May 21, 2012

Regarding the May 11 front-page article “Romney’s pranks could go too far”:

The burden is onerous, the truth must be told. Circa winter 1965, two co-conspirators and I bullied Mitt Romney. In a 3 a.m. raid, we burst into his Stevens Hall room (sans bay window, if I recall correctly) and covered him in shaving cream.

There was no particular enmity involved; adolescent male hijinks are sui generis. All that is needed is an impulse that this (whatever) calls for a stupid and futile gesture, and we were just the guys to do it. Yet, one remembers who one is and what one represents; shame and remorse ensue.

Would this promising young man be permanently scarred? Would he become president and send some Jack Bauer character around with power tools? (In which case, I would drop a dime on the other two faster than you can slap a “coexist” sticker on a Prius in my Colorado city.) Would he send his formidable Cranbrook friend Matthew Friedemann? Or are he and Mr. Friedemann sharing fewer laughs of late? Would The Post investigate and uncover yet another prank gone too far?

Mindful of the epistemic difficulty of inferring mental states from behavior, I have concluded, if media and alumni reports of certain accomplishments are correct, that Mitt survived any trauma. Still, I take this opportunity for public apology, and to wish him well in all his future endeavors. Aim high, Willard.

I am grateful to The Post for spurring this apology so that I can clear the air while the veep slot is open and Cabinet vacancies loom.

David Hatfield, Boulder, Colo.