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布什向200万亲朋好友送上圣诞祝福

2006-07-29 13:14

  President Bush is not accustomed to doing things by half-measures and if his Christmas card list is anything to go by he is not about to start.

  During the past two weeks envelopes bearing a Crawford, Texas, postmark and a return address of the White House have been landing in mail boxes and on doormats at two million addresses.

  Two million is some address book.

  This year the President's parents staged an 80th birthday party for Mr Bush Sr billed as including “more than 5,000 of their closest friends”。

  Just how many of the two million are among the closest friends of the current First Couple is unclear. The White House said simply that the cards were going out to “friends, family and foreign dignitaries”。

  There are many trends and legacies for which future presidents may come to curse Mr Bush - the ballooning budget deficit, skyrocketing medical costs and costly and unwinnable wars. But one of the most overlooked is Christmas card inflation.

  In 2001, his first Christmas in office Mr Bush sent 875,000 cards. That was more than double the 400,000 mailed by the Clintons, who themselves presided over a White House that was not exactly ascetic.

  A year later the Bushes broke the million mark. Why stop there? In 2003 they kept up the pace, sending 1.3 million. But they were just warming up.

  By any measure, two million is a lot of cards. It is an increase of more than 50 per cent in a year and of 400 per cent in four years.

  If Mr Bush had signed all of them personally, which he did not, he would have needed to start in late summer. This year, no doubt because of the numbers involved, not all of the cards carry a print of the presidential signature.

  The card depicts a Matisse-like rendering of the White House Red Room by the Texas artist Cindi Holt, and inside bears the second verse of Psalm xcv: “Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.”

  This year's presidential election is responsible for the latest increase.

  The 1.4 million Republican volunteers who spent much of the year canvassing for support and turning out Mr Bush's record vote on election day, even those in the most remote campaign offices in the most longshot states, have all received a card by way of a thank-you.

  The cards, which are being paid for by the Republican National Committee and which are expected to cost towards $1 million (£520,000), are only one part of the extraordinary extravaganza that the White House puts on for Christmas.

  中文:

  美国总统布什做事向来不喜欢折衷,如果他发送圣诞卡的名单有所遗漏,他压根就不会开始做这件事。

  在过去的两周中,带着德克萨斯州克劳福德的邮戳和白宫回邮地址的信封已经“飞向”200万户人家的邮箱或门口的擦鞋垫。

  200万,这相当于一本地址簿。

  今年,布什总统的双亲为老布什80岁生日举办了一个生日晚会,列出的宾客名单里有“5000多名他们最亲近的朋友”。

  真不知道这200万人中有多少是今天这对“第一夫妇”最亲近的朋友。不过据白宫称,这些圣诞卡只是要送给总统的“朋友、亲人和外国重要友人”。

  将来的美国总统可能会责怪现任总统布什的许多做法和遗留问题,比如不断膨胀的财政预算赤字,迅猛上涨的医疗费用,耗资昂贵却不能取胜的频繁战争。但是有件事也是最容易被忽略的,那就是圣诞贺卡数量的膨胀。

  2001年,布什上任后的第一个圣诞节,他送出了87.5万张贺卡,是前任总统克林顿全家寄出的40万张卡片的一倍还多。克林顿家族所掌管的白宫其实并不特别克制简朴。

  一年后,布什一家寄出的贺卡突破了100万大关。可为什么要原地踏步呢?2003年,他们保持了这种步伐,寄出了130万张贺卡,但这仅仅是热身运动而已。

  不论从哪个角度来衡量,200万张贺卡都不是一个小数。在一年里,贺卡数量的增长速度超过了50%,并在四年内涨了400%.

  如果布什要亲笔为所有的卡片签名(事实上他并没有那么做),那么他从夏末就应该开始动笔了。今年,毫无疑问的是,由于要寄的卡片的数目过巨,不是所有卡片上都印有总统的签名。

  今年的卡片图案是一幅关于白宫红厅的马蒂斯风格的透视图,由德克萨斯州艺术家辛迪·霍尔特设计制作。卡片内页上印着圣经诗篇第95篇的第二节:“我们要来感谢他,用音乐和诗歌赞美他。”

  今年的总统大选应该为最近这次贺卡数目的增长买单。

  约有140万名共和党志愿者花了大半年时间来支持布什,为他游说拉票,使布什在大选中的得票创下历史记录。即使是那些曾在获胜可能最小的州的最偏远的竞选办公室里工作的人们,也都收到了一张写着“感谢你”字样的圣诞卡。

  这些卡片的费用统统由共和党全国委员会承担,预计要花费将近100万美元(52万英镑)。不过这只是白宫为迎接圣诞举办的诸多奢华的庆祝活动的一部分而已。

  词汇:

  half-measures : 不彻底的折衷方法

  Matisse: French artist. A leading fauvist, he employed pure color, simple shapes, and an exquisite sense of design to produce paintings, such as The Dance (1930-1932), and collages that have influenced the course of modern art.(马蒂斯,亨利,法国艺术家、野兽派画家先锋,他运用纯色彩、简单形体和精致设计来作画,作品有“舞”(1930-1932年)等,这些艺术手法和他的拼贴艺术影响了现代艺术的进程)

  canvass: to go through (a region) or go to (persons) to solicit votes or orders(游说,拉选票)

  longshot: a venture that offers a great reward if successful but has very little chance of success(成功机会很微小的冒险)

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