Ever since Trump took office, Richard Nixon has been a hot topic in the media, as comparisons are often drawn between these two scandal-ridden presidents. So, when Nixon was trending yesterday morning in conjunction with the arrest of Trump advisor Roger Stone, I figured it was just another Watergate comparison. Much to my surprise, this uptick in interest in our 37th president was actually about Roger Stone’s tattoo of the late chief executive.
Being that I consider myself something of an expert on presidential dicks, I was immediately fascinated by Stone’s ink of Tricky Dick and decided to find out everything I could about it. So here goes it!
While the actual tat wouldn’t appear until decades later, one could say the outline for Stone’s tattoo was laid in 1972, while he was working for the Nixon reelection campaign — although not, as reported by some, as an aide or advisor, a fact somewhat haughtily pointed out by none other than the Nixon Foundation itself:
Still, although just 19 when he joined the cause, Stone fit right in with all of the dirty tricksterism that was going on at the time. Hell, a 2008 profile of Stone in The New Yorker was even entitled “The Dirty Trickster.” Following Nixon’s reelection, Stone then worked in the Nixon administration until Nixon resigned in 1974. After that, he would float in and out of Republican campaigns and circles as a self-proclaimed “Agent Provocateur,” doing whatever nasty deed he could to serve the Republican of the moment.
Throughout it all, however, Stone’s love for Nixon never wavered. As he told The New Yorker, “The reason I’m a Nixonite is because of his indestructibility and resilience. He never quit” (except, of course, that time he quit being President of the United States — just sayin’). Stone could even be found giving Nixon’s famous “V for Victory” salute, which he even did when he posted bond following his arrest yesterday. He also says that he admired Nixon’s resentment of elitism, which is ironic, given Stone’s love for dressing rather fancy.
Still, all that pales in comparison to the inside of Stone’s home, as seen in the Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, in which he shows off his Nixon-themed man cave, complete with campaign posters, Nixon masks and Nixon bongs. While in his lair, he discusses his tattoo by saying, “It’s not an ideological statement. It’s a reminder that, in life, when you get knocked down, you have to get back up… That’s the story of Nixon.”
So, that’s the why behind Stone’s tattoo. As for the when, according to a 2007 profile of Stone in The Weekly Standard, he’d gotten it during the summer of that same year, during his involvement with the takedown of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. While Stone was publicly claiming he had no part in the Spitzer drama, he also semi-confirmed that he did play a part in it by offering up joking alibis, including going to see the play Frost/Nixon, and yes, getting this tattoo. After getting inked, Stone even sent pictures of his new tattoo to journalists in what the the profile referred to as “puckish spite.”
Per The Weekly Standard, the work was done by Ink Monkey Tattoo and Piercing in Venice, CA, although I’m extremely sad to report that, on contacting the shop, it turns out the people who owned the place in 2007 no longer work there. The current owners, I’m even sadder to report, knew nothing about the Nixon tattoo.
Since getting his ink, Stone has been proud to show it off just about every chance he gets. Outside of The New Yorker profile and the documentary, he appeared shirtless for Newsweek, InfoWars and even a gay pride parade. The tat has become so legendary that in February of last year, a fan of Stone’s presented the provocateur with a tattoo of Stone’s face on his back — a sort of ouroborus of awful.
According to Stone himself, though, that dude wasn’t the only one infatuated by the Nixon ink. “Women love it,” he told The New Yorker. For a quote that’s even more vomit-inducing, he told The Weekly Standard that he turns the ladies on by saying, “You’ll never meet another man with a dick in the front and a dick in the back.”
I’m guessing that line, though, won’t play as well in court.