Monday, March 30, 2009

Roger Stone: Don't run for Senate, Charlie

Roger Stone -- Sybarite, consultant extraordinaire, and close friend to Charlie Crist -- urges the Governor to tend to his mansion and resist the tempting fruits of Washington.

Stone offers two primary arguments.

1. Crist is more vulnerable to a significant primary challenge in a Senate race.

While Stone thinks it's unlikely Crist could be defeated in either primary, a run for Senate is inherently more ideological and represents virgin territory for Crist.

Stone also suspects some of Crist's support is soft -- only 1/3 view him somewhat favorably, which means an economy that continues to bleed could seep through Crist's teflon shirt.

2. Stone holds hope for a Presidential bid from Crist in 2012. As has often been noted, coming from Tallahassee to Washington is more attractive than Washington to Washington.

Stone is quick to remind conservatives of the political talent they've neglected.

Governor Crist has the same affability and genial optimism of my former boss, Ronald Reagan. Crist also has Reagan's flexibility that often allowed the President to get 70% of his agenda achieved through the art of compromise as opposed to standstill Government and the kind of lack of progress we see in Congress.

Grassroots conservatives and their blogs (particularly Red State, which claims Crist would be "wholly unacceptable as a Presidential nominee for the GOP") have been chronically incapable of recognizing Republicans who succeed in diverse environments.

Crist is one such Republican.

Says Stone:

I attended the Republican Governor's conference in Miami several months ago. As a veteran of eight National Republican Presidential campaigns, I measured each of the Republican Governor's to see if our Party has a Presidential candidate. Only Charlie Crist has the grace and political dexterity for a Presidential run.

Of course, Roger Stone is Roger Stone, and conservatives will never embrace Roger Stone.

But Stone is savvy, if nothing else. And actually, from this New Yorker profile last year, he is everything else, having worked for Richard Nixon and Lee Atwater, and having been prescient on a number of issues, including one Eliot Spitzer.

His words should carry some currency, even if he is a patron of the Miami Velvet.