But a flat-screen television on the wall plays porn videos, and many clubgoers disappear into locker rooms and emerge wearing towels. From there, some of them go into a lounge, a Jacuzzi room, or one of about half a dozen private rooms to have sex—with their dates or with new acquaintances.
For nearly forty years, Stone has hovered around Republican and national politics, both near the center and at the periphery. At times, mostly during the Reagan years, he was a political consultant and lobbyist who, in conventional terms, was highly successful, working for such politicians as Bob Dole and Tom Kean.
Even then, though, Stone regularly crossed the line between respectability and ignominy, and he has become better known for leading a colorful personal life than for landing big-time clients. Still, it is no coincidence that Stone materialized in the midst of the Spitzer scandal—and that he had memorable cameos in the last two Presidential elections. While the Republican Party usually claims Ronald Reagan as its inspiration, Stone represents the less discussed but still vigorous legacy of Richard Nixon, whose politics reflected a curious admixture of anti-Communism, social moderation, and tactical thuggery.
Stone worked for Donald Trump as an occasional lobbyist and as an adviser when Trump considered running for President in So what happened at Miami Velvet one night last September, he said, amounted to a gift. Miami Velvet is B. No, the woman said, he was a skinny bald guy—a description that fit Spitzer.
According to Stone, the woman told him that Spitzer had reached her through her escort service, which listed her as a brunette, but she had dyed her hair blond. So the agency referred the governor to a dark-haired colleague, the woman said, who met up with Spitzer in Miami.
They were the kind that went to the middle of the calf, and one of them kept falling down. Stone said that he decided, after hearing the story, to keep the conversation with the woman to himself for the moment. But there was never any doubt that he would eventually deploy it.
He owns more than a hundred suits. For many years, he bleached his hair to an almost fluorescent yellow, but he now keeps it a more banal brown. For dinner, he wore a chalk-striped double-breasted suit, a starched white shirt with a spread collar, and a silver-colored tie, and, outside the restaurant, a homburg. Stone ordered a Stolichnaya Martini.
He said he got it from Winston Churchill. Stone did not grow up in such rarefied company. His mother wrote for the local newspaper, and his father dug wells. Inwhen he was thirteen, Stone was taking the train into New York to work weekends on behalf of the ill-fated mayoral campaign of William F. Buckley, Jr. Stone moved to Washington to attend George Washington University, but he became so engrossed in Republican politics that he never graduated.
He was just nineteen when he played a bit part in the Watergate scandals. He adopted the pseudonym Jason Rainier and made contributions in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance to the campaign of Pete McCloskey, who was challenging Nixon for the Republican nomination in Stone then moved into the world of political consulting, to which he was temperamentally better suited than government service.
Stone revels in his Watergate pedigree, noting almost apologetically that he was never accused of breaking any law. It was the poor-me syndrome. John F. No one bought Nixon anything. Nixon resented that. He was very class-conscious. He identified with the people who ate TV dinners, watched Lawrence Welk, and loved their country.
The exodus of working-class people from the Democratic Party was started by Nixon. We were the party of the workingman! We wanted lower taxes for everyone, across the board. And Jimmy Carter was viewed as an appeaser.
Hank Sheinkopf, the veteran Democratic political consultant, who has known Stone for many years, values his political insights. He thought like a Democrat and dressed like a plutocrat. Are you Hispanic? Are you gay? You should be with us. Read classic New Yorker stories, curated by our archivists and editors.
He wrote recently on his Web site, an erratically updated collection of observations called Stonezone.
The region hardly looked like Reagan country, but Stone found a new mentor to help him. He told me to come see him at his town house. He told me to ride down to the courthouse with him.
He had a young lawyer with him, and it was clear that Roy knew nothing about the case he was going to argue. Tell me the judge. Gays were weak, effeminate.
He always seemed to have these young blond boys around. He was interested in power and access. He told me his absolute goal was to die completely broke and owing millions to the I. He succeeded in that. We need to get suburban moderates back. Fiscal conservatives and social moderates have been drummed out of the Party. Fiscal conservatives are the glue that holds the Party together.
Social issues, unfortunately, do nothing but put voters out of reach for us. Stone did not enter the government after Reagan won the election. Instead, he started a political-consulting and lobbying firm with several co-workers from the campaign. Stone and his wife at the time, Ann, became famous for their lavish life style, which included a chauffeur-driven Mercedes and tailor-made clothes.
Stone never much cared for corporate lobbying—or for being part of any large organization—so he stuck to campaign work more than his partners did. Kean won in a recount. During the Reagan years in Washington, Stone began cultivating in earnest the image of a lovable rogue.
He always had this reputation of being a guy who exaggerated things, who pretended he did things. Roger was always a little rat. The show is not a by-product of his life—it is his life. I went tie-shopping with him once, down at the old Barneys, on Seventh Avenue, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It was a time in his life when he was obsessed with Alan Flusser suits and great ties. InStone worked as a senior consultant to George H.
The experience prompts a rare disclaimer from Stone, who is usually eager to claim credit for hardball tactics.
Other campaign officials told me that they were not in a position to know what Stone said to Atwater about the Horton ad. For all his bravado, Stone told me that he shied away from racially inflammatory campaign work. After Bush, Sr. He worked on three campaigns for Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican. He developed a specialty in ballot initiatives, especially about gaming.
The sought athletes and military men, while discouraging overweight candidates, and included photographs of the Stones. Stone acknowledged to me that the were authentic. Stone strolled in wearing a perfectly pressed white linen shirt and a panama hat.
In his customary defiance of medical convention, Stone makes sure that his skin is bronzed by the sun twelve months a year. I fit right in. He ran one of the quixotic independent bids for New York governor of the billionaire Tom Golisano; helped defeat a pro-environment voter initiative in Florida, in ; and ran a political campaign in Ukraine.
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