According to a story in today’s Washington Post, Mitt Romney’s close friends believe the Republican presidential candidate is a “barrel of laughs” and can’t understand why he’s not showing this aspect of his personality on the campaign trail. To illustrate Mr. Romney’s lighter side, the Post presented tales several of his past pranks including a strange hazing incident where Mr. Romney and his college buddies forcibly shaved students of a rival school and a time he terrified a friend with a fake home invasion.
Mr. Romney’s shaving incident, which his father, former Michigan Governor George Romney revealed in a 1970 speech, occurred while he was a student at Stanford. The elder Mr. Romney said Mitt and his friends lured students from the University of California into a trap where they “shaved their heads and painted them red.”
George Keele, who served as a Mormon missionary in France with Mr. Romney in the 1960’s, described the home invasion prank to the Post:
“One night in Bayonne, in southern France, Keele answered a knock on the door and saw two men, their faces hidden by sheets, ordering him in French to put his hands behind his back, turn around and not utter a word. Keele fled out the back door only to hear Romney, his mask removed, laughing uproariously in the house.”
Mr. Romney’s friends worry he’s not showing this aspect of his personality on the campaign trail. It doesn’t seem like this type of behavior would help his campaign, but it would certainly make things more interesting if Mr. Romney tried to shave Newt Gingrich or mounted a mock assaults on the White House.