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Light Reading Aboard the Obama Express

When not questioning Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, as in this April 4, 2008 photo, members of the traveling press can relax with articles about Nigeria. (Associated Press)

By Shailagh Murray
PHILADELPHIA -- How's this for interesting reading in "Envoy," the inflight magazine for Sen. Barack Obama's new campaign plane:

"Nigeria -- The North and the South " (pg 13)

"Two Nigerian Stars" (pgs 30 and 32)

"Nigerian Milliner Sculpts Inventive Hats" (pg 6)

Last month, the charter company hired by the Illinois senator's campaign traded in its regular wheels, a gritty ATA 737-800 notorious for abrupt landings, for a bright white North American Airlines 757. The new plane features a large U.S. flag on the tail and flight attendants in prim navy uniforms. But Obama destinations like Philly and Indianapolis aren't the usual stops for this crew.

The airline mainly serves Africa, in particular Nigeria, and its routes include JFK-Accra, Boston-Lagos and Lagos-Johannesburg. North American is a sister airline to ATA, and its large planes have also ferried Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the White House press corps. The movies aren't great, but the magazine is riveting. "Empowering people, eradicating guinea worm disease, making history," reads the ad for the Carter Center on the back of this month's "Envoy."

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 9, 2008; 11:56 AM ET
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