Gabriel Sherman NYMag interviews foundational GOP ratfcvker Roger Stone:
Roger Stone, the veteran Republican political consultant, has been to every GOP convention since Nelson Rockefeller was booed down in 1964….
Officially, Stone was in town for work. This winter, he publicly announced he was quitting the GOP to become a libertarian and signed up to manage former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s quixotic White House bid. He was still mad that Ron Paul did not encourage his followers to back Johnson. “I find it interesting,” he said, “Ron Paul, who himself ran as a libertarian candidate in 1988, who only four years ago endorsed the Constitution candidate over John McCain, now says the liberty movement must stay within the Republican party. Why? For his idiot son? That makes no sense. To keep Rand Paul’s fund-raising list producing? So his son can now profiteer the way his father has? Ron Paul, the guy who talks constantly for principle, demonstrates he has none. If he did, he’d be for Gary Johnson.”…
Rick Santorum, he says, “is a religious fanatic and a state-ist. He wants the state to decide for the individual. He is about as far from Barry Goldwater as you can get.” Mitt Romney has no core. Paul Ryan talks a big game but is a product of the establishment. On August 17, Stone published a much-discussed piece of gossip on his website The Stone Zone claiming the Koch Brothers had handpicked Ryan. “The selection was cemented at the July 22nd fundraiser Koch held for Romney at the former’s sumptuous Hamptons estate,” Stone wrote. “Koch pledged $100 million more to C-4 and Super PAC efforts for Romney for Ryan’s selection.” Ryan’s voting record to Stone indicated he was someone who would help businessmen like the Kochs rather than stick to his small-government principles….
I asked him how the convention was shaping up. “Too early to say,” he replied. Romney, in Stone’s view, is a weak candidate. “He just was stronger and had more staying power than anyone else. He had to the good fortune to run against Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain. None of those guys were viable.” He said he was not at all impressed with the Romney campaign organization. “I see Fat John Sununu is back in the hierarchy. That’s a bad sign.”…
Speaking of whom, Erick “Redstate Strike Farce” Erickson has a theory, which is his:
…Back in 1992, John Sununu had been pushed out of the White House as Chief of Staff, but was still a committed partisan for George H. W. Bush. Ben Ginsberg was a lawyer with the Republican Party.
In 1992, Pat Buchanan challenged George H. W. Bush, forced his way into the convention as a speaker, and lots of conservatives rallied to him. It was a very bad year for Team George H. W. Bush and to this day social conservatives and Pat Buchanan get blamed.
This year, John Sununu and Ben Ginsberg are with Mitt Romney. They saw an upstart campaign from Rick Santorum, who rallied social conservatives like Pat Buchanan did in 1992. He got himself onto the convention stage with a speech, tonight, on welfare that a number of prominent Republicans are worried about.
The guys who’ve been old hands at this for a long time have gotten it in their heads that these rule changes Team Romney keeps coming up with is payback from Ginsberg and Sununu going back to 1992. It doesn’t matter whether it is true or not, they are muttering about it in the halls and it fits as the only rational explanation to a number of these guys.
The GOP has all but publicly announced that they’re depending on the Angry Old Bigot turnout, but they don’t seem to be capable of pleasing the Angry Old Bigot representatives.
As an aside, when John Sununu first appeared on the national stage, part of my job involved photocopying research articles at a midwestern university library. I first saw Sununu on tv right after copying a series of photos on the veterinary repair of prolapsed pig rectums. The resemblance — vast rolls of sweaty flesh never meant to see daylight, centered with a nasty little red wound — was unforgettable.