Judy Woodruff: And now we step back for a historical perspective on addresses to the nation. The State of the Union is an uninterrupted opportunity for President Trump to outline his legislative agenda and his priorities. To help us understand the potential significance of tonight, I am joined by presidential historian Michael Beschloss. Michael Beschloss, welcome back to the program. It's good to see you.
Michael Beschloss: Thank you.
Judy Woodruff: So, a lot of eyes on the president tonight. What sort of opportunity does the State of the Union present?
Michael Beschloss: Well, it is most suited if you have got a president who has got something new, wants to tell the country, I want to move in a different direction. For instance, 1941, in January, Franklin Roosevelt talked about the four freedoms that he wanted to see around the world. What that told Americans was, this is a president who really is a lot more likely to want to get involved in World War II against Hitler than we expected. Lyndon Johnson in '64 and '65 said, I want a war on poverty. I want to go for civil rights and voting rights. George W. Bush in 2002 talked about the axis of evil, what we should do to worry about North Korea, Iran, Iraq. Look how much that has affected world history ever since then. That's the best opportunity for a president in this situation.
Judy Woodruff: So, Michael, do the words a president speaks at a State of the Union or at other important events, do they actually have the ability to move legislation, to get people behind him for whatever he wants to get done?
Michael Beschloss: If they give a great speech. For instance, Lyndon Johnson in 1964, he really felt in his heart about poverty. He helped to tell Americans, this is a disgrace that, in this prosperous country, there are so many people who are suffering. That got Americans to lean on their members of Congress to move.
Judy Woodruff: Well, you also have — it's part of what we're all talking about tonight — you have a nontraditional president in Donald Trump…
Michael Beschloss: Indeed.
Judy Woodruff: … but in a very traditional setting, making the speech, State of the Union, standing before the Congress. Is there any historical precedent?
Michael Beschloss: Well, the interesting thing, there is not, and especially because you have got a president who basically says — is proud of the fact, much as it grieves me to say this, Judy, he says he's not very interested in history and doesn't read books. So, this is very different from most presidents who study how other presidents have used this occasion. And so if you think, is this someone who is going to write a speech, stick to it, and not get off the teleprompter, he probably will get off the teleprompter, and that could be the news of the night.
Judy Woodruff: It's interesting, because, as we know, Michael, there is so much focus right now on the president — how the president uses social media, what he says in his Tweets…
Michael Beschloss: Right.
Judy Woodruff: … and in his — especially — and in his other off-the-cuff remarks. So, when you weigh a speech vs. the off the cuff, you really are looking at a different way of getting a message out.
Michael Beschloss: That's right. And this is a reality TV star, and he knows that people are usually more interested in what seems to be spontaneous than what is on script. And also he famously doesn't have a lot of self-discipline. He gave a somewhat unifying, rather polished speech off the teleprompter to Congress last year, was widely praised for it and, as you remember, very quickly after that did a tweet about Barack Obama supposedly bugging Trump Tower that sort of stamped on his message.
Judy Woodruff: And, finally, Michael, I guess picking up on that, but this is a moment when there is this investigative cloud hanging over the president. Is this a moment to shake that loose, or how do people see a president at a moment like this?
Michael Beschloss: Well, Donald Trump has got two historical choices. In 1974, Richard Nixon went before Congress and said, time to end the Watergate investigation. He said, one year of Watergate is enough. Twenty years ago, in 1998, Bill Clinton, just after the Monica Lewinsky episode began, went before Congress, gives this long speech, about 90 minutes. People kept on waiting to hear what he was going to say about the scandal. He didn't say a word. And, as a result, Clinton's public approval rating, as measured by the Gallup poll, went up 10 points from 59 to 69. So we will see which course the president chooses.
Judy Woodruff: And we're hearing tonight the president doesn't plan to mention the Russia investigation. So, we will be watching. Michael Beschloss, thank you very much.
Michael Beschloss: Thank you so much, Judy.
1.pick up on 利用/熟悉
The Government's political enemies were quick to pick up on this series of disasters.
2.stick to it 坚持下去
But stick to it, eventually you will get the results you want.
3.get off 离开/下车/逃脱
He is likely to get off with a small fine.
4.right now 马上/此刻
If you have a problem with that, I want you to tell me right now
5.lean on 依靠/威胁
Colin was being leaned on by his bankers.
米歇尔·毕彻罗斯：嗯，如果有个总统，想要告诉他的人民，说我想要改变施政路线，那国情咨文演讲就是最合适的场合 。例如，1941年1月，富兰克林·罗斯福谈到了他希望在世界各地都能看到“四大自由” 。这就告诉了美国人，他可能想要参与第二次世界大战，对抗希特勒，（其意志）超出了人们的预想 。林登·约翰逊在1964年和1965年间说：“我想要与贫穷开战 。我想争取公民权利和选举权 。乔治·沃克·布什在2002年，谈到了“邪恶轴心国”，我们该做些什么，我们担心朝鲜问题、伊朗问题和伊拉克问题 。看看从那时起，这对世界历史产生了多大影响 。国情咨文演讲是总统进行这些陈述的最佳机会 。
米歇尔·毕彻罗斯：如果他们的演讲足够精彩 。例如，1964年林登·约翰逊，他的内心真正感受到了贫困 。他告诉美国人，在这样一个繁荣昌盛的国家，还有那么多人在遭受苦难，这真是一种耻辱 。这使得美国人通过国会议员来推动立法 。
米歇尔·毕彻罗斯：嗯，有趣的事，没有，尤其是因为当你遇到一个总统，说他基本上对历史不是很感兴趣，也不读书，却还（对此感到）很骄傲时——说到这里我都感到很悲哀，朱蒂 。所以，这与大多数总统不同，人家都会研究一下其他总统如何利用这次机会（来陈述施政纲领，而特朗普就不） 。如果你认为，特朗普会提前写好演讲稿，照本宣科，眼睛盯着提词器（，那你可能错了） 。他很可能不用提词器，而这也可能会成为当晚的新闻 。
朱蒂·伍德瑞夫：…尤其是在他其他的即兴演说中 。所以，当你衡量演讲和即兴演说时，你实际上看到的是表达信息的两种不同形式 。
米歇尔·毕彻罗斯：是的 。他是真人秀电视明星，他知道比起剧本内容，人们通常会对即兴内容更感兴趣 。大家也都知道他不太自律 。去年，他向国会做演讲时，虽无华丽辞藻，但内容前后一致，也没有使用提词机，广受好评，但是你还记得，此后很快他就发推，说据称巴拉克·奥巴马窃听了他的特朗普大楼，与他之前的说辞自相矛盾 。
米歇尔·毕彻罗斯：嗯，唐纳德·特朗普有两种历史选择（可以参考） 。1974年，理查德·尼克松在国会面前说，水门事件调查该结束了 。他说，水门事件（折腾）一年足够了 。20年前，也就是1998年，比尔·克林顿，在莫尼卡·莱文斯基事件爆出后，在国会发表了90分钟的长篇演说 。当时人们一直等着听他陈述关于丑闻的内容 。但他对此只字未提 。结果，盖洛普民意测验显示，克林顿的公众支持率从59%上升了10个百分点，达到69% 。所以，看看如今这位总统会选哪条路线，我们拭目以待 。
朱蒂·伍德瑞夫：今晚我们听到，总统不打算提及通俄调查的问题 。所以，我们将持续关注 。米歇尔·毕彻罗斯，非常感谢 。