News that the meeting between Hillary Clinton and ordinary Iowans for a chat over coffee was a phony set-up should come as no surprise to the politically astute. The expensively hired teams of PR men, media managers, marketing executives and image consultants that now run election campaigns have done their homework and learned from the previous mistakes of others.
As control over political candidates by these professional image creators becomes absolute, contact with real people in real situations cease.
Interaction between political candidates and the electorate is now seen as hazardous for the simple reason that the truth is want to slip out and the real person behind the manufactured image is exposed.
This can undo months, even years, of carefully constructed image creation putting an election campaign in jeopardy as a result.
What the public see in the media are the fake smiles and the well rehearsed ability to read a prepared speech, but by all accounts - including those of some close associates, former employees and the Secret Service - the real Hillary Clinton is a nasty piece of work, combining a lack of manners with a volatile temper and an all consuming sense of entitlement.
As candidate Obama found to his cost when he revealed his socialist wealth redistribution agenda to Joe the Plumber, any deviation from the prepared script will be mercilessly exploited by political opponents to the detriment of the campaign.
Fortunately for Obama, he was able to recover and go on to win the Presidency due to the damage limitation skills of his PR team combined with a bought-and-paid-for media and a gullible, star struck electorate.
In Hillary's case, allowing contact between this perfectly schooled machine politician and ordinary human beings could make for disastrous optics and consequently it is avoided at all costs.
Tony Blair was a consummate performer in front of the media and is credited with bringing the dark arts of spin into the heart of British political life. It's a sad fact that once one political party indulges in this kind of phony campaigning, all others must follow suit with slick media campaigns of their own or appear to be amateur and out of touch.
Like Barack Obama, Tony Blair and David Cameron are the creations of PR men as are the other legacy party leaders in Great Britain's forthcoming election. They were plucked from remote obscurity on account of their photogenicy and schooled over many years to perform in public.
One can see their discomfort when they are required to step into the real world and perform stunts in order to falsely identify with ordinary people. Even giving alms to a beggar is beyond some of them.
Identifying and having empathy with ordinary human beings is problematic for remote elitists who have had little or no contact outside of their own like minded community. Consequently, political candidates need to create a legend of humble beginnings - a log cabin story as they call it in the USA - in order to form a some kind of bond with the electorate.
As directed her PR team, Hillary Clinton claims she was broke when she left the White House, also that she is primarily a grandmother with her own grandparents being poor immigrants into the USA..
It's all bull of course and almost as outrageous as her fellow Democrat, Elizabeth Warren claiming native American ancestry on account her mother noting high cheekbones on a picture of Papaw; who it is assumed is her grandfather.
Any PR team worth their salt can spot the potential for a disastrous photo op and protect their charge accordingly. It must be said that Prime Minister Gordon Brown's team were right on the money when they prevented him from being photographed sitting down as he sold the British people down the river by signing the Lisbon Treaty.
They had him sneak over to Brussels then quickly sign the treacherous document standing up before rapidly departing the scene with the minimum of public ceremony.
It's a sad fact that the unreal images manufactured by these teams of PR professionals are taken in by an undiscerning public who don't have the skills to see through the bull and demand honesty. The political class are aided and abetted by a compliant media who propagate these images because they themselves are part of the machine.
This dishonesty will only end and the truth prevail when the public finally acquire the skills to spot the fake images and lies, then develop a healthy cynicism toward a corrupt political class that consider deceit as an acceptable part of the democratic process.