The options

A crap-shooter, or a poker player who figures the odds and rarely bluffs?

A crap-shooter as President, or someone who plays a tight game of poker and rarely bluffs?

You pays your money, and you takes your choice.

Of course, private behavior is one thing, and public behavior is something else. (If someone wants to play Russian Roulette, I suppose that’s his choice, as long as he doesn’t do it using my head.) But it’s not hard to guess from the Sarah Palin selection which candidate likes to roll the dice. And if John McCain were a poker player, you can bet your stack he’d be a four-flusher.

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: