"How can the next president better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive?" The question was posed by one "Barack O" on LinkedIn about a month ago -- and closed within a few days after receiving 1,498 responses.

The answers are all over the political (and geographical) map, as you might expect. Less regulation and lower taxes, a level playing field with big business (and more taxes on them), affordable health insurance, etc. There's plenty here to keep the Obama staff busy -- if they read them. Which they probably won't. Because, of course, the point of this exercise isn't the answer but the question -- it tells entrepreneurs that he cares about them. The tactic is as shrewd as the sentiment is genuine. His campaign delivered that message in New Hampshire town meetings, and found a grateful audience there, too.

As of an October 6th Washington Post squib, the only other candidate on LinkedIn is Rudy Giuliani. But don't look for the former mayor to pose a question like Obama's. As one of Hizzoner constituents for eight years, I can assure you: he prefers to bark answers.