I want to point out that in an earlier era politicians could mix and mingle with the general public. Sadly the assault om Berlesconi reminds us they can't and it is our loss. The security screening of people keeps the public at a distance. In the case of Hillary and likely Obama the people in the room are scanned to be party faithful. This is why the encounter with Joe the Plumber was rare.
How much of a better candidate would we get if the process allowed for unscripted, unscreened questions from the public. We probably would have been spared most of the current Presidents save Reagan.
Sadly in an era of political assassinations mainly by far leftists and mental patients we get a diet of security that allows spin men a clean slate.