Posts Tagged ‘Roger Stone’

VAL 2016 | Roger Stone, on-and-off politisk rådgivare till Donald Trump, berättade nyligen för The New Yorker om presidentkandidatens något udda strategi.

Roger Stone

Jeffrey Toobin intervjuade Stone:

It started in 1979, when Stone was a twenty-six-year-old aide in Ronald Reagan’s Presidential campaign.


Over the years, too, Stone shepherded Trump’s political ambitions through several near-runs for the Presidency. “In 1988, I arranged for him to speak to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Chamber of Commerce—that was his first political trip,” Stone said. “There was lots of speculative publicity. He liked the attention. He liked the buzz. He’s the greatest promoter of all time.” In 2000, Trump came closer to a real bid. Because Ross Perot had run in the previous two elections as the candidate of the Reform Party, there was a chance that Trump could have received federal funding on that party line. “He was looking at the prospect of running on O.P.M.—other people’s money,” Stone said. “He loved that.” But Trump backed away.

Now that Trump is actually running for President, Stone has been largely sidelined. (He currently has no official campaign role.) Stone says that he speaks to the candidate “now and then.” In any event, he said, Trump has little use for political advisers. “He listens to no one,” Stone noted. “On his own, he conceptualized a campaign model that rejects all the things you do in politics—no polling, no opposition research, no issue shop, no analytics, no targeting, no paid advertising to speak of.” He went on, “He had this vision of an all-communication-based strategy of rallies, debates, and as many interviews as he can smash into a day. The campaign exists to support the logistics of the tour.” Stone does maintain a small super PAC that he said will help corral delegates for Trump. “How many of the delegates will want to play golf at a Trump resort?” Stone said. “How many will want to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago? How many will want to go to a cocktail party at his apartment in Trump Tower, with its extraordinary view of Manhattan?” (Trump said he has no plans to court delegates in this way.)

There’s a wistfulness about Stone these days. He judges politics on aesthetic grounds as much as on issues. “On ‘The Apprentice,’ Trump was always perfectly dressed, perfectly lit, perfectly made up,” he said. “That helped him enormously in establishing a Presidential brand.”

Bild: Fotot på Roger Stone är från hans eget Twitterkonto @RogerJStoneJr.

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VAL 2016 | Roger Stones mentor var Richard Nixon. ”Attack, attack, attack. Never defend” är hans mantra. Och han har jobbat för Donald Trump.

Stop the Steal

Stone har inte längre någon officiell eller inofficiell roll i Donald Trumps valkampanj. Han valde att lämna (alternativt: avskedades) rollen som politisk rådgivare i augusti.

Han kallar fortfarande Trump en ”vän” och jobbar nu aktivt med att få honom vald till Republikanernas presidentkandidat vid partiets konvent.

Detta gör han bl.a. genom att organisera ”Stop the Steal”, en kampanjen som skall försöka påverka partiet och delegaterna att inte rösta på någon annan än Trump ifall han inte vinner nomineringen vid första röstomgången vid konventet.

Detta stämmer väl överens med hans uttalade strategi om hur man skall gå tillväga i en kampanj. ”Hit it from every angle. Open multiple fronts on your enemy. He must be confused, and feel besieged on every side.”

Dylan Byers på CNN skriver:

When it comes to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, things did not initially go Stone’s way. He had one vision for the campaign; Trump had another. But after leaving in August, Stone is back, in a manner of speaking. With the Republicans potentially facing a contested convention, his brand of political trench warfare is now in greater demand than ever.

Late last month, Trump appointed veteran GOP strategist and lobbyist Paul Manafort — Stone’s longtime friend and business partner, dating back to the Reagan years — to lead his fight for delegates. Sources close to all three men say Stone played a role in that appointment, which gave him a new lifeline into Trump’s campaign.


In a contested convention, his mastery of political dark arts could prove instrumental in securing the delegates that Trump needs. He has been to every Republican convention since 1964, and he’s worked the floor at every convention since 1972. And even he readily admits that he is capable of employing tactics other operatives wouldn’t dream of, let alone try.


At the outset, Stone advocated for traditional methods: polling, analytics, advertising. But Trump had something different in mind: hold rallies, generate controversy, get free media coverage. Stone didn’t care for that approach, nor the man tasked with implementing it: Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, who didn’t much care for Stone, either, sources close to the campaign said.


But he never really was gone. He was not ousted, as was originally reported, nor was he forced into exile, as some journalists would claim. He was always there, on the sidelines, talking to Trump on a regular basis, planting stories in the press, influencing things where he could, several sources said.

Now, eight months later, Trump’s ”say anything” strategy has given way to a new phase. He’s trying to assemble the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, and he’s in desperate need of experienced political infighters who can navigate the contentious fight for delegates. Which means that Stone’s services are back in demand.

Bild: Affisch för kampanjen ”Stop the Steal”.

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VAL 2016 | Att ständigt vara på offensiven är Donald Trumps kampanjstrategi. Så här långt har det fungerat mer än väl.

