Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – for Republicans and the media, anyway. In 2012, the national news media that couldn’t be bothered to look up the college records or classmates of a first-term Senate backbencher running for President suddenly found the high-school life of teenage Mitt Romney utterly fascinating. The media painted him as a rich-snob bully, a meme that continued even after the source admitted he was passing along third-hand hearsay, and after the family of the high-school prank victim ripped news outlets for exploiting the story about the now-deceased young man, and called the narrative “factually inaccurate.” Romney ended up in the ridiculous position of being a man in his sixties apologizing for pranks in his teens, but the aftereffects lingered … not coincidentally, during the summer when Team Obama conducted a massive character assassination campaign against the Republican nominee.
Now, the Boston Globe puts the meme in la même chose:
Jeb, as he was known, should have been an easy fit in that elite and ivied world. His much-accomplished father and his older brother had both gone to Andover; no one was surprised that Jeb had followed suit.
But this Bush almost ran aground in those first, formative prep school days. He bore little resemblance to his father, a star on many fronts at Andover, and might have been an even worse student than brother George. Classmates said he smoked a notable amount of pot — as many did — and sometimes bullied smaller students.