A $65-million publishing contract and Obama can't make a deadline?
Like exorbitant speaking fees, book publishing contracts are one of those ways bribes can be paid to politicians undetected. Just ask Russia's former first deputy prime minister, Anatoli Chubais, whose political career ended with that one.
So when President Obama and his wife Michelle Obama got a $65-million his-'n'-hers book publishing contract, eyebrows were raised. It wasn't a normal number. Oh, sure, it might have been justified by the likely volume of sales, some said. But Michelle turned her book in on time. And eighteen months past his deadline, Obama has not. Squirreled away in retirement with multiple luxury mansions to choose from, he hasn't exactly been busy. Yet even with that kind of money at stake, he still can't make a deadline, or even come close.
This kind of suggests that maybe getting the book from him in exchange for the cash wasn't important?
Maybe. But now the word is rolling out that he's "underperforming." According to this delicious item in the American Spectator:
Michelle's book, Becoming, was released by PRH's Crown division on schedule in November 2018 and has exceeded expectations. Barack's book will be released at least two years behind schedule with no publication date in sight.
"The delay is wreaking havoc with print scheduling and of course budget planning," one publishing insider told me. "The enormous advance is starting to 'raise' concerns within the publisher. While Michelle's book performed well, Obama needs to deliver the book and sales to make the overall deal worthwhile."
So they really do need to get the book from him. And they needed it 18 months ago. And they cut him some slack by letting it go a year past deadline some six months ago. And another six months has drifted past. And now they're getting ready to scream.
It's not as if this should be a surprise to them. He's burned publishers before with the same problem.
It's part and parcel of being Obama, who, number one, can't write. That was the conclusion reached by American Thinker contributor Jack Cashill, who had some pretty interesting circumstantial evidence that Obama's mentor, Bill Ayers, wrote his early books well for him. See here.
Two, Obama can't manage time. He's been called lazy time and again from all quarters, based on his White House term of office.
The lazy charge has been dismissed as "racism," but Obama himself has weighed in and claimed that yes, he is indeed lazy, and it's all because he was raised in Hawaii. Here's something gushy published by the Atlantic Monthly back in 2011:
"You're lazy?" Barbara Walters incredulously asked Obama, sitting alongside the first lady, in an interview scheduled to air on Friday night but previewed ahead of time.
"It's interesting.... Deep down underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me," Obama said. "It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside. Sitting on the beach."
He cites the Hawaiian weather as the reason, but if anyone was being racist, well, it was probably he, blaming the Hawaiian culture and calling it the weather. San Diego, where I am, also has nice weather and nice beaches, and nobody calls us lazy. And that certainly wouldn't explain why Obama tried to complete his earlier book in Bali, would it? If Hawaii is lazy by Obama's reckoning, Bali would be a hundred times lazier by pretty culture (except that the Balinese are famously industrious).
But here we are, with Obama saying he is lazy, and then blaming Hawaii.
More likely, he's been coddled all his life, allowed to slide, allowed to pass through without putting in the work and then let it become "who he was."
Seriously — he's got a $65-million book deal, from a publisher who will probably take literally anything from him, and in the midst of his retirement, never having to work another day in his life, he can't make a deadline, or even a grace period beyond it? Too many billionaire vacays? He hasn't said.
Sounds like this guy has a character flaw. And suddenly his publishers are expressing discomfort, many moons out from when there was supposed to be a crisis. Bribe? Hard to say. Just call him "Mr. Underperformance." Sounds a lot like his presidency.