Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Initials to Avoid

From Roger Stone, a GOP operative. I suppose this could be a new low in disgusting political attacks but probably not. After all, there are many months to go and with a black man and a woman running, the possibilities are endless.

Of course, there's another way to look at it. The "legendary" Roger Stone, as Tucker Carlson likes to call him, is reduced to selling T-shirts.

"Legendary" GOP Strategist Launches Hillary Namecalling Effort

By Paul Kiel - January 23, 2008, 3:51PM
A couple of days ago, a group called Citizens United Not Timid filed papers with the IRS as a "527" organization. Then we saw that Roger Stone had signed on as the group's "assistant treasurer." Uh oh.

Stone, regular TPM readers know, is a Republican operative who prides himself as something of an elder statesman of GOP dirty tricks. He went to work for Richard Nixon at age nineteen, making him the "youngest Watergate dirty trickster." He continues to idolize the man, even sporting a tattoo of Nixon's face between his shoulder blades. On his website, the StoneZone, he proudly touts Nixon's endorsement of him as "one of the very few excellent political professionals."

His career with the GOP took off from there, leading to spots with Ronald Reagan's campaigns, Bob Dole's presidential campaign, two of Sen. Arlen Specter's (R-PA) campaigns (Specter reportedly counts him as a friend), among others. James Baker tapped him to lead street protests in Florida to shut down the recount in 2000. Most recently, he was hired by New York Republicans for their battle with Gov. Elliot Spitzer (D), a gig that exploded when he was accused of making a threatening phone call to Spitzer's 83 year-old father (Stone denied it).

So what's Stone up to? Fortunately, he laid the whole scheme out to The Weekly Standard.

It's this simple: it's all about the group's acronym, which, used in conjunction with Hillary Clinton, is supposed to be irresistibly humorous. That is the beginning and the end of it. The group will not be running ads in any form and will not be making any robocalls. They'll be making T-shirts. That's it. You can buy them for $25 on their website:

In addition to this website being blast-emailed to hundreds of thousands of addresses that Stone and [another GOP operative] have accumulated over the years (working off over 170 different email lists of everyone from opinion-makers to political activists to industry associations), Stone is counting on T-shirt sales to further serve as "billboard education." He figures the whole thing will end up taking on a viral nature, thanks to the yuks factor....

"The more people go to the site, the more people buy the T-shirts," Stone explains.... "The more people buy the T-shirts, the more people wear the T-shirts. The more people wear the T-shirts, the more people are educated. Consequently, our mission has been achieved." Though neither the word itself nor even the acronym is ever mentioned, "it's one-word education. That's our mission. No issues. No policy groups. No position papers. This is a simple committee with an unfortunate acronym...."

Presumably Stone learned this gimmick from working on Nixon's 1972 Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP).

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