A Small Left-Wing Conspiracy

Mike Hughes does his part for Hillary Clinton’s book sales

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s memoir may have set a record for first-day sales of a nonfiction book, but it set a different sort of record in Richmond, Va.

As he was strolling down the cobbled streets of Shockoe Bottom last week, Mike Hughes, president and creative director of The Martin Agency, spotted copies of Living History in the window of independent retailer The Fountain Book Store. “It was funny that [the book] comes out during Father’s Day, and no one talked about that,” says Hughes, who is a Democrat. Moving as fast as the hype surrounding the book, he and art director Ty Harper dashed off a print ad with copy that reads: “What every dad wants for Father’s Day. A forgiving wife.”

Hughes sold the ad to the bookstore for $1, a record low for the $350 million shop. An Effie may be in his future, too: The book sold out.

While he’s doing what he can to help the cause, what does Hughes think of Clinton’s efforts to market herself in the wake of her tumultuous White House years? “There’s a huge difference between marketing products and marketing politicians,” he points out. “Most companies want everyone to like them. Politicians just want 51 percent.”

Considering all the baggage Clinton carries, Hughes said she is doing a wonderful job of presenting herself to the public. “But the things that brought her so much attention are the things that will continue to nag,” he says. “She’ll always have trouble getting to the 51 percent.”