Time Marsch 14 2016

Roger Stone, Trumps tidigare politiska rådgivare, kallar det för ”tribal warfare”. Genom att definiera vem som är ens motståndare definierar man också sig själv.

Detta får också till konsekvens att man blir mindre sårbar för motståndarnas försök att klistra sina egna etiketter på en blir mindre effektivt.

Alex Altman skriver så här i Time om Trumps stil:

On the campaign trail, he leans on stereotypes to explain the world, in ways both inflammatory and complimentary. Persians are “great negotiators.” Hispanics are “incredible workers.” Mexicans illegally crossing the Southern border are “criminals” and “rapists.” After the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, he proposed a blanket ban on immigration by Muslims, not just those with radical Islamic ties.

Trump isn’t winning in spite of such statements; he’s winning because of them. […] Even Hillary Clinton is sharpening her smooth-edged coalition politics, telling voters they’re “right to be angry.”

But nobody does tribal warfare like Trump. “It’s us-against-them politics,” says Roger Stone, a Republican consultant and former Trump adviser. “You define yourself by who your enemies are.” Trump has been a master of this for much of his life. At various chapters in his business career, he has found the furrows in the cultural landscape and sown discord for personal gain. Now the same knack for divisive rhetoric could tear the Republican Party in two, leaving Trump as the commander of a new tribe, a coalition of the disaffected.


But there is no tribe Trump condemns more than the political elites, both Democratic and Republican. “The Republican Party, insofar as it is in favor of a lot of immigration and a lot of things that go on with globalization, are feeding the kinds of problems that are creating the anger,” says political scientist Charles Murray of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who argues that the policies of the GOP establishment have hollowed out the party’s white working-class base. Generations of Republican leaders have exalted free trade and entitlement cuts, called for more high-skilled-labor visas and guest workers, sought deep tax reductions for the wealthy and pushed for tougher antiabortion policies and less federal meddling.

In each case, Trump has defied party dogma. He’s pitched protectionism and stronger social programs, a border wall and a wealth tax. He defends the merits of Planned Parenthood and eminent domain. From this vantage, Trump’s groundswell of support isn’t a spasm of a party in chaos. It looks more like a natural course correction. He hasn’t dragooned supporters into believing he’s a conservative; he’s leading a willing rebellion against modern conservatism itself.


“The reason their punches don’t land is they’re being thrown in a world that’s dying,” says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who says Trump may ultimately prove to be “the most effective anti-left candidate of our times.” In Trump’s postideological movement, the litmus tests that have long ruled Republican politics are irrelevant. “It’s a revolution. What it means is you’re going to have a new conservatism,” predicts Gingrich. “He’s demolishing the old order.”

Läs mer: David Von Drehles ”Donald Trump’s Wild Ride”.

Tidskriftsomslag: Time, 14 mars 2016.

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USA | Enligt The Economist uppskattar många Donald Trumps valkampanj för dess ”skunk-at-the-picnic” karaktär.

Newsweek 14 aug 2015

Trumps sätt att tala och agera uppskattas av en viss typ av väljare som är ilskna på det politiska etablissemanget i Washington. Många tycker att politikerna från båda partierna bara lovar runt och håller tunt.

Men för de väljare som är mindre imponerade framstår Trump mer som sinnebilden av republikanernas ständigt återkommande freakshow när det nu återigen är dags att nominera en presidentkandidat.

Många oroar sig för att Trump skapar ett så pass negativt intryck av republikanerna att det kommer att spilla över på övriga kandidater.

Bill Powell följde Trump en tid under den pågående valrörelsen för tidskriften Newsweek. Powell är ingen politisk reporter men har bevakat Trumps affärsverksamhet under trettio års tid.

För att försöka förstå de opinionsmässiga framgångarna för The Donald har han också talat med Trumps politiska rådgivare Roger Stone. Stone har till och från varit Trumps rådgivare och lobbyist under tjugo års tid.

To try to understand it, I turned to one of the most fabled political operatives of the last 40 years: the famous (or, depending on your politics, infamous) Roger Stone. As a young man, Stone worked for Richard Nixon when he was in the White House, after being hired by Jeb Magruder, who went to jail for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Stone was part of the so-called dirty tricks team, which did clever/evil things like make donations to political opponents in the name of nonexistent organizations, such as the “Young Socialist Alliance.”


His core tenet as a campaign adviser has always been, “Attack, attack, attack—never defend,” and Trump is a more than willing pupil. You don’t grow up in the New York real estate business and not know how to fight. His instinct is to fight. Trump tells me that he hasn’t initiated the campaign fire this round—“Not once, Bill!”—but he returns it, always with a heavy bit of topspin, in his inimitable and endlessly entertaining style. He’s gone after not only Bush but also Lindsey Graham (“Every time I see him on TV, he wants to bomb somebody!”), Rick Perry (“He bought a pair of glasses so he could look smart!”) and Walker (the Wisconsin governor who Trump, as of late July, trailed in Iowa). “Wisconsin,” he snarled the other day, “is in turmoil!” Hell, these days, Trump even goes after the pundits who have the temerity to criticize him. “George Will,” he declared on the radio, “is a dope!”


