2016年8月，贝拉克·奥巴马总统在白宫。据长期担任其顾问的本杰明·J·罗兹的新书透露，在特朗普当选后的几周里，奥巴马的情绪变化经历了多个阶段。 STEPHEN CROWLEY/THE NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON — Riding in a motorcade in Lima, Peru, shortly after the 2016 election, President Barack Obama was struggling to understand Donald J. Trump’s victory.
“What if we were wrong?” he asked aides riding with him in the armored presidential limousine.
He had read a column asserting that liberals had forgotten how important identity was to people and had promoted an empty cosmopolitan globalism that made many feel left behind. “Maybe we pushed too far,” Mr. Obama said. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”
His aides reassured him that he still would have won had he been able to run for another term and that the next generation had more in common with him than with Mr. Trump. Mr. Obama, the first black man elected president, did not seem convinced. “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” he said.
In the weeks after Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Obama went through multiple emotional stages, according to a new book by his longtime adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes. At times, the departing president took the long view, at other points, he flashed anger. He called Mr. Trump a “cartoon” figure who cared more about his crowd sizes than any particular policy. And he expressed rare self-doubt, wondering whether he had misjudged his own influence on American history.
据长期担任其顾问的本杰明·J·罗兹(Benjamin J. Rhodes)的新书透露，在特朗普当选后的几周里，奥巴马的情绪经历了好几个阶段。有时候，这位即将离任的总统会着眼于长远。但有时候他也会表现出愤怒。他称特朗普是一个“卡通”人物，更关心自己的粉丝规模，而不是任何具体政策。他还表现出了少有的自我怀疑，想知道他是不是误判了自己对美国历史的影响。
Set to be published next week by Random House, Mr. Rhodes’s memoir, “The World as It Is,” offers a peek into Mr. Obama’s tightly sealed inner sanctum from the perspective of one of the few people who saw him up close through all eight years of his presidency. Few moments shook Mr. Obama more than the decision by voters to replace him with a candidate who had questioned his very birth.
罗兹这本回忆录叫《真实的世界》(The World as It Is)，定于下周由兰登书屋(Random House)出版。在奥巴马担任总统的八年里，罗兹是少数几个一直能够近距离接触到他的人之一。他从自己的视角介绍了奥巴马紧密戒备的内心世界。选民决定让一个质疑他的出生的候选人接替他，没有什么比这更让奥巴马震惊的了。
Mr. Rhodes served as Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser through some of the most consequential points of his presidency, including decisions to authorize the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, send more troops to Afghanistan, pull most troops out of Iraq, restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, seal a nuclear agreement with Iran, intervene militarily in Libya and refuse to intervene militarily in Syria.
罗兹以奥巴马的副国家安全顾问的身份，经历了他总统任期内的一些最重要的时刻，包括决定批准杀死奥萨马·本·拉登(Osama bin Laden)的突击行动，向阿富汗增兵，把主力部队撤出伊拉克，与古巴恢复外交关系，同伊朗达成核协议，军事干预利比亚和拒绝军事干预叙利亚。
But his book offers a new window, if only slightly cracked open, into the 44th president’s handling of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump get elected and the aftermath.
In handing over power to someone determined to tear down all he had accomplished, Mr. Obama alluded to “The Godfather” mafia movie: “I feel like Michael Corleone. I almost got out.”
在把权力移交给一个决心废除他的所有成果的人时，奥巴马含蓄地提到了黑帮电影《教父》(The Godfather)：“我觉得自己像迈克尔·柯里昂(Michael Corleone)一样。我差一点就逃脱了。”
Mr. Rhodes describes the reaction of foreign leaders. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan apologized for breaching protocol by meeting with Mr. Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan after the election. Mr. Obama urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to take on a more vocal role defending the values they shared.
罗兹描述了外国领导人的反应。日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)为在大选结束后违反外交礼节，与特朗普在曼哈顿的特朗普大厦(Trump Tower)会面而道歉。奥巴马敦促加拿大总理贾斯汀·特鲁多(Justin Trudeau)在捍卫他们共同的价值观上发挥更大的作用。
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama that she felt more obliged to run for another term because of Mr. Trump’s election to defend the liberal international order. When they parted for the final time, Ms. Merkel had a single tear in her eye. “She’s all alone,” Mr. Obama noted.
