Reason 6 – Obama: Looking Out for Number 1


156 Days Remaining!

Reason #6

Obama: Looking Out for Number 1

Shortly after being elected President of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was approached by literary agent Jane Dystel, who suggested he prepare a book proposal for an autobiography. According to author Christopher Andersen, Obama agreed and Dystel took it to several publishers.  Finally, she landed him a book contract with Poseidon Press, a Simon & Schuster company.  Obama was given the almost unheard of first time author advance of $150,000, receiving half in advance.  He was to provide Poseidon with the completed manuscript by 1991.  Time passed and Obama failed to produce.  In 1993, his contract was canceled.  He reportedly went to Simon & Schuster and was able to receive their forgiveness of the $75,000 debt he now owed them.  Despite what could be easily interpreted as a major breach and a large mark against author Obama’s credibility, Dystel was undaunted.  She not only obtained a new contract for Obama with Random House’s Times Book Division , but she also managed to negotiate a new $40,000 Advance.

Following Obama’s 2004 Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention, the book began to move and Dystel once again attempted to maximize Obama’s profits by obtaining the rights to his book and then finding still another publisher.  Before she could do this however, Random House’s Crown Book Division published it in paperback.  The book went on to sell approximately two million copies and when Obama was elected to the Senate, Crown offered him a two million dollar contract for two books.

In the true spirit of a man who believes in keeping commitments, rewarding loyalty and ensuring fairness for all, Obama reportedly dumped Dystel as his agent and hired an attorney to finalize the deal with Crown.  Why?  Reportedly, to avoid paying Dystel’s longer term commission, in favor of one time hourly legal fees connected with the completion of the new contract.[i]

As the famed Community Organizer, Saul Alinsky said:

“…one’s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one’s personal interest in the issue.”[ii]

How Presidential…

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Your Turn

Do you know a Reason why Barack Obama should not be elected President? Can you tie that Reason to something specific and document it with a credible source?  If so, share it in the Reply box at the end of this page.  Working together, let’s set a goal of 10,000 Reasons – and when we have them, let’s share them with the GOP!!!  Make your voice heard.  And while you’re at it, who do you think Mitt Romney will select as his running mate?  Vote here!!!


[i] Christopher Andersen, Barack and Michelle, (New York, 2009, Harper Collins E-Books),pp138-231

[ii] Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, (New York, 1989, Vintage Books), 26

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