Tags: sarah | palin | roger | stone

Roger Stone: Palin Made the Right Move

Monday, 06 Jul 2009 08:44 PM

By Rick Pedraza

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Political analyst and Republican Party strategist Roger Stone tells Newsmax.TV that he disagrees with the chattering class in Washington and believes the only way Sarah Palin could remain a viable presidential candidate in 2012 or beyond was to leave the governorship of Alaska.

““First of all, her administration is mired down by these nuisance lawsuits and ethics complaints from every garden variety left-wing nut paralyzing the state government,” Stone says, noting Palin is governor at a time when the drop in oil prices is contracting her state economy.

“There’s no plus in Sarah Palin staying as governor of Alaska.”

See Video: Roger Stone explains how Sarah Palin is still a leading candidate for 2012 and beyond - Click Here Now

Stone points to Palin’s natural constituency that could sustain her through a national campaign and doesn’t believe she will be labeled a quitter.

“There was nothing to be gained, nothing good that could come out of being governor of Alaska for another 18 months,” Stone tells Newsmax. “On the other hand, there’s no question Sarah Palin’s political imagery needs some repair.”

Stone says the unyielding assault of the liberal media attacking Palin for being homespun, plain spoken, middle class and simple, lead to her decision to repair the political damage. He notes Palin has the most valuable thing a politician can have in presidential politics: she has a favorability rating of more than 20 percent of the American people who say they love her, and more than 60 percent of Republicans.

“She has a national political base,” Stone says. “Mitt Romney does not have that; Haley Barbour does not have that; Charlie Crist doesn’t have that. None of the other potential presidential candidates who’ve been mentioned have that.

Palin has now freed herself to cultivate that base, but more importantly, to go on television, Stone says, noting working in a packaged, controlled environment will help correct public misperceptions of her.

Stone likens Palin’s decision to step down from the Alaska governorship to that of Richard Nixon, who in 1962 “got fed up with being called Tricky Dick, got fed up with being the man that nobody would buy a used car from, and fed up by the constant assault on his values and his middle-class background by the liberal media,” he says.

“So, in 1962 he did what Sarah Palin just did –– he quit politics. Six years later he was inaugurated as President of the United States.”

Stone tells Newsmax Palin has reached that same saturation point of being tired of the lawsuits, nuisance complaints, and derision by the media elite, including Katie Couric, “Saturday Night Live” and adult films that satirize her.

“She’s stepping away from a job that, I think, is thankless [in order] to expand her own horizons. She can speak more, she can learn more about the issues, and she can familiarize herself with more and more issue experts. She can demonstrate what her detractors refuse to believe. This is a very intelligent woman who didn’t go to Yale, didn’t go to Harvard, and she’s not the toast of the Georgetown, Washington salons. But she’s still a political force in this country.”

Stone says only in the 1968 campaign and in the confines of a controlled television environment with the genius of Roger Ailes as producer was Nixon able to remake and repackage his image. It was then that Nixon was able to take shed the rough images and bury a reputation he gained as a political assassin.

“I think Sarah Palin has that opportunity,” Stone says. “She is hated by the media elite because of what she represents: a homegrown conservative and true outsider. She represents everything the media hates. They don’t believe that unless you went to Yale or Harvard or the right law school. Unless you’re from Washington or New York or the Boston-New York corridor, you couldn’t possibly know anything about America.”

Stone says Palin is a tremendous threat to those people and therefore they must ridicule her and they must destroy her. And they’ve done a pretty good job.

“That is not to say she hasn’t made her own mistakes,” Stone admits. “She has. She is not experienced at this level of political combat. But she has the charisma, she has the presence, she has the conservative values, and she has the perseverance to remake herself into the ‘New Palin.’

Stone says Republican presidential candidate John McCain made the right choice in choosing Palin as his running mate in 2008?

“I think he did, because she acquitted herself well in the campaign. I think she was a plus for this ticket. She consistently drew bigger crowds than the candidate for president; she held her own in the 90-minute debate with one of the biggest blowhards in the U.S. Senate, Joe Biden. And she made no major mistakes in that debate and even rope-a-doped him at least twice.

Palin has more talent than people give her credit for, Stone tells Newsmax, but has to do some serious image repair to be a viable candidate in 2012 or beyond. However, leaving the governorship was the right thing to do at the right time.

“She needs to package herself differently for the American people,” Stone says. “To me that means a television show in a controlled environment in 2011 in which she becomes the conservative Oprah, if you will. Then in 2011, she’s still the hottest commodity in the Republican Party –– she can do the dinners and the campaign events and rack up the IOUs. But she first must remake herself, let people see her qualities and erase this media-created image of her as a fool, because I don’t think it is accurate.”

Stone speculates there might be a big TV deal in the works for Palin, and that’s probably what motivated her to quit as governor.

“It’s logical to me that Fox television –– with their more conservative viewership now may be in a position [to] remake Sarah Palin’s public image. I think that’s her natural base of voters. It’s kind of ironic that Roger Ailes, the head of FOX, [was] the man who erased all of Nixon’s political negatives in the ‘60s.

The first thing Stone would tell Palin to do if he were advising her is to take a deep breath before saying anything. The second thing he would tell her is that she already has a large base of Americans who love her, who will donate for her, who will work for her, who will support her and who will vote for her.

“No other presidential candidate can say that,” Stone says. “She needs to go out in a serious effort to show the real Sarah Palin. She’s got to erase some of the negatives against her and remake herself. Then I would tell her to make a decision about running for president.”

See Video: Roger Stone explains how Sarah Palin is still a leading candidate for 2012 and beyond - Click Here Now

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