Wash Post on Young Mitt Romney At Prep School

Today’s other big politics story, from the excellent (and occasional GQ contributor) Jason Horowitz at The Washington Post. The dumb crap you do in high school doesn’t, and almost always shouldn’t, matter in a presidential election. Especially when it was a half century ago. All the same… Wow.

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”

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  10. nowahklrk reblogged this from gq and added:
    What a dick.
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  24. cleelee reblogged this from gq and added:
    Today’s other big politics story, from the excellent (and occasional GQ contributor) Jason Horowitz at The Washington...
  25. latinafrocaribbeangal reblogged this from gq
  26. cuzigottacutefaceandmybootysofat reblogged this from gq and added:
    how the FUCK could you vote such a man into office?
  27. jessibakescakes reblogged this from gq and added:
    I found this to be troubling and all, but if so many people were there to witness
  28. agaysianvagabond reblogged this from gq and added:
    granted he was young. but whoa.
  29. condoreav reblogged this from gq
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  32. a-weiner-joke reblogged this from gq and added:
    Troubling.