Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitt Romney ~ Elitist Prep School Bully


There is a mind-blowing article by Jason Horowitz in the Washington Post about Mitt Rommney's early sixties school days at Cranbrook, a prep boarding school outside Detroit, Michigan. This is a must read! (And thanks to my friend exhpfan for the link)

Romney's schoolboy days sound like a combination American Graffiti, Harry Potter at Hogwarts, Dead Poets Society, and Lords of Discipline. Unfortunately for Romney, he doesn't come across as a young Ron Howard or Richard Dreyfuss - he's more like the character Doug Neidermeyer, the vicious ROTC bully in Animal House - the guy who spits into a freshman's face while asking "Is that a Pledge Pin!?" The lenthy article records a stupid "prank" that makes Young Mitt seem at the least intolerant and mean, and at the worst homophobic. And that's just page one. How interesting that this article came out the day after President Obama said he was in favor of gay marriage, and Romney said he definitely wasn't.
From WaPo
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.
. . . “He was just easy pickins,” said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it. The incident transpired in a flash, and Friedemann said Romney then led his cheering schoolmates back to his bay-windowed room in Stevens Hall. Friedemann, guilt ridden, made a point of not talking about it with his friend and waited to see what form of discipline would befall Romney at the famously strict institution. Nothing happened.

John Lauber was later thrown out of Cranbrook for smoking cigarettes, which seems remarkable given that it was 1963-65. Of course, the young Mormon Romney would never smoke or drink or do anything like that. But yeah, he would attack another student with scissors and get away with it! I'm speechless.

This afternoon, Romney has issued an "apology" for the Cranbrook incident. From ABC News:
Romney admitted during a radio interview that he did some “dumb things” but that “homosexuality was the furthest thing from his mind” when it came to the jokes he played on classmates. He laughed off the 45 year-old anecdotes during the radio interview today.
“I’m not going to be too concerned about their piece they talk about the fact that I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that well you just say to yourself, back in high school well I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended obviously I apologize but overall high school years were a long time ago,” said Romney in an interview on Kilmeade and Friends radio show about his years at the Cranbook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Asked specifically as to whether he remembered an anecdote in the story that describes Romney cutting the hair of one of his classmates who was “presumed” to be gay because the candidate did not like his long hairstyle, Romney responded, “You know, I don’t.”
“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing, before adding that whether someone was “homosexual, that was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.”

Ah well . . . I bet there's more of this to come! I hope Washington Post does an article on Romney's life in Paris during Vietnam next!

1 comment:

  1. It is now time for the media to do stories on Mr. Lauber. It's interesting that you were able to find out that he was later kicked out of school for smoking cigs. I wonder if he reported the incident and if the school covered up the assault and used the cigs as an excuse to get rid of him. It will be interesting to hear from some of his friends and family. If I know Rachel Maddows she already has her staff working around the clock on this story. This story has got to be good for another 2-3 news cycles.