Run For President….And Write a Book


By Carmen Comment

It’s not worth the time to make anything of how Julie Bosman‘s New York Times piece is pretty well covering the same territory that USA TODAY did a while back, but she did get some fun quotes relating to the tendency of would-be presidential candidates all reaching for their (or their ghostwriter’s) pens. “You’re not a real candidate, Pinocchio, if you haven’t written your own book,” said Mark Halperin, the political director of ABC News. “If you know everybody else is doing a book, you’ve got to do a book.”

And with the 1 million copies-plus success of Barack Obama‘s THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, most presidential hopefuls – and publishers – are after similar success. The 2008 campaign season is the time to rerelease forgotten titles, sign unpublished candidates and, if they’re lucky, laugh all the way to the bank as they reap sales from best-selling political books. “What you have, essentially, is a celebrity with built-in press coverage,” said David Rosenthal, the publisher of Simon & Schuster. But sometimes a strong candidate won’t see big sales with his book; 2000’s A CHARGE TO KEEP by a certain George W. Bush was dismissed by critics as an expanded stump speech mostly written by Karen Hughes. The lesson? “Candidates can win,” said Halperin, “even if their books don’t sell well.”