Yesterday saw something of a first for American politics, as Democratic wannabe presidential candidates took part in a live televised debate on CNN.
That in itself is nothing new: but this time there was a sprinkle of techno pixie dust, in that the candidates were responding to questions submitted by members of the public in the form of YouTube clips.
Some example Qs & As (you need Flash and a friendly firewall to see these):
Have we [Americans] had the same two families in charge for too long?
Would you agree to be paid the minimum wage?
Do you send your kids to a public [state] or a private [fee-paying] school?
CNN's assessment is that "the questioners did best", with the candidates striving to avoid taking controversial positions. There was one tiny moment of comedy, though, with Hillary Clinton saying:
"Well, I couldn't run as anything other than a woman" - suggesting that she had, perhaps, considered the historically more voter-friendly option of running as a man. ®