From NBC's Athena Jones
President Obama today sits down for local television interviews with stations in four states that could play a key role in the next election.
The president is scheduled to speak with affiliates in Denver, CO; Raleigh, NC; Dallas, TX; and Indianapolis, IN. Obama won three of those four states in 2008, and with its changing demographics -- a rapidly growing Hispanic population, in particular -- the Lone Star State looks increasingly like one the president and his team hopes to put in play for the 2012 campaign. Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden made San Antonio one of the stops where they promoted their "Joining Forces" initiative to encourage communities to provide more support for military families. That swing also took the women to important swing states.
Obama's team has long been a fan of local interviews that allow the president to bypass the national media and move beyond the DC Beltway to connect directly with voters in places that will be important to keep in his camp in the coming campaign. Including today, he will have done more than a dozen this year.
In February, Obama sat down with affiliates in Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH; and Richmond, VA. In March, he spoke ones in Albuquerque, NM; Pittsburgh, PA; and Hampton Roads, VA about education reform.