Stone makes a cameo role in Rick Perlstein’s masterpiece, “Nixonland.” As a young aide, Stone held a prized spot in Nixon’s dirty tricks crew. One job was to smear California Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey, a Korean war veteran who opposed the Vietnam war and challenged Nixon in the Republican primaries. H.R. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff, wanted someone to “demolish” McCloskey after he toured refugee camps filled with people whose homes were destroyed by Operation Dewey Canyon II, the Air Force’s secret bombing of Laos. Haldeman accused McCloskey of staging a phony operation to discredit the Administration.
Stone stepped into the arena. He was to contribute $200 to McCloskey’s campaign in the name of the militant Gay Liberation Front and forward the receipt to Manchester Union Leader publisher William Loeb. Perlstein wrote: “Stone, ashamed of any imprecations against his masculinity, chickened out and made the contribution from the Young Socialist Alliance instead.”
Stone, who has a tattoo of Nixon on his back, has been called the keeper of the Nixon flame by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. He also revels in his role of “professional lord of mischief” (Weekly Standard). That’s evidenced by a trip to Stone’s website, which features a video clip of a stumbling and bumbling campaign appearance in Virginia by the usually smooth-as-silk Barack Obama.
Stone thinks McCain has a chance against Obama as long as the Arizona Senator “stops apologizing” for everything and adopts some of the hardball tactics of Nixon, the master. One of those tactics: Nixon's people released some rats into the crowd during an Ed Muskie press conference. They had ribbons tied to their tails that read, "Muskie is a rat fink." Genius.
Another gem: Democratic millionaires in Florida received letters on Muskie stationery asking them not to donate because Muskie wanted small donors, not the "usual fat cats."
Stone says he used to support McCain back in the senator's “maverick” days. McCain should give him a call. Roger would certainly step into the arena, and heat up the race for the White House.