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what does "they are a heartbeat away"mean? Perhaps anticipation of the consequences of a President’s death should be obligatory for Vice Presidents, but it wouldn't come easily. There is little evidence that Johnson s seven predecessors had given the matter much thought. The attitude of national politicians toward the White House is highly ambivalent; they simultaneously crave it and recoil from it. Vice Presidents, like Presidents, are loath to dwell upon the fact that they are a heartbeat away from the executive mansion, and when the beat suddenly stops they are dumfounded. "I don't know if any of you fellows ever had a load of hay or a bull fall on him.” Truman told reporters on April 14, 1945, "but last night the whole weight of the moon and stars fell on me."
2013年6月9日 15:16
Answers · 3
"A heartbeat away" is a figurative way to say that the VP is the first in line to the Presidency if the sitting President dies. That is, after the President's heart beats for the last time (one heartbeat) and then dies, the VP then becomes President.
I agree with both Brian and Kiara, but I want to add that the author is cleverly playing with words in this paragraph and both the literal and figurative meaning are being used. There is the saying "a heartbeat away" which means very close or near (you can get there or it can happen in the time it takes for a heart to beat a single time). However, "heartbeat away" is also being used literally here. When the President's heartbeat stops (he dies), then the Vice President will become President. So it's very clever to use the same words to describe the situation both figuratively and literally. Just one last note on the word "heartbeat." It can be used to describe each individual beat of a heart, or it can be used to describe the rhythm of your heart (the constant beating and its pattern). I might say "My heartbeat is fast" (referring to overall rhythm. Or I could say, "I can hear each heartbeat" (referring to the individual beats).
Something like : It's very close.. it's near
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Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
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English, French