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Author Topic: Any comments on Obama's $500,000 book deal?
flydye45
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The title says it all. Signed 5 days before the inauguration.

Of course, Gingrich did the same and was considered declasse. So much so that he had to stop the deal.

Should similar pressure be brought to bear on Obama, who AFAIK, was a Senator when he worked this thing out?

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TomDavidson
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Sure. Go for it.
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JoshCrow
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I thought this sort of thing was the heart and soul of good ol' GOP-style capitalism.

I hear Bush wants to write something too, so we can all get an "authoritarian" perspective. [Wink]

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Wayward Son
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From the title, Obama's advance is about a factor of 10 less than Gingrich's book deal back in 1995. But if there is any possibility of conflict of interest, I would support an inquiry.

Is there any possibility?

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KnightEnder
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Yeah, I hope he can get out of the deal and make a better deal now that he is president. [Smile] Bush writing a book. Hilarious. [LOL]

KE

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flydye45
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I don't have a problem with capitalism. I have an issue with equity. If it is to be beyond the pale for a sitting politician to not write books, then let's set the bar. Otherwise it seems damned selective.*


Edited to add: What I would accept in as..."august" a body as has/had Kucinich, Traficant, and Waters as members I would find tacky in a Chief Executive. So, I had little problem with Senator Obama making book money, any more then I would ding McCain from his deals. I DO have a problem with any President signing a book deal, certainly after they were elected.

*This attitude does not surprise me in the slightest.

[ April 02, 2009, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
From the title, Obama's advance is about a factor of 10 less than Gingrich's book deal back in 1995. But if there is any possibility of conflict of interest, I would support an inquiry.

Is there any possibility?

Is there any possibility? ROTFLMAO, of course not! An investigation into anything Obama is not a possibility unless, and this is a very slim chance, it can be used to tarnish Bush too - see the post above yours for the attempt. Obamatrons like Tom and Josh are never going to see any conflict of interest. Ever. It just isn't going to happen so forget that line of thought, it's simply not allowed.

I see no possibility of anything ever coming from this or any other ethics issues, conflict of interest or whatever. Obama, the One True Leader, is perfect don't you know?

[ April 02, 2009, 10:41 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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flydye45
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Now now. Some of his more egregious actions are causing enough cognative dissonence so that SOME reporters are shocked into the occasional impolitic question. Call it two years (AFTER the midterm elections, natch) before the bloom is totally off that rose.
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JoshCrow
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You're very droll, G2, but I already have at least three major policy disagreements with Obama (legalization of ssm, marijuana, and more egregiously his lack of balls in dealing sternly with the banks - either take 'em over or let 'em crumble). Portraying me as an Obama-dittohead is misinformed. I do have my own opinions and my own mind, and if you want to compare the size of our intellects I'd be happy to.
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flydye45
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One can disagree with a president and still serve as an apologist. Take the way I've been characterized for the last 5 years.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
One can disagree with a president and still serve as an apologist. Take the way I've been characterized for the last 5 years.

Well it ain't right, you would agree.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"I DO have a problem with any President signing a book deal, certainly after they were elected."

I don't, except that the book should be placed on a very VERY slow production time requirement. I'll give the guy a 1/2 hour a day to make notes of his presidency for writing a book down the road after he's retired but no more for now. Him got presidenting to do.

As for conflict of, say, ideological influence and policy and all: if we think book contrqacts are a conflict of interest, so is the damn bully pulpit.

It would be interesting to place a shawl of silence over acting presidents.

Do don't Say. Would be innarestin. Shut up, stand up, do something.

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kenmeer livermaile
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As for Gingrich: man has a gift for appearing out of order, beginning at least with divorcing his wife as she struggled with cancer. Guy's got a stinky star on his forehead.

Obama's gift is, obviously, different. Gingrich couldn't even make a first run showing at the Rep residential noms.

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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Well it ain't right, you would agree.

Of course. Get a helmet.

[ April 02, 2009, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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scifibum
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Tricky question, about whether/how a President can make money.

They probably ought not to keep reporting to an office job.

But it's not like they have to (or ever have) spend every waking moment governing. There are ways they all probably spend spare time for personal profit. I'm pretty sure they aren't required to liquidate/freeze their investments. They probably still spend time to talk to their financial advisers, in a sense working for themselves to make money.

What about the book deal, exactly, stinks?

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flydye45
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Don't have a problem with the bully pulpit. And I'm not against using a book as a means to pushing an agenda. But BECAUSE he has the bully pulpit, he doesn't need a book. And trading on one's presidency, as you noted, shorts the nation and looks tacky.

What, the eight million he already earned isn't enough to pay his energy bill? It's as embarrassing as if he were caught going through the seats in Air Force One, looking for loose change.

(Though, to be honest, if he showed ANY sense of thrift, I'd probably applaud at this point.)

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kmbboots
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Isn't this book deal about an abridgment to "Dreams from My Father"? A book the President has already written and that the publisher will abridge?
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LetterRip
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scifibum,

regarding financial advisers - pretty sure they aren't allowed to have any knowledge of how or where their money is invested to avoid conflict of interest.

LetterRip

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
scifibum,

regarding financial advisers - pretty sure they aren't allowed to have any knowledge of how or where their money is invested to avoid conflict of interest.

LetterRip

I wasn't aware of that. I suppose it makes a lot of sense. Voluntary code of ethics or actual law?

Having a hell of a time finding anything with Google. [Frown]

[ April 02, 2009, 11:26 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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LetterRip
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Hmm nothing turns up in google for me either, I don't recall where I read it and it was 10 years or more ago, I'm sure the source wasn't anything official, just an offhand comment in something I was reading so it could be wrong or my recollection might be.

LetterRip

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Sefer
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http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2009/03/obamas_new_500000_book_deal_wa.html

This is an abridgment to his previous book aimed at a younger audience. I don't really see a problem with it. I'm not sure I'd see a problem with a politician writing a book while in office, either, so long as they still did their job. I'm not really familiar with what happened with Gingrich, though, so maybe there's an issue I'm not considering.

fly, do you have a problem with any millionaire continuing to make money, or just presidents? It seems unlikely that he'll actually have to do much, if anything, for the project; editors can abridge things without much input. For little effort he can make money while allowing younger readers to access his work; what's "tacky" or "embarrassing" about that?

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IrishTD
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scifi & LR: Blind trust is probably what you're looking for.
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scifibum
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Thanks Irish. Looks like both Obama and GWB used them. Do you know if they're required by statute?
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IrishTD
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No clue. I don't think so though.
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