Over at Mother Jones, the San Francisco-based magazine has a whip-smart listicle telling the complete history of Mitt Romney in 30 defining moments. Like the time in 1965 when young Mitt Romney took it upon himself to defend Stanford's ceremonial axe in the days leading up to the Big Game against Cal, showing early on just how far he'll go to win.

That year, Romney attended Stanford down in Palo Alto, where he was roommates with former Stanford quarterback Mark Marquess. As pals with the future QB, "Romney personally took it upon himself to protect Stanford's ceremonial battle axe against theft and patrol the site of a pep-rally bonfire to guard against premature torching by mischievous Cal students," Mother Jones explains. In fact Romney, who reportedly had a thing for throwing anti-anti-war rallies in preppy attire, even went slumming in Berkeley to spy on the rival team at Cal. As Marquess recalled of his roommate's fervent devotion to the football trophy: "I don't think that sucker slept for four days."

Stanford won that year by two points.

The anecdote is cribbed from The Real Romney, a biography that came out earlier this year. The New York Times called it a history of "a personally upstanding and generally conservative man who will do whatever it takes to be elected president."

Read on at Mother Jones for more formative Mitt moments. Like the time teen Mitt watched his dad get shunned by his party for ripping apart Barry Goldwater at the 1964 RNC held at San Francisco's Cow Palace.