That's the image that emerged of a high-school-aged Mitt Romney from a Washington Post article this week that recounted allegations of his mean and even violent behavior as a prep school student in Michigan.
And that's the lead paragraph of Mean Boys, Blow's New York Times column on the Washington Post blockbuster story on Romney's time at Cranbrook School, and of even greater importance, Mitt's response to the story's assertions.
Blow recounts the facts of Romney's behavior as listed in the story - the"atta girl" shouted out when a closeted gay student spoke, the walking of the seeing impaired teacher into a door, and of course the assault on John Lauber. He quotes Romney's response to the story, and then writes:
There are remarkable things in that documentary. And I will discuss them.
But my focus is this - in this documentary I saw real courage, real heroism.
I do not deny the courage of those that go into combat. It is real.
But imagine just this. The first tower has come down. You see fireman walking towards the remaining tower, with hoses, and axes. And they go in. They are trying to save lives. They will lose their own.