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[双语]最牛枪手曝光:我给奥巴马写演讲稿

2013-11-28 05:34| 发布者: coke| 查看: 598| 评论: 0|原作者: 刘帅   |来自: 中国日报网站  

摘要:      奥巴马演讲照片   President Barack Obama’s speech on economic policy Wednesday will be the first in an ambitious series of six addresses laying out a sweeping vision for America’s fu ...
  

  奥巴马演讲照片

  President Barack Obama’s speech on economic policy Wednesday will be the first in an ambitious series of six addresses laying out a sweeping vision for America’s future. The philosophy at the core of the campaign will be familiar, but there will be “aggressive new ideas。”

  That’s according to Cody Keenan, the speechwriter in charge of crafting what may be Obama’s most far-reaching second-term effort to get Americans to sign on to his plans。

  Keenan sat down with Yahoo News for an exclusive interview in his office in the basement of the West Wing, a windowless space with a ceiling so low that the president’s head brushes it when he pays a visit. The walls are covered in political memorabilia, and the famous “bikini graph” on his desk sits next to a can of Red Bull。

  Keenan, who at 32 holds the lofty title of director of speechwriting, pulled the curtain back on the process of writing a major presidential address. He also described how Mike Ditka could have kept Obama from reaching the White House, and what happens if you argue with the president about what he should say — and win。

  Obama’s six speeches will cover education, housing, retirement security, health care, poverty and jobs, Keenan said, lightly tapping a cup of black, unsweetened iced coffee on his desk。

  "In the weeks ahead — especially when it comes to college costs, which is something he’s obsessed with — we’ll have some aggressive new ideas,” said Keenan。

  The president is giving the first one at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., because that's where he laid out his economic philosophy in 2005 in a commencement address generally regarded as his first speech on the issue as a national political figure。

  The economy remains the top issue on the mind of Americans, and top White House aides acknowledge that many are not seeing first-hand the benefits of steady but slow growth — which may explain the president’s poor ratings on the economy。

  Obama himself told supporters late Monday that he doesn’t think the speech “is going to change any minds。” But politicians of both parties are mindful that the 2014 midterm elections are just around the corner。

  The Republican response to Obama’s planned speech has been instructive. After initially scoffing that the White House was cooking up a “nothingburger,” they have aggressively tried to set the debate on their terms。

  So how does a speech like this come into being?

  Keenan formally got the assignment in early June when senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer wandered into the speechwriter’s office and announced that the president had decided he wanted to return to Knox College to deliver an economic policy address in mid-July。

  “It was just kind of a question of when we would go back, and now seemed as good a time as any,” the speechwriter said。

  So Keenan booked an Oval Office meeting with Obama at 10:30 a.m. on June 14 to discuss the themes and structure of the address. Pfeiffer, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors also took part. So did Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco。

  “I’ll just ask for some time with the president to get what I call ‘The Download.’ And I’ll just take my laptop in there and let him talk for 20 or 30 minutes while I just furiously take notes,” Keenan says. “He’ll give you the basic structure to go on。”

  Keenan emerged with “with three or four pages of unfiltered POTUS,” he said, using the popular D.C. acronym for “President of the United States。” After doing some research (and being especially productive while much of the staff was with Obama in Africa), he put together a 20-page outline, which turned into a first draft that landed on the president’s desk July 14.

  Keenan opened a folder labeled “Presidential Statement,” pulling out four pages of cramped but tidy notes in black pen on yellow legal pad paper — Obama’s copious edits. With a wry smile, he held up page 4 of that early version, entirely crossed out by the president。

  “He’ll kind of destroy the first draft a little bit,” Keenan said. “I saw his point. His argument here was just ‘too long.’” So RIP, page 4.

  The drafts — Obama has seen six — “get tidier and tidier,” and Wednesday’s speech is pretty much done, “which is great 24 hours out。”

  Keenan has been discussing the changes with the president “during his lunchtime” for about 10 minutes, then working to turn around another draft overnight。

  What if he disagrees with a presidential edit? How do you tell the most powerful man in the world that he's wrong about what he should say?

  “At this point, you know, I don’t push back aggressively, but I can argue pretty well for a point. I’d say the first couple of years I wouldn’t dare to do that。”

  Does he ever win those kinds of debates?

