"I'm not a member of the club," he says, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms behind his head. It is, he has told more than one friend, good for his "aura." Indeed, he devotes considerable energy to that aura. one of the brightest young men in the country." Says Rinaldo: "The guy has fantastic political savvy.
"He likes the good life," says Marvin Liebman, a Washington supporter of conservative causes. He wants very badly to be a swell." Stone's enemies are more blunt. Kean calls Stone "a good idea man, totally dependable . He's the best I've ever seen." Stone's admirers frequently cite his skills at building coalitions and attracting blue-collar voters to Republican campaigns.
As of 2am, the centre of the storm was about 90 miles (145 km) north-northeast of Barbados and about 170 miles (270 km) east-southeast of the Leeward island of Dominica, moving to the west-northwest at about 13 mph (20 kph).
A second powerful storm in as many weeks was bearing down on a string of battered Caribbean islands, with forecasters saying Maria would strengthen rapidly into a major hurricane as it ripped into the Leeward Islands on Monday night.
Maria’s strength was building as it approached the Lesser Antilles, the US National Hurricane Center said, estimating its winds near 90 miles per hour (145kph).
*Roger Stone's aura includes a reputation as an eager source of information -- usually negative -- on politicians and their foibles. Thomas Kean of New Jersey, state senator William Gormley of New Jersey, Rep. "He believes in the negative campaign," says one former client.
He brags about his access to the media, and says, "the key thing is maintaining your credibility. You can even disgrace him, but he will not be defeated. "His philosophy and mine didn't jibe." The 1982 congressional race between former congressman Tom Evans and Democratic challenger Thomas Carper is a case in point.
"You can't play it like that for a long time without making an awful lot of enemies," says Stone's old friend David Keene, George Bush's former political director and now an adviser to Sen. "After a while, you have built up a whole community of people who don't wish you well.