Sunday, March 16, 2008

Was Spitzer Set Up?

God, wouldn't that make things just ... well, just totally more awesome than they already are? I mean, we'd get to talk about hookers, and coke, and Larry Flynt, and Lord knows what else for weeks and weeks!

Screw the election! To hell with the war! Bugger off with your warnings of the impending economic disaster! I want a little more sex, drugs and rock'n'roll with my politics, which is why I'm grateful to Bob Novak today:

New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer's "entrapment by federal authorities investigating a prostitution ring raised speculation that" GOP political consultant Roger Stone, "with a 40-year record as a political hit man, somehow was behind it," according to Robert Novak.

On December 6, Stone said, ''Eliot Spitzer will not serve out his term as governor of the state of New York," on Michael Smerconish's radio talk show. He gave no details.

Stone is really one of the great genuine characters in the GOP's stable of political blood-letters, an affable guy with a mischievous, boyish smile -- one that screams "I did it!" to anyone who's ever had kids. Which is why this snippet is rather interesting:

Stone had been retained in June [of 2007], for $20,000 a month, to help demoralized New York State Republicans gain ground from the caped-crusader/governor Eliot Spitzer (who many, including Spitzer, seem to regard as some sort of cross between Robert Kennedy and Jesus). Stone and a loose collection of co-conspirators began battering the governor for his administration's numerous ethical lapses. (When I called Stone for this story, he asked if I'd gotten all the anti-Spitzer emails. I told him I wasn't sure, it seemed like I'd been receiving five a day for months from all sorts of mysteriously named accounts. "Good," he said. "It's working.")

Stone's work against Spitzer mainly revolved around ethical lapses of a financial nature ... much of what got the soon-to-be-ex-Governor of New York in hot water in the first place, so Roger Stone, if he continued to follow the money, may have been (somewhat) responsible for binging down Eliot Spitzer. If he did, it's a monumental achievement in the field of opposition research, dirty tricks and political theater -- perhaps second only to Dustin Hoffman's Hollywood big-shot's opus in "Wag the Dog."

Of course, that's just total and complete unfounded speculation on my behalf ... and entirely for my own entertainment. (Hey, sometimes it's just fun to dabble in a conspiracy theory or two, if for no other reason than as exercise for the imagination!) But if in the off chance that it is true ... well, Mr. Stone, I doff my chapeau to you, sir!

Now, Novak's column specifically says Stone was not responsible for uncovering Spitzer's shenanigans:

Spitzer's entrapment by federal authorities investigating a prostitution ring raised speculation that Stone, with a 40-year record as a political hit man, somehow was behind it. In truth, Stone had nothing to do with the investigation and said he had not heard about it when he made a prediction based on his general view of Spitzer.

But, really, what's a guy in Stone's position to say -- especially if he actually was the guy responsible for bringing the Governor down? "Yeah, I did that, bitches! Who wants some?" Of course not ...

Alas, until there is credible evidence, we here at the Chief are going to have to take Stone at his word. But should we ever meet the man, we'll be sure to pat him on the back and congratulate him on a job well done -- with a wink and a nod, of course -- and let the man be on his merry way.

(By the way -- and just to answer the moderately provocative title of the post -- no, of course Spitzer was not set up. He walked headlong into this. The article in the Weekly Standard was published in December, and the fact that he went and got himself some hookers even after knowing that a guy like Stone was on his tail makes him even more guilty in my book.)

1 comment:

CJ said...

It's only a "set up" if you take the bait.

With his long list of enemies, I'd call him an arrogant fool. They've all been workin' it and waiting to take him down.

He did it to himself.