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All the Barack Obama vacation news, except Obama

August 12, 2008 | 12:55 am

It's a big deal when someone who might become president of the United States chooses to visit your local area. That's why campaigning candidates focus so much attention on local media reporters as they visit the Sioux Falls and LaCrosses and Billings of the country.

It's even a bigger deal when that famous celebrity decides to spend almost a week in your area on vacation. Take Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee-to-be who's in Hawaii this week with his family doing what American families ought to be doing in August.

He's not really campaigning on his visit, except maybe to put on a coat and come out to talk about the Georgia without any electoral votes because John McCain was all over TV news talking a whole lot tougher about the Russians and not talking about just talking to them either.

But otherwise a local Hawaiian TV station, very eager to cover Obama but without Obama, has to make do with talking with pretty much anybody else their reporter can find.

"It came as a complete surprise," said one local after his Obama encounter. Another said Obama commented on his own "handsome" photo in a local paper and signed some copies. Shot some hoops too reportedly.

Here thanks to The Times' Maeve Reston is a video of one local report so you know what local Hawaiian news viewers know about what the freshman Illinois senator has been up to.

--Andrew Malcolm