GOP Hatchet Man "Predicted" Spitzer's Downfall

| Mon Mar. 17, 2008 12:28 PM EDT

Robert Novak's column yesterday carried this interesting nugget: Apparently Spitzer-nemesis and longtime GOP operative Roger Stone predicted the New York governor's political downfall a good three months before it came to pass, telling a talk radio host in early December that ''Eliot Spitzer will not serve out his term as governor of the state of New York." This would seem to suggest that Stone can either see the future—or had a hand in shaping it. According to Novak, though, the former is closest to the 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."

However, Stone was coy when asked point blank by Newsday columnist Ellis Henican if he had any role in outing Mr. Clean as Client 9:

"No comment on that," Stone said. "I will say I knew it was coming. That's why I wasn't too upset about the results of the special election," where a Democrat grabbed a supposedly safe Republican State Senate seat, leaving Democrats just one vote shy of control.

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According to Henican, Stone has been "shopping anti-Spitzer stories for months" and "warning darkly about some 'really ugly' stuff to come."

Not that anyone deserves more credit than Spitzer for engineering the destruction of his promising political career, but it's not terribly hard to believe that Stone, a seasoned political hit man, was more than a spectator. He got his start working for Richard Nixon's reelection campaign—and recently got a portrait of the disgraced president tattooed on his back. (Really.) He went on to work for the campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, where he was reportedly linked to the infamous Willie Horton ad that some credit with costing Michael Dukakis the election. More recently, Stone served as a consultant to the New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee—that is, until he was accused of leaving a threatening phone message for Eliot Spitzer's elderly father and abruptly resigned. Described by the Weekly Standard's Matt Labash as a "professional lord of mischief," Stone is not one for subtlety. Earlier this year, he launched an anti-Hillary Clinton 527, Citizens United Not Timid, whose tasteless acronym really says all you need to know about Stone's brand of below-the-belt politics.

It's unclear what role, if any, Stone played in ensuring Spitzer got Spitzered, but he has warned Newsday's Henican, ominously, that his "work isn't done there."

"Everything's about to change," he told the columnist. "Just watch."

(H/T Raw Story)