President Obama Signs Another Book Deal

A book deal received the President-elect's signature to do a modified version of Dreams From My Father for the young adult (YA) audience, making that best-selling memoir a franchise itself. Now that Barack Obama is the official 44th Commander-in-Chief, disclosures show that one nonfiction written work is also optioned for his post-presidency. That won't be discussed until near the end and the big green numbers for that book are going to be stratospheric no matter where he lands in the pantheon of presidential rankings. Bill Clinton can hug that $15 million he got for My Life as the record for just a bit longer. It will be interesting to see what Michelle's memoirs and her fashion creds bring in a stripped down, hand me down publishing market.

The craft of writing is masterful from a keyboard or pen wielded by President Obama, that is a bonus. The presidential memoirs touted most as literary works were from a dying and broke Ulysses S Grant who passed away just days after retiring his pen on the project. President Theodore Roosevelt was no slouch in the writing department either. Ronald Reagan wrote charming letters. One of the most unpopular presidents ever is doing his obligatory writing trying to explain some of his inexplicable decision-making. But had he had the gift of time, Abraham Lincoln may have gone down in history as the writer to which all aspire.

Last year's wheelbarrels full of dollars, just from books, for the First Family was a backbreaking $2.5 million. Yesterday, during President Obama's California town hall in one of the wealthiest counties in America, Orange County, he confessed to the fact that he would be raising taxes on himself as he was now part of the welthy class. Interesting for a community organizer guy who had holes in the soles of his shoes from all the walking during the campaign. Reading his take on life in the White House will be at a premium because he is seeing it through such a different lens with a background unlike any of his predecessors.

Ted Kennedy His Life in New Books

Senator Edward Kennedy is a prolific author and writer in his own right.  He wrote a children's book about
his two Portuguese Water dogs, Splash .  His life encompasses everything from cheating on a Spanish test getting him ejected from Harvard to the shameful Chappaquiddick to rising to become a gifted orator worthy of being the everyman Cicero from Massachusetts to the People's Champion on Labor, Health Care and Human Rights as well as passing the Camelot mantle to President Obama. Ted Kennedy comes form a richly storied and well chronicled family with an interesting take as the youngest son.  It occurs to me that, at times, he must have felt a bit like Ron Weasley minus the carrot top. 

At the time of John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy had had enough of their domineering mother and told Ted to go "call your mother and our sisters." Ted was the only Kennedy who seemed to relish his mother's daily notes about his grammar and appearance. He stopped being the baby of the family only when fate intervened. In the span of less than five years, Ted went from being the "other Kennedy" to being heir to the political legacy of his slain brothers, surrogate father to their children and head of the entire Kennedy clan.

Now his twilight years are upon us as he fights a malignant brain tumor, a number of people, including the remaining scribes at the Boston Globe, are writing their version of his story, Last Lion:  The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy.  Lisa Tucker McElroy's version, Ted Kennedy:  A Remarkable Life in the Senate,  is due out in April of 2009.I would love to see in the fullness of time what Caroline Kennedy would state for the record.