Roger Stone is threatening to run for Governor as a Libertarian to siphon votes away from Ron DeSantis. Yes- that Roger Stone, who by the way lives in Fort Lauderdale. The assumption has been that Stone is trying to protect Donald Trump from a potential DeSantis candidacy in 2024. Well that could be it, or it could be something completely unrelated to Trump. This is Roger Stone, after all, someone I’ve kept tabs on for most of my adult life.
From where I sit, it has been pretty galling to watch the chattering classes and Democratic activists the last few days promote Stone. But it’s become more and more obvious that those people tied to “resistance” politics are more driven by personality than any actual conviction or interest in ideology. Stone, the ultimate showman in GOP politics since the 1970’s, and someone with deep Florida ties is playing everyone right now, perhaps playing us all for fools.
While on these pages we’ve been very hard on Governor Ron DeSantis to say the least, but opposition to DeSantis would never lead to us to embrace someone of Stone’s disposition. Nor do I personally accept Stone’s explanation’s, first about voting reform now about DeSantis potentially running for President in 2024 as his motivator to potentially run for Governor. Those explanation serve the media narrative of Stone’s loyalty to Donald Trump and probably put him in good stead with the MAGA types, Stone keeps company with these days – but Stone is a heck of a lot more complex a political operator to just be doing this for Trump or the MAGA movement.
For a quarter century, since I was a student at the University of Florida and exposed to Stone by a friend who was going to take a semester off to visit New Hampshire to work for Arlen Spector, I’ve kept tabs on him. Nothing is straight forward with Stone, nor would his personal loyalty to Donald Trump be so great that he’d jump into the fray once again in Florida.
Stone’s involvement in Florida since the 1990’s has involved lobbying and major political alliances – with figures of BOTH major parties. Knowing Stone’s previous involvement with the sugar industry as well as the efforts to legalize marijuana one or both of these things could be involved in his desire to weaken DeSantis. He could be looking to draw votes from DeSantis because those industries favor a Democrat. He also could simply be looking for attention, which he certainly is now getting.
Keep in mind it was Stone who pioneered the idea of being a foreign agent while an American citizen, something now common among elites in both parties who let foreign government grease their palms while working against American interests. It was also Stone who despite being a Richard Nixon/Ronald Reagan GOPers was running around for a few years with Al Sharpton – I even spotted the two holding court together at the 2003 NAACP Convention on Miami Beach.
I don’t know what Stone is specifically playing at but my view is he’s not doing this for Donald Trump, but is using Trump as an excuse. We’ll keep an eye out for Stone and an ear to the ground and report what we hear are his actual motivations for the rather quixotic reentry into the public eye, here at TFS.