Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in his new book, “It Worked For Me.” devotes an entire chapter (Number 7 — ”Where on the Battlefield?”) to defending his travel record at the State Department.
It’s all there — the famous letter he got from George Kennan, telling him not to travel so much, and then a few stats to show that he did travel a fair amount (“in my first year I traveled to thirty-seven countries and logged 149,000 miles...not exactly hiding in a bunker.”).
He does allow that it was “not as much as some of my predecessors and nowhere near as much as my successors. Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton set world records.” All true.
But then he writes “the media, led by the New York Times, started clocking my frequent flier miles.” What??
Note to the publisher for future editions: We recall that The Washington Post (in a front page story) did the tracking and revealed that Powell had traveled less than any Secretary of State since William Rogers, who stepped down in 1973.