Being a dour man with a taste for hyperbole, H.L. Mencken exaggerated for bleak effect when he wrote that "the saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success disgraceful." There are sadder lives. And not every candidate must suffer ignominy or disgrace.
But then there's Mitt Romney. Mencken's famous dictum applies with such eerie precision to the man it's almost as if Mencken wrote it to be chiselled on Romney's tombstone.
It's absurd that a foreigner is head of state, someone wrote in response to your correspondent's recent ode to the longevity of Her Majesty. "And don't give me that line that she's Queen of Canada. She wouldn't know a hockey puck from a piece of tar."