Roger Stone loves things. Antique cigarette holders, martini shakers by the dozens, framed ads from vintage men’s fashion magazines. Cab Calloway suits. Homburg hats.
But the thing he loves most is housed in a dreary, no man’s land of a strip mall, way off the main drag in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. There, in a locked glass cabinet at Stone’s office, he keeps a bong shaped like Richard Nixon’s head.
It matters not to Stone that Nixon, his mentor and idol, left the presidency in disgrace. Actually that’s the point.
Stone has long lived by the code that “It’s better to be infamous than not to be famous at all.”
And his predawn arrest on Friday only added to the legend of a self-defined political trickster seen by his enemies more as a profane scoundrel and hatchet man.
Ever the showman with a sense of the moment, a smiling Stone emerged from a Fort Lauderdale courthouse and flung his arms wide, flashing dual victory signs in a scene reminiscent of Nixon’s final gesture after resigning as president.
The aura Stone, 66, has cultivated has been amplified by his natty suits, his flashy glasses, his startlingly dyed white hair, his enthusiastic embrace of face-bronzing creams, his weightlifter’s physique, and, of course, by the tattoo of Nixon’s smiling face on his upper back. But at its core, the lore of Roger Stone has always been about secrets. He knows untold truths, he’s quick to say — clandestine facts.
“This whole thing has been a circus, and Roger Stone is the circus master,” his friend Michael Caputo said. “He’s been punking the Democrats and spooking the media for 40 years. Now he gets a true test of his talents.”