Dubya's Prep School Years

| Boston Magazine |

JUST AFTER THIS MONTH’S election, the former president will release his new memoir, Decision Points. Since there’s no word on whether he’ll mention Phillips Academy, the place where he’s said his "political talents first blossomed," we decided to mine his 1964 yearbook for lessons he learned. New politicians, take note.

1. NICKNAMES
Bush’s classmates gave him the uninspired moniker "Lip" for his tendency to spout off, but he came up with the much-better "Tweeds" (after Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall) for himself. Lesson People love creative nicknames. (Right, Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove?)

2. YALE He was such a poor student that Andover’s dean implored him to add a safety school to first-choice Yale. But he was determined to get in, and did (thanks to his grandfather, who was a trustee). Lesson If someone advises you not to go somewhere, go anyway.

3. CHEERLEADER The cheerleader in chief won friends by staging humorous skits and occasionally dressing in drag. When the dean balked, his classmates published an editorial titled "In Defense of Bush’s Antics." Lesson Ensure media coverage is "fair and balanced."

4. STICKBALL
Seizing a chance to stand out, Bush elected himself to the top post of Andover’s stickball league. He unwisely let the superlative for "big man on campus" go to a popular vote, and came in second. Lesson Always demand a recount.