Stone is more than happy to fill in my blanks. He starts with the point everyone makes: A significant percentage of the American public is really angry, and they hate the political class, whom they see as phonies who don’t “do what they say they’re going to do,” as Stone puts it. “I’ve never seen the voters this sour in my life, and they are responding to someone they see as authentic. Who’s a billionaire, says what he thinks, doesn’t need the Koch brothers’ or anyone else’s money, and yet still comes across as a regular guy. Compare that with, say, Mitt Romney.

“And the thing of it is, that’s what Donald is. He is a regular guy. He’s the opposite of a phony. He is what he is, and he has always been this way.”


For one thing, Stone tells me—and political reporters I respect, like Robert Costa of The Washington Post, have reported—that the Trump campaign has hired very credible operatives in the key early states. That suggests this is not just a lark, a clever way for Donald Trump to extend his brand even further.

And there’s more. Listen, again, to Stone, and what I’ll call his The Apprentice theory of politics. For 15 seasons, The Apprentice was a popular TV show. “Millions of people watched it,” Stone says, and what did all those people see on The Apprentice? “They saw a guy in a blue suit in a red tie, a guy who looks presidential, sitting in a high-backed chair. They see a guy in control. A guy making decisions. He appears thoughtful. He mulls things for a few seconds” before deciding whether he should tell someone, “You’re fired!”

The Apprentice, Stone says, “transformed Donald’s image for good.”

I’m reeling a bit as he lays this out. “Wait a second,” I say. “Because he’s shown mulling things ‘for a few seconds,’ a lot of people think he can be president?”



But then comes this: “You know,” Stone says, “I worked for a guy they used to say the same thing about. That he didn’t know enough.’’

Oh no, I’m thinking. Please don’t do it, Roger! Please don’t compare Trump with…

“That he was just an actor.”

Oh God.

“And he turned out to be the most consequential president of our lifetime.”

Yes, folks, Donald Trump is the new Ronald Reagan. You read it here first.

Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 14 augusti 2015.

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Roger Stone, politisk rådgivare till bl.a. Rickard Nixon, Ronald Reagan och George H. W. Bush, förklarar, med utgångspunkt från valrörelsen mellan Barack Obama och John McCain, vad som krävs för att vinna ett presidentval.

You basically have to do three things to win. Define yourself. Define the other guy. The other person. And define the issues on which the election is going to be decided. In other word dominate the dialogue. If you do those three things you will win. If you fail to do those three things you lose.

Mer: Del I och del II av intervjun med Stone i TPMtv (Talking Points Memo TV). 

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Talking Points Memo - The StoneZonePARTIVAL: Roger Stone är en av de mer kända – och kontroversiella – politiska konsulterna för republikanerna i USA. Han har jobbat i en rad nationella valkampanjer för Nixon, Reagan och de två George Bush.

Stone är en republikan i Richard Nixons och Ronald Reagans anda. (Han har till och med låtit tatuera en bild på Nixons ansikte på ryggen!)

I en videointervju med Talking Points Memo redogör Stone för sin (negativa) syn på George W. Bush och partiets problem och vad republikanerna måste göra för att kunna återta makten. 

Även om Roger Stone – i denna tidiga intervju efter valet – naturligtvis kan hävda att det är alldeles för tidigt att börja spekulera över vem som skall bli nästa republikanska presidentkandidat är det inte för tidigt att konstatera att partiet befinner sig i djup kris.

Ett hopp för partiet är att det nu börjar märkas ett visst missnöje med Barack Obamas politik.

En opinionsundersökning från CNN nu visar t.ex. att fler (37 %) tycker att Barack Obama har misslyckat under sina första sex månader jämfört med en motsvarande undersökning om George W. Bush (32 %) i augusti 2001. Undersökningen visar också att en majoritet tycker att presidenten har försökt lösa allt för många problem samtidigt.

Personer som Stone vill naturligtvis gärna kunna se positiva tecken på att republikanerna nu har möjlighet till att göra comeback. Inte minst med tanke på de problem som Obama har med sin hälso- och sjukvårdsreform. (Länk)

I nyhetsmagasinet Time har Michael Grunwald försökt analysera partiets problem och de ideologiska vägval man står inför.

The party’s ideas — about economic issues, social issues and just about everything else — are not popular ideas. They are extremely conservative ideas tarred by association with the extremely unpopular George W. Bush, who helped downsize the party to its extremely conservative base. A hard-right agenda of slashing taxes for the investor class, protecting marriage from gays, blocking universal health insurance and extolling the glories of waterboarding produces terrific ratings for Rush Limbaugh, but it’s not a majority agenda. The party’s new, Hooverish focus on austerity on the brink of another depression does not seem to fit the national mood, and it’s shamelessly hypocritical, given the party’s recent history of massive deficit spending on pork, war and prescription drugs in good times, not to mention its continuing support for deficit-exploding tax cuts in bad times.

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