Many years ago, my friend Marcus delightedly brought over his latest purchase, along with the usual two six-packs: an early twentieth century etiquette book.  As we got drunker, he kept finding ever more hilarious admonitions in its yellowed pages, reading them out loud in his thick German accent.  “Don’t ever discuss personal topics in front of children or servants,” he recited, giggling and gesturing with his finger on his lips toward my friend Judy’s boyfriend, who was going through a rough spot in his career and was then cleaning Marcus’ and my apartments each week.

Poor Mitt Romney evidently spent too much time with the Book of Mormon and not enough with Amy Vanderbilt, and somehow missed this important lesson.