In this way, viewers in these markets got something too—a chance to hear the president speak on the more local issues that matter to them.

It may be a time-honored tradition to poke fun at local newscasters—Nichols made note of his visiting colleagues’ “lustrous hair and chiseled features”—but it’s smart and, maybe, predictable that the administration is taking them seriously.

And since Obama is taking them seriously, so is another presidential contender—one of lustrous hair and chiseled features, even. Just one day after KRTV Houston and KUSA Denver got their exclusives with Obama, they were contacted by Mitt Romney’s campaign and offered one-on-one interviews. Turns out the top Republican contender has an acute sense of timing, too.

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Erika Fry is a former assistant editor at CJR.