According to the New York Times, former vice president Dick Cheney is asking for $2 million for his memoirs, which will cover his political career. Cheney’s book will be one of seven works that are being written by former members of the Bush administration. My question is who would pay millions for a book that is certain to end up in the dollar bin?
Books by George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Henry Paulson, Karl Rove are already being written, and Condi Rice has a three book deal. The only interesting books on that list to me are President Bush’s book, and Paulson’s book if he gives an honest accounting of the behind the scenes decisions the Bush administration made while the economy was melting down. Rice could have some interesting things to say, if she talks about her turf wars with Rumsfeld and Cheney.
According to the NYT “Members of the Bush group are in regular contact as they seek to jog their memories, compare notes and trade stylistic tips in their new lives as authors, according to friends and current and former aides.” I don’t know if I have ever heard of officials from former administration working so closely together to get their story straight. This certainly smells like a publicity campaign to rehabilitate the Bush administration.
The Times reported, “According to a person familiar with a meeting that Mr. Cheney had with a publisher, the former vice president is proposing a memoir that would function not only as the story of his role in four Republican administrations but also as a history of the entire Republican ascendancy going back to Nixon. This person did not want to be named because of the confidentiality of the talks.”
Does anyone really believe that a book by Dick Cheney is worth $2 million in this economy? This is a recipe for disaster for any publisher that would be dumb enough to pay Cheney millions of dollars. Who is going to buy a book that was written by one of the most unpopular figures in modern American political history? The fact that Cheney is constantly on television making his positions known makes a book authored by him less intriguing.
Sometime next year, you should expect the invasion of the Bushies to arrive at your local bookstore. It will be interesting to watch if any of these books sell. I suspect that President Bush’s book about his twelve toughest decisions will do well, but all of the other books should bomb, including Cheney’s.