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九岁美国政坛神童诺亚-马克库拉夫

2006-07-09 13:18

  The battle over Social Security has been joined by an unusual lobbyist, a 9-year-old boy from Texas (George Bush's hometown), who has agreed to travel around supporting President Bush's proposal.

  The boy, Noah McCullough, made a splash with his encyclopedic command of presidential history, earning five appearances on the “Tonight” show and some unusual experiences in the presidential campaign last year. He beat Howard Dean in a trivia contest at the Democratic National Convention and wrote for his local newspaper about his trip to see the inauguration.

  “He's very patriotic and very Republican,” said to the media Noah's mother, Donna McCullough, a former teacher and self-described Democrat. “It's the way he was born.”

  In a sign of how far groups go to carry their message on Social Security, Progress for America has signed up Noah, a fourth grader, as a volunteer spokesman. He starts on spring break from James Williams Elementary School in Katy, Tex.

  Progress for America, which spent almost $45 million backing Mr. Bush last year, plans to lay out $20 million on Social Security this year. It has spent $1 million on television commercials and is working to send experts around the country. Among them are Thomas Saving, a trustee of the Social Security Trust Fund; Rosario Marin, a former United States treasurer; and one really, really young Republican. Noah will not be eligible to collect Social Security for nearly 60 years.

  Noah will travel to a handful of states ahead of visits by the president and will go on radio programs, answer trivia questions and say a few words about Social Security. Though he is obviously not an expert (and not really a lobbyist, either), officials say the effort is a lighthearted way to underline Mr. Bush's message.

  “What I want to tell people about Social Security is to not be afraid of the new plan,” Noah said. “It may be a change, but it's a good change.”

  The trip was a brainchild of Stuart Roy, a former aide to Representative Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, who recently joined the DCI Group, a political consultancy here with ties to the Republican Party and Mr. Bush.

  Noah became interested in presidents as a 5-year-old after a mock election in kind-ergarten. Today, he has more than 3,000 books on presidential history. He campaigned for Mr. Bush, speaking to Republican groups. After 27 trips to the first President Bush's presidential library at Texas A&M University in College Station, he scored a meeting with the former president.

  Noah plans to run for the White House in 2032 — and he wants Social Security addressed before then.

  布什竭力推行的社会保障制度改革多了一个不寻常的说客,一名来自布什老家得克萨斯州的九岁小男孩,应总统的邀请为社保改革进行全国巡回演讲。

  这个名叫诺亚-马克库拉夫的小男孩在美国知名度颇高,被称为“美国总统历史的百科全书”,美国著名的脱口秀节目“今夜”曾经五次邀请诺亚上节目,去年诺亚因为帮助布什竞选总统而为自己更增添了不平凡的经历。他曾在民主党大会上的一次小辩论中击败霍华德·迪安,还为当地报纸写过关于他所看到的就职典礼。

  诺亚的妈妈唐娜-马克库拉夫,曾经当过老师并自称是民主党,她说:“诺亚非常爱国,而且他是个不折不扣的共和党人,他生下来就是这样。”

  在一次关于如何进行社保改革的团体签名活动中,美国国会通过签名同意诺亚,一位四年级的小学生,成为志愿工作者。初春他就要暂时告别位于德克萨斯州凯蒂镇的詹姆士·威廉斯小学了。

  去年,国会为支持布什推行社保改革花费了4,500万美元,今年国会将拨款减少到2,000万,其中100万用来进行电视宣传和聘请全国各地的专家开展工作,这些专家包括社会保障信托基金主管托马斯-斯文、前国家财务主管罗萨里奥-玛林等等,而其中还有一个很年轻很年轻的共和党人,那就是诺亚了,而小诺亚至少要在60年以后才有资格享受社会保障制度。

  诺亚将作为开路先锋在布什访问之前先到达那些州,他将到电台接受听众咨询,或者谈谈有关社会保障制度的话题。尽管诺亚并不是专家,也不是真正的政客,但是布什政府充分相信诺亚对改革的推行有帮助。

  诺亚说:“我想告诉人们的是,不要害怕新的社会保障制度,它是一种改变,而且它会朝对民众有利的方向改变。”

  这次行程是斯图尔特-罗伊的想法,他是德克萨斯州共和党人代表汤姆·迪莱的前任助手,最近加入了DCI集团,是一名依附于共和党和布什先生的政治顾问。

  诺亚5岁的时候,幼儿园进行了一次模仿美国总统选举的游戏,从那时开始诺亚就对总统产生了兴趣。到现在,诺亚拥有的关于美国总统历史的书籍超过了3,000本。在共和党聚集大会上他发表演说支持布什,跟随布什游历了27个州,在得克萨斯州的总统博物馆里他还见到了老布什。

  诺亚的目标是在2032年入主白宫——他希望到那个时候社会保障制度早就已经很完善了。

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