Political operative Roger Stone proudly stands among hatchet men once used by President Richard Nixon. Stone, in fact, sports a tattoo of his hero on his back.
That's why yours truly is aghast that Roger says Sarah Palin’s decision to resign as Governor of Alaska reminds him of the first time that Tricky Dick stepped away from the public eye in the aftermath of losing the California governor race in 1962.
On the commendable stonezone.com, Roger writes that Nixon was fed up with “elitist derision” and “had enough of the liberal media who consistently held him to a higher standard than his Democratic opponents and poked fun at his lack of sophistication — he being the son of a grocer.”
Nixon inscribed one into the record books when he said: “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” Six years later, he was inaugurated President.
Nixon didn’t waste that period wandering in the wilderness. He used the downtime to make money, build a contributor base and mend fences with the Republican grassroots. Nixon was tanned, rested and ready following the Goldwater blow-up debacle of 1964.
Stone believes Palin is following Tricky Dick’s playbook with an eye on the 2012 campaign. He’s got to be kidding.
Remember when VP candidate Lloyd Bentsen demolished Dan Quayle, when he had the audacity to compare his electoral inexperience with that of JFK? Said Bentsen: “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy." The same applies to Sarah.
Palin is no Nixon. Stone insults the memory of his former boss by making such a whacky comparison. RMN served in the Pacific during WWII. Upon return, he won a California congressional (with plenty of spitballs) and senate seat. Dwight Eisenhower picked Nixon, whom he loathed, as his running mate. Though Ike and Tricky Dick weren’t the best of buddies, Nixon dutifully traveled the world as VP and had the famous kitchen debate with Russia’s Khrushchev before running as the GOP standard-bearer against Kennedy in 1960.