  “Rarely. And when you do, he never lets you forget that you made him take out something he liked,” Keenan said with a chuckle. “But it’s rare。”

  Keenan has a team of four domestic policy writers helping out, but Obama’s top economic advisers see every draft. They include Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; Gene Sperling, head of the National Economic Council; and Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell。

  “But it’s mostly a back-and-forth between me and him,” he said, meaning Obama。

  The days start at 7:45 a.m. (that’s when McDonough holds a regular meeting in his office), and for the past two weeks they’ve ended between midnight and 2 a.m。

  Asked how quickly he plans to chase the coffee with the Red Bull, Keenan replied “that’s for later,” when he needs a boost around 10-11 p.m. His most productive hours, he said, are between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m., when the flood of emails thins to a trickle and there are fewer people, if any, popping into his office。

  No, he doesn’t get presidential voice mails at 3 a.m. “He is a night owl, though,” Keenan said. And “I’m not a morning guy。”

  Keenan's office walls are covered with mementos, including a Ted Kennedy poster inscribed with a note from the late senator, for whom Keenan used to work. Guests can also spot a photograph of Keenan, dressed as a pirate, talking with Obama. The picture, autographed by the president, was part of Obama’s jokey speech to the 2009 White House Correspondents Dinner。

  In a room packed with souvenirs that would make a political junkie drool, what's his favorite? A White House gift shop football signed by members of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. The space shuttle Challenger tragedy sidetracked their trip to the White House. So Obama invited them to visit in October 2011.

  "You try to act pretty cool when important people come around the White House. This was the one day I just threw it out the window," Keenan said。

  "Ditka was just the nicest guy," he added. "Mike Ditka could have prevented Barack Obama from becoming president, because he almost ran against him in '04, in Illinois, and he might have won."

  据美国媒体报道,奥巴马总统7月24日将发表经济政策讲演,这是他六篇讲演的第一篇,这些讲演里,奥巴马将谈论教育、住房、退休保障、医疗健康、贫困与就业多方面的问题,这可能是奥巴马在第二任期影响最深远的演讲,奥巴马期待借此获得美国民众对他计划的支持。

  那么,这些讲演稿是怎么写成的呢?

  为他撰写这些演讲稿的是科迪·基南。年仅32岁的他已经拥有总统讲演主撰稿人的高级头衔。他向我们揭示了总统主要讲演稿撰写过程的内幕,以及如果你与总统辩论他的讲演词——而且获胜之后,会发生什么。

  基南是在六月初得到这个任务的,当时,奥巴马的资深顾问法伊弗走进这位讲演撰稿人的办公室,宣布总统决定在7月中旬回诺克斯学院做一篇经济政策演讲。身为美国总统撰稿人,基南的办公室不过是间地下室。位于白宫西侧的这个地下室没有窗子,总统来访时头能蹭到低矮的天花板。

  基南与奥巴马约定6月14日上午10:30在白宫的椭圆形总统办公室会面,共同讨论这篇讲演的主题和结构。

  “我会只带着我的笔记本电脑去,让他讲个二三十分钟,而我只是拼命记录,”基南说。 “ 他会告诉你基本结构。”

  基南整理了“三到四页未经过滤的总统原话”。做过更多调查后,他完成了一份20页的大纲,由此写成的第一份草稿在7月14日放到了总统的办公桌上。

  基南打开一个标有“总统声明”的文件夹,抽出四页纸,上面是紧凑整齐的文字,用黑色墨水笔写在黄色便签纸上,奥巴马在上面做过多处修改。基南苦笑了一下,举起早期底稿的第四页,总统删除了上面全部的话。

  “第一稿有些部分会被他彻底否决,”基南说。“我看到了他的观点。他在此处的意见只有一个 ,‘太长’”,所以撕掉第四页。

  草稿——记住,奥巴马一共有六份——“变得越来越有条理”,7月24日的演讲稿已经基本完成,“演讲距现在只剩24个小时了”。

  在总统的午餐时间,基南与他用十分钟讨论了改动的部分,他随后连夜整理出另一份草稿。

  如果他不同意总统的修改怎么办?你怎么对全世界最有权力的人说,他认为他该说什么的看法是错的?

  “在这样的时候,你知道,我不会激烈地反驳,但我可以很好地说明我的观点。我得说,我在最初几年可不敢这么做。”

  在这样的争论中他赢过吗?

  “很少。但当你赢了,他从来不会让你忘记,你让他放弃了他喜欢的观点,”基南轻声笑了。“但很少有这样的时候。”

  基南有一支四人团队帮他撰写国内政策的部分,但奥巴马的首席经济顾问们会亲自审阅每篇草稿。这些人中包括经济顾问委员会主席克鲁格、国家经济委员会主席斯珀林、还有行政管理和预算局局长伯韦尔。

  “但主要是我和他交换意见,”基南说,这里的他指奥巴马。

  一天的工作从早上7:45开始,过去两周,他们要到午夜或凌晨2点才结束工作。

  他最多产的时间是晚7点到凌晨2点,这时候邮件少了,也没有几个人在此时拜访他的办公室。

  他不会在凌晨3点收到总统的语音邮件。“他是个夜猫子,”基南说。“我也不是个爱早起的人。”


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