high school
presidential candidate
March 20, 2012

Candidates Yearbook

A look at the candidates before they were politicians.

Scott: This has been a long primary season! Usually by the spring of an election year, we pretty much already know who will be the major party candidates in the presidential race in the fall. That is definitely not the case this time around. There are still four Republicans in the race. And Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are neck-in-neck heading into today’s primary in Illinois.

But really, who are these men? We wanted to learn more about the journey that brought them to this marathon race for the White House. And we really wanted to know what these guys were like in high school!

Right now, he is the leader of the republican presidential race, but he was a different kind of leader in high school. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was a cheerleader on the pep squad at Cranbrook School, a prestigious boys-only school in Michigan. At Brigham Young University, Romney was the speaker at his graduation. He went on to attend Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. Romney founded an investment firm and is now a multi-millionaire, but his first job ever? Romney worked as a security guard at a Chrysler plant during high school.

Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, grew up in a town called Butler. Back then, his argumentative style and a strand of hair that stood up on the back of his head, earned him the nickname “Rooster.” Looks like he combed it down for his yearbook picture! At Penn State, Santorum, who is sporting a beard here, was State Chairman of the College Republicans. Like Romney, Santorum has both a master’s degree in business administration and a law degree.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich first got into politics when he was ten when he tried to convince the mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to open a zoo. A few years later, at Baker High School in Columbus, Georgia, Gingrich was voted “most intellectual.” Gingrich attended Emory University and went on to get his PhD in history from Tulane. Before getting into politics, Gingrich was an assistant professor at West Georgia College, teaching courses in history, geography and environmental studies.

In high school, Texas congressman Ron Paul was called “Ronnie.” Ronnie was both class president and a state track champion. And get this, he met his wife 60 years ago when she asked him to be her date to her 16th birthday party. Paul went to Gettysburg College and Duke University Medical School. He became a doctor and over the course of his career, paul says he has delivered four thousand babies.

Of course, one of these four will be running against the president in November. So, who was Barack Obama before he became president?

Barack Obama’s first job in high school was scooping ice cream at this Baskin Robbins in Honolulu. Obama attended a private academy, the Punahou School, where he went by the name Barry. Barry made the school’s varsity basketball team but during the state championship game, he was a bench warmer. Obama went on to Columbia University and Harvard Law School and became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.


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