A fat, glossy, unexpected love letter to Obama

Quick: guess which Boston paper is marking Barack Obama's win with a 32-page glossy publication, titled "Boston Celebrates Barack Obama: Reflections on a man, his life and our times," on sale tomorrow for just $2.99?

No, it's not the Boston Globe. It is, instead, the Boston Herald--which, in endorsing McCain last October, suggested that it would be a bad idea to put a "naif in the Oval Office."

What changed? In an introductory note, Herald publisher Pat Purcell speaks of his paper's desire to chronicle Boston's response to our first African-American president, and adds:

In a world of fleeting images and 24/7 news, it was also part of our mission to put into the hands of our readers something real and tangible--something that could be shared, that would be viewed by a future generation as history-in-the-making....

[P]articularly at moments like these, we are one people, one community with one thought--that this new president succeeds, that President Barack Obama leads this nation with wisdom and grace.

The star attraction, in terms of both space and interest, offers commentary from noteworthy locals on Obama's win. There are some pretty big names here, including (among others) Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree; Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry; Boston mayor Tom Menino; former Boston mayor Ray Flynn; Red Sox manager Terry Francona; Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Car Talk's Magliozzi Bros., and--wait for it--former Republican lieutenant governor Kerry Healey.

A couple more points worth noting. First, "Boston Celebrates" doesn't contain a single ad, so Purcell & Co. must be counting on brisk newsstand sales. And second: it'll be interesting to see how this goes over with the Howie Carr-loving, "moonbat"-hating subsection of Herald readers.

NOTE: I'd been under the impression that the magazine was conceived two weeks ago, and blogged accordingly. But Miller tells me that's incorrect. "It
was conceived Nov. 5, when every newspaper in the country sold out, and there were people standing on street corners in Boston holding signs that said
'Thank you,'" she says via email. "That was when it first seemed there might be a market and a purpose for something like this."

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