Condi hits the campaign trail

The opportunity cost was probably pretty low, judging by the quality of the decisions made when she was actually doing her job.

Look, could we hear less carping criticism about Condi Rice spending her time making campaign speeches rather than running national security policy?

Really now: is there any evidence she was running policy in the first place? Or, for that matter, evidence that there was any actual policy to run?

(Anyone who notices that her taxpayer-funded travel to explain the mysteries of foreign policy to the great unwashed masses all happen to be to battleground states is probably either a Democrat or a terrorist sympathizer. Don’t you know that keeping George W. Bush in the White House is a top national-security priority?)

Of course this works both ways: Al the Bush fans who were horrified that the 9/11 Commission had the immortal gall to ask Princess Condi to come testify when she was busy keeping us safe from terrorists look a little silly right now.

But that’s all right: they don’t mind looking silly in a good cause. Most of them won’t even notice.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: