrs. Clinton had sent or received any of them.

作者:RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

翻译:晋其角


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