Mitt Romney? Arrested for disorderly conduct? You go, man. If I were him, I'd make a campaign commercial highlighting this little nugget in his bio just to show he is a regular guy and can give lip to a cop just like anyone else.
According to what Romney told the Boston Globe in 1994, he had taken his family off to Wayland, Mass.'s Lake Cochituate, about an hour outside Boston, for a summer excursion. As Romney prepared to put his family boat into the water, a park officer told Romney not to launch because his license appeared to have been painted over. The officer told Romney if he put his boat into the water he would face a $50 fine.
Romney felt that his license was still visible and decided to ignore the order from the officer and pay the fine.
"I figured I was at the state park with my kids. My five kids were in the car wondering why we weren't going out in the boat, so I said I'd launch and pay the fine," Romney said in 1994.
Romney said the officer didn't tell him not to launch his boat, just that he would face a fine for doing so.
"I was willing to pay the fine. But if he had said don't launch the boat and not mentioned the fine, I would not have done it," Romney said.
After Romney put the family boat into the water, the officer reappeared visibly angry and arrested Romney for disorderly conduct. Romney was handcuffed on the scene, taken to the local police station, and booked.
"There I was, dripping wet in a bathing suit," Romney told the Globe. A magistrate let him go without bail.
Er...then again, maybe we should just forget about it:
Several days later, Romney appeared in Natick District Court and threatened to sue the arresting office for a false arrest. The charges were dropped and sealed at Romney's request.
Still, this incident humanizes Romney like few other things he's done. What we need are a few more vignettes of real life that would give flesh and bone to a candidate too often seen as stiff and robotic.