Nicholas Kristof’s Botched Rescue Mission

Olivia Nuzzi in Intelligencer:

By the time I arrived in Yamhill, Oregon, Nicholas Kristof’s political career had already ended in a face-plant. “I didn’t feel any burning ambition to be a politician whatsoever,” he told me. Good thing. From start to finish, from his decision to quit the New York Times to the state Supreme Court decision that ruled him ineligible to hold the office, his campaign for governor lasted all of 114 days. Now he was no longer a columnist or a candidate, and about this outcome he claimed to be at peace.

It was the afternoon of Friday, March 25, and the sun lit up the hills around the Kristof family estate, accessed via a winding road over rolling fields, past neighboring dairies and a sharp turn up a steep dirt road leading to a keypad-protected gate. In friendly Kristof fashion, a sign posted at the entrance welcomes guests in a loopy font that spells out the passcode.

A Pulitzer Prize winner once described as the conscience of a generation of journalists, Kristof devoted his life to chasing stories of poverty and genocide in places like Darfur and Sudan before epidemics of addiction and homelessness called his attention back to his home state. “I spent so much time reporting abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq and thinking this is really important and trying to convince people in the U.S. that this is important. And I deeply believe it was,” he told me. “But last time I calculated, every three weeks in the U.S., we were losing more Americans to drugs, alcohol, and suicide than Americans who died in 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

More here.