And yet despite criticism even from former advisers to Mr. Obama, Mr. Rhodes offers little sense that the former president thought he could have done more to counter Russian involvement in the election. Mr. Obama had authorized a statement to be issued by intelligence agency leaders a month before the election warning of Russian interference, but was thwarted from doing more because Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, refused to go along with a bipartisan statement.
Mr. Rhodes called Mr. McConnell’s refusal “staggeringly partisan and unpatriotic.” But Mr. Obama, whose Supreme Court nomination had been blocked by Mr. McConnell for months, seemed less surprised.
“What else did you expect from McConnell?” he asked. “He won’t even give us a hearing on Merrick Garland.”
Still, in preparatory sessions before meetings with the news media before the election, aides pressed Mr. Obama to respond to criticism that he should speak out more about Russian meddling. “I talk about it every time I’m asked,” he responded. “What else are we going to do? We’ve warned folks.”
He noted that Mr. Trump was already claiming that the election would be manipulated if Hillary Clinton won. “If I speak out more, he’ll just say it’s rigged,” Mr. Obama said.
Mr. Rhodes writes that neither he nor Mr. Obama knew at that time that there was an F.B.I. investigation into contacts between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia, despite Mr. Trump’s recent unsubstantiated claims that the departing president placed a “spy” or multiple spies in his campaign.
Mr. Rhodes writes he did not learn about the F.B.I. investigation until after leaving office, and then from the news media. Mr. Obama did not impose sanctions on Russia in retaliation for the meddling before the election because he believed it might prompt Moscow into hacking into Election Day vote tabulations. Mr. Obama did impose sanctions after the election but Mr. Rhodes’s suggestion that the targets include President Vladimir V. Putin was rebuffed on the theory that such a move would go too far.
罗兹写道，他直到离任后才得知联邦调查局的调查一事，之后就是通过新闻媒体解情况。奥巴马没有在大选前通过制裁报复俄罗斯干预选举，因为他认为这么做可能会促使莫斯科入侵选举日的计票系统。选举结束后，奥巴马的确对俄罗斯实行了制裁，但罗兹的建议——将俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔·V·普京(Vladimir V. Putin)列为制裁对象——被以太过分为由拒绝。
Mr. Obama and his team were confident that Mrs. Clinton would win and, like much of the country, were shocked when she did not. “I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have seen it coming,” Mr. Rhodes writes. “Because when you distilled it, stripped out the racism and misogyny, we’d run against Hillary eight years ago with the same message Trump had used: She’s part of a corrupt establishment that can’t be trusted to bring change.”
On election night, Mr. Obama spoke by telephone with Cody Keenan, his chief speechwriter, and Mr. Rhodes to figure out what he should say. Mr. Rhodes asked if he should offer reassurance to allies. “No, I don’t think that I’m the one to tell them that,” the president said.
The next day, Mr. Obama focused on cheering up his despondent staff. At one point, he sent a message to Mr. Rhodes saying, “There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.”
But days later, Mr. Obama seemed less sanguine. “I don’t know,” he told aides. “Maybe this is what people want. I’ve got the economy set up well for him. No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon.”
He added that “we’re about to find out just how resilient our institutions are, at home and around the world.”
The day Mr. Obama hosted Mr. Trump at the White House after the election seemed surreal. Mr. Trump kept steering the conversation back to the size of his rallies, noting that he and Mr. Obama could draw big crowds, but Mrs. Clinton could not, Mr. Rhodes writes.
Afterward, Mr. Obama called a few aides to the Oval Office to ruminate on the encounter. “I’m trying to place him in American history,” he said.
“He peddles” bull, Mr. Rhodes answered. “That character has always been part of the American story. You can see it right back to some of the characters in Huckleberry Finn.”
“Maybe,” Mr. Obama answered, “that’s the best we can hope for.”
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