"Billy" Romney Reconnects With First Grade Teacher

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

LIVONIA, MICH. -- Mitt Romney was prepared to discuss tax cuts and government spending at the Americans for Prosperity Conference here, but he probably wasn't expecting to talk about his first-grade report card.

The former Massachusetts governor and Michigan native was approached after the event by Gloria Blazo, his teacher during the 1953-1954 school year at Vaughn Elementary School in Bloomfield Hills.

Romney remembered his retired teacher as Mrs. Blazo, but she knew him by a nickname that has been unfamiliar to the rest of the country.

"This is my big secret," Romney said. "It looks like in first grade, I was still being known as Billy Romney, and I think it was first grade when I decided I didn't want to be Billy anymore because there was a song they sung back then: 'where have you been Billy Boy' … and I did not like that song, so I convinced my mom to let me use my middle name, which is Mitt."

The former Massachusetts governor's full name is Willard Mitt Romney.

Mrs. Blazo showed Romney her teacher's notes and briefly spoke to reporters about what she remembered from the young student she taught over 50 years ago.

"He was one person you never had to reprimand about talking, you know," She said. "He worked hard."
  • Scott Conroy On Twitter»

    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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